STEP or "Standard for the Exchange of Product model data" is also referred as ISO 10303. STEP has been initially designed with the idea to supersede the IGES format (which was the first broadly used vendor-neutral CAD file format). However even today both formats co-exist and data in IGES and STEP represent lion share of all CAD files.
Typically, STEP can be used to exchange data between CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM/enterprise data modeling and other CAx systems. STEP addresses product data from mechanical and electrical design, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, analysis and manufacturing, as well as additional information specific to various industries such as automotive, aerospace, building construction, ship, oil and gas, process plants and others.
STEP is developed and maintained by the ISO technical committee. There are also various technical groups that define usage conventions and recommended practices to ensure better interoperability between software applications. In CAD world, the most prominent group is www.cax-if.org that unites software vendors and industrial users.
ISO10303 is very extremely large and complex and is structured in multiple layers, for example, from physical file format definition (Part 21) to geometrical/topological definitions (Part 42), up to Application Protocols (AP’s) defining higher-level industry use cases. CAD Exchanger supports AP203, A214 and AP242, which are most commonly used AP's.
PTC Creo by Parametric Technology Corporation, known as Pro/Engineer is a 3D CAD, CAM, CAE, and associative solid modeling application. It provides solid modeling, assembly modeling, 2D orthographic views, FEA, direct and parametric modeling, sub-divisional and NURBS surface modeling, and tools for mechanical designers. Its users are mostly mechanical engineers, designers and manufacturers. The app runs on Microsoft Windows.
The application is based on the parametric modeling approach, which means that it uses parameters, dimensions, features, and relationships to enable design automation and optimization of design and product development processes. Companies with family-based or platform-driven product strategy make use of this approach for what they need to perform successful design processes is a prescriptive design strategy.
The capabilities of the product can be split into three main groups, that is Engineering design, Analysis and Manufacturing. Product design processes include the ability to generate geometry of other integrated design disciplines such as industrial and standard pipe work and complete wiring definitions. Creo has numerous analysis tools which help with the development of the product which include human factors, manufacturing tolerance, mould flow and design optimization. As for manufacturing, the app has tooling options for molding, die-casting and progressive tooling design.
PTC Creo file extensions are .prt and .asm.
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