Step Standard

Written by Adam Blau
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There are a number of computer-aided design (CAD) programs on the market today. Not all firms use the same design platform--even those that work together on the same project. Because of this, it is necessary for a project to be developed in a format that is compatible with the largest number of operating systems.

Saving STEP by STEP

One format that is widely used is the STEP platform. This stands for the "STandard for the Exchange of Product model data." The STEP standard is a common way that CAD users save and transfer data from one project to another.

By using the STEP platform, users improve their methods of data exchange with other CAD users. Many programs use the STEP platform as the native file format in which data is stored. Since so many programs read files in the STEP platform, it is possible to use files saved in this format on many different CAD programs. Projects can then be worked on by engineers using several different CAD platforms.

If you are purchasing a new CAD program, it would behoove you to find one that allows you to save a project not just in the STEP standard, but in a variety of file formats. Though the STEP standard is popular, there are a number of different programs on the market that operate differently. The more options your program has for file storage, the larger the chance that you can successfully transfer a file with other users.


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