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I'm trying to import a STEP file to Blender, but it doesn't work!

This is how I do: I open the STEP file in Freecad and I select everthing, then I export it as a .stl file, but when I import the file into Blender, I only get parts of the object and some of the parts are in wrong position. Very frustrating and the client is waiting. I have also tried to export it as .obj and .dae file without any luck!

Can someone give me some advise how to solve this?

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    $\begingroup$ First see if the file is truly exported corrected. View it in some online .stl viewer or in another software. If it displays correctly, try to convert it there to anything else and import in Blender. If there is problem with the file, the export from freecad does not work. There might be some problem with the model in freecad in that case. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Can you post the file or is it confidential? Try a free trial of Vector Works or Libre CAD. I had to try several different softwares until I found Vectorworks free trial. $\endgroup$
    – ACopeLan
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ @JaroslavJerrynoNovotny I used a free trial version of moi3d and exported the object as a .stl file. It was very simple, fast and the result was perfect. But after 30-days it cost $295! I'm still looking for a free and simple alternative. $\endgroup$
    – 3D-kreativ
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ I have been using a online file converter. Just upload ur file and it will convert it for you. you just download the .obj file. miconv.com/convert-stp-to-obj $\endgroup$
    – SirMimic
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 17:00

3 Answers 3

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I had good success with opencascade cad-assistant. I open the STEP and export as .glb or .gltf. This method has much better normals allowing for a coarser mesh that still looks good and also maintains assembly structure and apperance as stored in the STEP quite reasonably.

It is freely available for all major operating systems, including mobile. Unfortunately it does not seem to be open source.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for this hint. Great! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ "Open Cascade" [...] "Unfortunately it does not seem to be open source." hmm... okay :D $\endgroup$
    – ecv
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I don't need it as open source as long as it's free... I think when exporting as OBJ the advantage of CAD Assistant over FreeCAD is (at least what I've been experiencing) that - although FC creates material files (*.mtl) together with the *.obj files - after import in Blender, the FC obj only has one default material, whereas the CA obj has multiple materials on it. So you could at least separate parts according to their materials to split up the model. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ This is a great option, however I have not yet been able to find a mesh density setting. I wish I could export at higher resolutions / mesh densities. Any ideas? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ In the second page of the settings there is a 'Brep triangulation' section that will allow you to increase the mesh resolution. $\endgroup$
    – mrpraline
    Commented Dec 31, 2023 at 8:59
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Another Free Option.

  1. Import STEP file into FreeCAD
  2. Export File from FreeCAD as OBJ / STL / gltf (.20 beta of FreeCad adds gltf support which maintains grouping / hierarchy of multi-part objects)
  3. Import OBJ / STL / gltf into Blender

FreeCAD seems to create better Manifold geometry this might be a better free option if you plan on 3D printing the object.

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You can use the STEP importer Addon that was released for Blender 2.8x on January 27, 2020. It's a paid Addon, but it's not expensive and worth every cent.

You may visit the support thread on Blenderartists. There you'll find the link to get the Addon, too: https://blenderartists.org/t/step-import/1203804

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    $\begingroup$ By the way, Its paid. $\endgroup$
    – Pe Dro
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 6:38
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    $\begingroup$ It's also Windows only currently $\endgroup$
    – tomh
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 10:48

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