Bl
Bl
Bl
Bl
Bl
You are here:   Home »  Specialized Sections »  CAD: Compatibility Chart  
Bl
NYC Apt

How To Convert Between Different MCAD Programs & 3D File Formats


To learn of the 'Best Practices' to import from our most popular 3D CAD file formats, click here.

The following table lists the suggested or preferred 3D file formats and methods to be used when importing from, or sometimes exporting to, a known 3D CAD program. The numbers beside each checkmark specify the order of preference amongst the various file formats which should ideally be used with the specific CAD program.

This chart is explicitly not meant to explain about each 3D file format supported in Okino software. Hundreds of WEB pages are available for reading via the related Okino import and export converter charts. However, refer to our "Best Practices" page which explains how to source your data from the 3D MCAD programs most often used by our core and everyday customers.

Click on the "Notes" link to read other suggestions. Click on the file format names at the top of the table to view the online Okino importer documentation.

The preferences and suggestions listed below are culled from two decades of experience from Okino developers and from daily two-way feedback with our customers. We hope that some of our comments provided in the "Notes" sections will help educate our customers to the preferred methods to export data from a specific CAD-based package, and to dispel common misconceptions about specific file formats and data conversion processes that exist in the 3D industry (for example, see the notes for Microstation and ProE/Creo).

 CAD Program
Native
DWG, DXF, DWFIGESPARASOLIDSATSTLVRML 1+2, X3DSTEP
Other
 Adobe Acrobat Pro          U3D

Okino spent well over 3 years writing a main reference implementation for U3D import and export file conversion. Most people have little understanding about the U3D file format or of its turbulent previous history as the Shockwave-3D file format and its use as the Intel IFX Gaming Toolkit.

Hence, you will want to use the U3D file format when going into Acrobat-3D or coming out of Acrobat-3D.

 ArcGIS (ERSI)          See Notes

Import into ArcGIS: DWF-3D, DXF/DWG, Collada, Microstation DGN

Export from ArcGIS: ESRI ShapeFiles, Adobe U3D files, DWF-3D, VRML, Microstation DGN, Collada, 3ds (not recommended)

 ArtiosCAD          Collada
ArtiosCAD is stated to be the world's most popular structural packaging design editor. With dedicated tools specifically designed for packaging professionals for structural design, product development, virtual prototyping and manufacturing, ArtiosCAD increases productivity throughout a company. ArtiosCAD is the ideal product for all corrugated, folding carton and POP, POS, FSDU display designers.

While ArtiosCAD has some basic CAD importers, it does not have the plethora of interoperability file formats offered by Okino software, and of the depth and breadth of our converters. Conversions occurs from the Okino source of CAD, DCC and VisSim file formats into ArtiosCAD via the Okino Collada exporter. This pipeline has been well tested and used in production environments by mutual ArtiosCAD customers.

 Aveva PDMS & Marine  1       ZGL

Okino has a long direct and indirect relationship with AVEVA and its customers. One of Okino's core competencies & specialties is in the conversion of super-ultra-massive 3D models to downstream programs which simply cannot handle those models (such as 3ds Max, Cinema-4D, Maya, Unity, Unreal, etc.).

Connection from AVEVA PDMS or AVEVA Marine to Okino software is best handled either via the DWF-3D file format or the ZGL file format. Please refer to either of these importers and their corresponding tutorial on 'How to Import from Ultra-Massive AVEVA PDMS & AVEVA Marine Models'.

As another secondary method of converting AVEVA PDMS .rvm, PDMS DGN and Intergraph PDS/DGN/DRI files, you can load those file types into Autodesk Navisworks, convert to DWF-3D files, and import into Okino software via our DWF-3D importer. This works very well and is a highly optimized + highly refined Okino conversion pipeline.

