IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification) was among first vendor-neutral CAD formats designed to enable interoperability between different CAD systems. The latest versions of IGES have been approved by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and published by US PRO (U.S. Product Data Association). The latest officially approved version of the IGES standard is version 5.3 which was published in 1996. Nonetheless, IGES remains a broadly used format (along with STEP) supported by all major CAD/CAM/CAE systems such as CATIA, Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks, Solid Edge, NX, Pro/Engineer, Creo and multiple others. IGES files usually have *.igs or *.iges file name extensions.
The IGES standard defines the following entities:
- 2D and 3D geometry - curves and surfaces. These include elementary geometries (lines, circles, ellipses, planes, spheres, etc), swept surfaces (surfaces of revolution, extrusion), ruled surfaces and free-form NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) surfaces;
- Bounded geometries. IGES uses Trimmed Surfaces and Bounded Surface to define bounded geometries (or topologies);
- B-Rep (Boundary Representation) entities. These include Manifold Solid B-Rep Objects (MSBO), Shell, Faces, Loops, Edge and Vertex Lists;
- Assemblies – Groups, Subfigure Definition and Singular Subfigure Instance;
IGES also supports other data including drawings, dimensions, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) entities, Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG), etc. For more details on IGES please refer to Wikipedia or IGES specification.
CAD Exchanger support of IGES
CAD Exchanger allows to read and write IGES files up to the latest available version 5.3. CAD Exchanger supports import of IGES bounded geometries, B-Rep entities, colors, layers, names and assemblies, and allows to export to other formats supporting B-Rep data. CAD Exchanger also allows to export to mesh formats using tessellated representations of input B-Rep.
Thus, CAD Exchanger supports the following scenarios: Importing (reading) and viewing IGES files.
Importing (reading) from IGES:
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to STEP (.stp, .step);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to JT (.jt);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to ACIS (.sat);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to Parasolid (.x_t, .x_b);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to BRep (.brep);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to STL (.stl);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to VRML (.wrl);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to X3D (.x3d);
- Convert IGES files (.igs, .iges) to OBJ (.obj).
Exporting (writing) to IGES:
- Convert STEP files (.stp, .step) to IGES (.igs, .iges);
- Convert JT files (.jt) to IGES (.igs, .iges) *
- Convert ACIS files (.sat) to IGES (.igs, .iges)
- Convert Parasolid files (.x_t, .x_b) to IGES (.igs, .iges)
- Convert BRep files (.brep) to IGES (.igs, .iges)
IGES support for software vendors
See how other companies leverage IGES format with the help of CAD Exchanger SDK
"CAD Exchanger/ACIS translator works great and we advise our users to use it over other formats, including STEP and IGES."
Ashraf Sultan, CEO Simlab Soft
"With the CAD Exchanger SDK we were able to efficiently implement IGES to STL conversion. This was exactly the solution we needed and it works extremely well with virtually all the IGES files we tested."
Michal Orych, Project Manager,
FLOWTECH International AB