14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2018 10:58 AM by Felix T.

    Step Import

    Trev Friesen

      I find it totally frustrating when after paying 5K plus and subscription my $80 for 2 years Fusion360 no up front just the sub...( That's about 3k for Solidworks) can open large .step files and Solidworks just cannot seem to. Fusion opens it in about 90 seconds ...Solidworks "Parsing file, pass 1" 30 mins and counting. I have tried multiple times on two different computers with two completely different subs . This sure looks like the software and not something I am doing. Anyone else have issues with importing .step files ? I use SW 99.9 % of the time . I have Fusion360 because it "CAN" open .step files clean which I can then re-save so SW can have a chance. Maybe SW should just hide Fusion in its code to appear to be a good value.

        • Re: Step Import
          Rubén Rodolfo Balderrama

          Attach your file and I tell you how much time is it on my PC, maybe there's some problems with the licence of the solidworks....

            • Re: Step Import
              Trev Friesen

              Hi Ruben,

               

              The file is 337 megs so a bit too large. I was able to open and re-save in Fusion which has given me enough to work with. I doubt its a sub or license thing . I have tried two different subs that have two different licenses. One PC is dual Xenon ,128GB ram, raided SSD ,K5000 video up to date drivers and all the other BS support can point to (or blame). I have used SW since it came out and it has always had trouble importing big step files (and threads too) . This is more of a rant for SW to see and maybe one day address. Oh while we are ranting can we someday actually have the ESC actually escape the process. I have Microsoft windows to suck time from my life but the OS is basically free. SW not free ESC should just ESC .

            • Re: Step Import
              Paul Risley

              I import Step files daily, based on complexity of geometry and such the worst one I can remember was maybe 2 minutes.(This was a boat hull for a jet ski so was pretty surface heavy).

               

              Other than that I have imported lines of equipment from Step format and never had any real long load times. If the file is opening in Fusion 360 that easily I am curious as to what your import settings look like for step files there may be a bugger in there.

               

              Every option for both import and export has it's pros and cons. I have to change mine pretty constantly as we have different degrees of models coming from different customers.

                • Re: Step Import
                  Trev Friesen

                  Hi Paul,

                  I tend to do a lot of PCB models. These sometimes have the traces which I think is what the SW is stumbling on. When you have really large .step files (where you may want to tweak the smaller details) do you set the try to form a solid or knit or not to knit ? Merge , don't merge, Map Config data ...lots of options . What have you found works the best ?

                   

                  Thanx

                    • Re: Step Import
                      Jody Smith

                      I used to have this problem with the step files that Altium outputs. I had to get the PCB Designer to check the "Dont export silkscreen" option on their end to get them to a size that I could manage. Is there maybe some similar option with where you are getting your steps from? to possibly defeature them down some more?

                        • Re: Step Import
                          Trev Friesen

                          Hi Jody,

                           

                          I too have had to dumb down the data to fit SWorks limitations. Its the part where a really low cost option "can" do it and the one that "should" cannot. We should not need to compromise at the cost we all pay. It would be like paying for first class airfare. You get in the plane (not on) and your seat has a label "First Class"  clearly a coach seat but the label says it's "First" so airline is off the hook. Oh and they printed the ticket on really nice paper.

                        • Re: Step Import
                          Richard Gergely

                          Trev I import STEP most often as well. Not very often 300mb+ plus though. I vary the setting depending what I'm dealing with.

                           

                          The obvious question what system are the files coming from and would parasolid be a option?

                          • Re: Step Import
                            Paul Risley

                            Since I don't work with PCB boards as a designer, I would say there is going to be a lot of hangup based on the layers in the model as received. Just my experience having worked on the building and maintenance of flow/ and p & P  machines in my previous career as a machine builder.

                             

                            When we would get electrical pcb board drawings there were multiple layers for the screens as laid out holes in the boards. Re-enforcement rings around the holes. Not to mention all of the components. So I can see why there is a hang up, plus depending on the software I would assume all of the board components were surfaced in some fashion.(I can't remember the board components names specifically anymore, but any little device with 40 or so legs to be soldered to a board are going to eat up memory fast)

                             

                            I would start with Solid and surface/try forming solids/B-rep mapping.

                             

                            I would also try turning off Import multiple bodies as parts feature.

                            (This last one is more of a try and see what happens)Sometimes it yields good results to turn it on.

                             

                            If I read your post right you are on 2016 so 3D interconnect is not an option. This also has it's limitations and issues of it's own accord.

                             

                            I am not singing the praises of Solidworks by any stretch, but we all have jobs to do and hanging around for a model to import sucks.Which I get is why you posted in the first place. I have Creo lite for lack of a better word for it. We sometimes have to bring our customers models into it to translate into a form suitable for Solidworks. This has more to do with how the model was designed rather than a limitation of Solidworks for us. When we bring them into the Creo lite it forms better Solids because they are native Creo files to begin with and will form Solids where surfaces existed. 

                             

                            If you get into 2017 or higher  I would look into 3D interconnect as long as you don't have to modify or swap out the external file at anytime.(Long story on that one we were definitely upsold on a functionality that does not exist)

                             

                            There is an SPR out there to get the functionality of swapping versions of imported files to remain internal id's, but  Iam not holding my breath on that one.

                        • Re: Step Import
                          Doug Seibel

                          Are you running SW2018?  If not...you might want to.  I've found that it imports faster/better/cleaner than previous versions of Solidworks.  Even when I disable 3D interconnect, it still imports faster/better/cleaner.  With 3D interconnect enabled, it is even faster yet.

                           

                          We had a 897,271 KB step file that had been crunching in 2017 overnight, that we were able to open in 2018 in about 3 hours the next morning (that was with 3D Interconnect disabled)...2017 was still crunching on it while in 2018 we had opened it / saved it / made a parasolid / opened the parasolid in 2017.

                          • Re: Step Import
                            Paul Salvador

                            Hello Trev,.. yeah, well,... where does the original data come from,.. what modeling kernel was used?..

                            Geometric modeling kernel - Wikipedia

                            ..imho, they are just tools, and yes, I also have to use other programs to get things imported at times.. some do better than others.. it's most likely the tolerances/decimals from the original kernel data (which is then translated out as STEP and then into Parasolid... how ever it interpolates-reparametrizes the boundaries/seams (which sometimes extend/trim just to make it work) into a closed brep is always impressive, imho.

                            btw, from what I have seen in Fusion360.. it's pretty loose/forgiving... and Parasolid is NOT.

                              • Re: Step Import
                                Trev Friesen

                                Thanx Paul,

                                So we need SWorks to add an "EASY" button. I will keep farting around with settings . If something comes to light I will illuminate here.

                                For today Fusion360 has again saved me a bunch of time. It open and saved the file and now Sworks has been able to open it in only 17mins .

                                 

                                Thanx

                              • Re: Step Import
                                Felix T.

                                Another option is to use a third party converter to convert STEP files (and other formats) to .sldrt/.sldasm.

                                I can suggest you to try CrossManager. It will be an additional expense, but it has several advantages:

                                -You don't use SolidWorks to do the conversion, so you don't monopolize a SolidWorks seat for conversion, and you can continue to work on another model.

                                -It works well with large files.

                                -The result can be better for some type of data.