Okino has spent more than 2 decades developing one of the most complex, if not the most complex, DGN importer which probably exists today. This was written with PDMS and PDS conversions in mind, as DGN is a common interchange file format from various PDMS & PDS related company products. Please refer to the 'Intergraph PDS' and 'MicroStation DGN' sections of this 'CAD Compatibility' page for additional information.

Please also refer to the 'Tutorial: How to Import Massive DGN Files (PDMS Plants, Oil Refineries, etc)' section of the Okino DGN online help file.

Background: AVEVA is the world's leading engineering IT software provider to the plant, power and marine industries. AVEVA's products have been proven on some of the world's largest and most demanding engineering projects in the oil & gas, chemicals, power, mining, shipbuilding and pharmaceutical industries. AVEVA PDMS is the Plant Design tool. It is actually a suite of modules and applications, some of which are supplied as a combination of core product optional addons. PDMS has modules for DB Administration, Design, Drafting, Isometric creation, Cats and Specs etc. PDMS Design contains a Piping application, Equipment application, Multi-disciplinary Support (optional addon), etc.

 AutoCAD (Autodesk) 11  23  

Starting in 2008 the best way to move visualization data out of Autodesk CAD products (AutoCAD, Inventor, Navisworks and Revit) is with the DWF-3D file format. Okino has one of the most extensive implementations of DWF-3D, allowing complete scenes, hierarchy, materials and textures to be conveyed from Autodesk products through Okino conversion software.

As alternative, or secondary direct conversion formats, Okino has had one of the longest standing and robust DWG/DXF pipelines since 1992. DWG is the native binary file format of AutoCAD and DXF is the native ASCII file format of AutoCAD.

For most of the last 30 years the only primary way to move data back into AutoCAD has been with DXF or DWG files. However, more recently, AutoCAD can now import, via its 'atf' framework, from a number of industry standard 3D file formats. Hence, out of that list, you could export from Okino software and into AutoCAD using FBX, JT, Rhino 3dm and Microstation DGN files.

 AutoCAD Plant 3D 11      

As desribed by Autodesk, "Built on the familiar AutoCAD software platform, "AutoCAD Plant 3D" brings modern 3D design to plant designers and engineers. Specification-driven design and standard parts catalogs streamline the placement of piping, equipment, and support structures. Integrated AutoCAD P&ID software functionality enables you to create and edit P&IDs and reconcile underlying data with the 3D model."

The primary and best method to move "Plant 3D" data into Okino software is via the DWF-3D file format. Okino has one of the most extensive implementations of DWF-3D, allowing complete scenes, hierarchy, materials and textures to be conveyed from Autodesk products through Okino conversion software.

The secondary method to move "Plant 3D" data into Okino software is via the DWG file format. DWG is the native binary file format of AutoCAD.

DWF-3D and DWG has been verified and proven as ideal conversion paths from "Plant 3D" into Okino software. DGN format is not recommended as a conversion format from "Plant 3D".

 AutoPlant (Bentley)  1  2   

Bentley's AutoPLANT is the premier plant design software used around the world. It provides plant engineers and designers with a complete set of integrated software applications that are highly intuitive and easy to use.

AutoPLANT uses the Autodesk ObjectARX technology which allows 3D objects to be defined as 'procedural elements' (that can be modified and regenerated in real time). As such, DXF/DWG files exported from AutoPLANT are defined as ObjectARX-enabled procedural data elements and not as common geometry items such as NURBS or mesh data.

Two proven conversion routes from AutoPLANT to Okino software involve our DWF-3D conversion system, which itself was written with complex 3D Plant conversions in mind.

  1. Method 1: Install the Bentley AutoPLANT Object Enabler into AutoCAD. Once enabled, import the DWG file from AutoPLANT into AutoCAD then re-export to the DWF-3D file format. Read the DWF-3D file into Okino software.

  2. Method 2: Import the DWG file into Autodesk Navisworks then re-export to DWF-3D file format. Read the DWF-3D file into Okino software.

