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STEP to X3D Translator

The NIST STEP to X3D Translator (STP2X3D) is an open-source software that translates a STEP (ISO 10303) Part 21 file (.stp or .step) to an X3D (ISO/IEC 19776) file (.x3d) or X3DOM file (.html). The software is based on the Open CASCADE STEP Processor and written in C++.  X3DOM files can be displayed in a web browser.

STEP, known as the “STandard for the Exchange of Product model data,” is a comprehensive information model and data exchange standard for product data through its lifecycle. X3D (Extensible 3D Graphics) declaratively represents 3D computer graphics.  Besides the general benefits afforded by the format, X3D offers functionality relevant for representing engineering design data, such as the CAD geometry component and the grouping component which STP2X3D uses to represent assembly structure.


STP2X3D was initially developed to visualize part geometry for the NIST STEP File Analyzer and Viewer.  STP2X3D can also be used standalone to translate STEP to X3D or X3DOM. The translation allows for a lightweight 3D model format used for browser-based visualization.

An example model represented visually and in X3DOM code.
Sample bracket displayed in a web browser and the partial code snippet of X3DOM showing the nested structure of the model by using the Group component. Note that DEF is used to point to original components, while USE is used to describe copied components.
Credit: NIST



Created June 29, 2020, Updated March 31, 2021