STEP exporter

STEP is the current standard for exchange of CAD data between different software packages. BRL-CAD makes use of the STEPcode libraries to support import and export of STEP files, but STEP is a very large standard and there is a lot of additional work to be done.

For this project, there's a lot of directions that can be taken:

  • We usually export Brep geometry since that is what AP203 supports, but newer STEP standards (AP214, AP242) also support a number of geometric primitives. We also don't currently support exporting mesh geometry (triangle or polygon based) and that's something we need to support, even if STEP isn't really a traditional container for triangle meshes.
  • We don't do much about trying to preserve our attribute metadata currently - explore what options are available for doing so.
  • Undoubtedly many more possibilities.

There are three relevant standards: AP203, AP214, and the in-development AP242. A number of useful resources are listed below.


  • src/conv/step
    • this is where the current step-g importers and exporters resides
  • src/other/step
    • this is STEPcode


  • Familiarity with C++