Bentley's online tech support forum also provides information about how to export from AutoPLANT to the ACIS file format ("Export AutoPLANT Piping, Equipment, Raceways, and ProSteel ACIS objects to .sat file").

 ArchiCAD          C4D
ArchiCAD is a popular architectural package developed by Graphisoft Corp.

The recommended way to export 3D data from ArchiCAD and into Okino software is with the special CINEMA 4D Add-On module for the ArchiCAD software. This data can then be imported into Okino software with our dedicated and native CINEMA 4D importer.

Exportable file formats from ArchiCAD are DXF/DWG, .3ds, Electric Image FACT, U3D, VRML and Wavefront OBJ. Out of these, the U3D and VRML file formats would be acceptable. Please note that the .3ds file format is a very old 16-bit file format from the mid 1980's which is limited to 65535 vertices and polygons per object, so it should be one of the very last file formats you'll ever want to use (it came from CAD-3D on the 16-bit Atari-ST computer before Tom Hudson repurposed it into the 3D Studio R1 .3ds format).

 Autodesk ADT  1       
Autodesk Architectural Desktop is built on top of AutoCAD. As such, importing from Autodesk Architectural Desktop into Okino products is similar to that of AutoCAD. DWF-3D and DWG/DXF
 Autodesk DWF apps  1       
For decades the only viable 3D file format which could be used with many Autodesk CAD products was DWG or DXF. Unfortunately this is a file format which came about in 1983 and is one of the least desired in Okino's ladder of preferred file formats. One of Autodesk's greatest recent innovation has been the inclusion of a DWF-3D publishing option in most of its CAD programs. DWF-3D is actually the HOOPS HSF file format, a multi-media file format more than a CAD file format, and hence it can convey a full array of data attributes such as meshes, trimmed NURBS, 3D curves, texture maps, materials, lights, cameras and more. Please refer to our full online explanation of our DWF importer and exporter.

Hence, the DWF file format is the preferred method to convert 3D data from Autodesk programs such as AutoCAD, Navisworks and Revit. The best method to export data from Autodesk Inventor into Okino products is via the native Autodesk Inventor, or equally as well via DWF-3D files.

 CADKEY  22213 1
CADKEY has good support for exporting to all of the major 3D file formats, including STEP, ACIS SAT, IGES, Parasolid, STEP and STL. STL is the least desireable format to use. Recommended formats for importing CADKEY data into Okino software is ACIS SAT, IGES and then Parasolid.
 Cadmatic          '3DP'
Cadmatic Oy (parent company Elomatic) is a leading developer and supplier of 3D software for the plant and ship building industries. The company headquarters are situated in Turku, Finland from where the company provides design solutions to its large customer base worldwide.

Okino and Cadmatic have collaborated for many years to create a fluid 3D conversion pipeline from Okino's CAD importers into Cadmatic 3D Plant software. This is achieved through a custom 3D export converter module for Okino software which creates "3DP" files. Such files can then be loaded into Cadmatic's 3D plant design software.

This custom solution allows Cadmatic users to source from all primary MCAD and CAD programs, resulting in highly optimized, clean and robust 3DP files. Commonly requested source MCAD programs include SolidWorks, ProE/Creo, IGES solids, STEP solids,PARASOLID solids,DWF-3D, (for the technically best AutoCAD, NavisWorks, Revit, Inventor conversions) DXF/DWG, JT and basically all other top named MCAD programs.

The 3DP Exporter plug-in for Okino software is developed and maintained by Cadmatic. Please contact them directly to obtain the 3DP installer.

If you wish to convert from the Cadmatic 3D Plant software into other BREP solids modelling programs (such as SolidWorks, Unigraphics NX, Siemens Team Center, ProE/Creo CATIA, etc.) then please contact Cadmatic directly for their speciality methods and processes. Such processes are not provided by Okino software as its requires special processing of data from the 3D Plant software. As examples, Cadmatic 3D Plant can export JT "solids-based" files for Unigraphics NX and Siemens Team Center, while the use of a local copy of AutoCAD allows Cadmatic 3D Plant datasets to be converted into "solids" for Autodesk Inventor and other programs.

 CATIA v4 1 1  3 1

Import of CATIA v4 .model, .exp, .dlv and .session files is best done with the Okino native CATIA v4 importer. This geometry import converter imports and processes BREP solids-based CAD geometry files stored in the CATIA v4 native file formats. Okino has been a trained Spatial Corp. developer since 1997, resulting in a top notch, refined and professional implementation of the Okino-CATIA importer.

The CATIA stand-alone program (made by Dassault Systèmes and distributed by IBM) is an integrated suite of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) applications for digital product definition and simulation. It allows manufacturers to simulate all the industrial design processes, from the pre-project phase, through detailed design, analysis, simulation, assembly and maintenance. CATIA is primarily used by the automotive and aerospace industries for automobile and aircraft product and tooling design (it is well known for being used by Boeing to design their massive airplanes, or NASA to help design the Space Shuttle). There are roughly 20,000 companies worldwide using CATIA with roughly 30,000 seats sold per year.

 CATIA v5 1 1  3 1

For our enterprise users, the import of CATIA v5 .CATPart and .CATProduct files is best done with the Okino native CATIA v5 importer. This geometry import converter imports and processes BREP solids-based CAD geometry files stored in the CATIA v5 native part and assembly file formats. The importer is based on the actual CATIA v5 runtime DLLs and components from Dassault Système (the developers and owners of the CATIA v5 modeling software) and hence provides the absolute best conversion of native CATIA v5 part and assembly files - no reverse engineered libraries are used, as is often the case with other CATIA v5 importers.

To provide the bigger picture, most of Okino's customers import from CATIA v5 using 'IGES BREP solids' via our BREP solids IGES importer. This is our personal preferred method since our 1996 release. IGES solids out of CATIA is an ideal, fast and error free method. In pure technical terms, it will convey the same NURBS geoemtry data as used in the native CATIA v5 importer. This solution is also more cost effective than the native CATIA v5 importer.

The CATIA stand-alone program (made by Dassault Systèmes and distributed by IBM) is an integrated suite of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) applications for digital product definition and simulation. It allows manufacturers to simulate all the industrial design processes, from the pre-project phase, through detailed design, analysis, simulation, assembly and maintenance. CATIA is primarily used by the automotive and aerospace industries for automobile and aircraft product and tooling design (it is well known for being used by Boeing to design their massive airplanes, or NASA to help design the Space Shuttle). There are roughly 20,000 companies worldwide using CATIA with roughly 30,000 seats sold per year.

 CoCreate Designer   1 23 1
"CoCreate Modeller" (previously named CoCreate 'OneSpace Designer', 'SolidDesigner' and 'ME/30') is a product of PTC Corp. Native conversion file formats are ACIS SAT, IGES and STEP.

In December 2007 PTC purchased the CoCreate Software GmbH company for US$250 million. The original 'CoCreate Modeling' program was subsequently renamed to 'Creo/Elements Direct' which should not be confused with the 'Creo/Elements Pro' software (equivalent to Pro/ENGINEER).

Please refer to the explanation in the 'PTC Creo Elements Direct' section further below in this chart.

 Cosmos   122  1 ZGL
Structural Research & Analysis Corporation (SRAC) develops and markets design analysis software products for the mechanical computer-aided engineering market. It includes CAD file format compatibility via IGES, ACIS, Parasolid and STEP. RealityWave Corp. mentions that an XGL/XGL exporter is available for Cosmos products.
 ESRI City Engine          DAE, FBX
CityEngine by ESRI is a stand-alone desktop software application for the design, planning, and modeling of urban environments in 3D. CityEngine allows professional users in GIS, CAD, and 3D to:
  • Quickly generate 3D cities from existing 2D GIS data.
  • Do conceptual design in 3D, based on GIS data and procedural rules.
  • Efficiently model virtual 3D urban environments for simulation and entertainment.

CityEngine also provides advanced capabilities for the direct export of the generated 3D city models out to other software tools, such as data management/analysis packages (like ArcGIS), 3D editing software (like Maya or 3ds Max), geo-visualization tools (like ArcGlobe or Google Earth), game engines (like Unity or Unreal), high-end rendering solutions (like RenderMan), or web-ready cloud rendering services (like RealityServer).

3D models can be exported from Okino software and into CityEngine using COLLADA (dae), FBX and OBJ file formats. Further information can be found in the CityEngine's help system, "Importing Data OVerview".

 FlexSim       1  See Notes
FlexSim Simulation Software, developed by FlexSim Software Products, is one of the more powerful tools q for modeling, analyzing, visualizing, and optimizing any imaginable process - from manufacturing to supply chains, abstract examples to real world systems, and anything in between.

Okino has long been a key provider of high quality and robust conversion solutions to FlexSim users. The technically best way to move 3D assets into FlexSim, via Okino's conversion software, is with the VRML1 file format. FlexSim also supports the 3ds, DXF, STL and SketchUp file formats.

 Form/Z  21 2311 See Notes
Form/Z is one of those power house 3D modelers. Being a top notch modeler it has many methods to export 3D geometry data to other 3D programs. Of note are: ACIS SAT, DXF/DWG, IGES, STEP, STL, VRML and Wavefront OBJ.
 I-DEAS   2  31  
Okino's VRML importers were tweaked in their early days to specifically import VRML files from EDS's I-DEAS; this is the preferred method of data translation. Other supported formats are IGES, STL and VDA-FS.
 Iconics Genesis64          XAML
Okino has partnered with Iconics as the main provider of 3D file format conversion software to their Genesis software customers. Data can be exported from any Okino file format to Iconics via our dedicated XAML 3D exporter.
 Intergraph PDS          DGN, DRI
Intergraph 'Plant Design System' is a comprehensive, intelligent computer-aided design/engineering (CAD/CAE) application for plant design, construction, and operations.

Files can be exported from PDS as MicroStation DGN files and imported natively into Okino software via our dedicated DGN importer. Preferably, you should import only the .DRI (Design Review) file which itself will then read in all of the individual DGN files. Please follow the method as outlined in the 'How to Import from Intergraph PDS DGN Models' section of the Okino online DGN help file. It is also suggested that you read the 'Tutorial: How to Import Massive DGN Files (PDMS Plants, Oil Refineries, etc)' section of the same help page.

One simply does not convert a 300MB (for example) PDS 'oil & gas factory' to programs like 3ds Max, Maya, etc. in a one-button blind manner. On the contrary, Okino has spent over a decade and a half writing the main DGN conversion system made specifically as a 'stepping stone', bridging ultra-complex 3D plant data with programs which simply cannot accept such datasets. Please write to us first, explaining how large your PDS dataset is (in terms of disk file size) and what machine resources you have available to you. DGN files are not "normal geometry files" as with all other file formats Okino supports, but rather they represent a lot of procedural data elements. A small 5MB DGN file can be equivalent to a 200MB STEP or IGES file in terms of complexity, and a 50MB DGN file can often be equivalent to a 2GB CAD file.

Okino has developed highly refined conversion and data optimization pipelines to allow such large files to be imported, processed, optimized then sent over to any number of destination 3D programs for fast rendering, animation and/or viewing. This is all documented in our DGN help system available to those who write to us.

 Intergraph SmartPlant          DGN
Intergraph SmartPlant 3D is Intergraph Process, Power & Marine's next-generation, data-centric, rule-driven solution for streamlining engineering design processes while preserving existing data and making it more usable/re-usable. A member of Intergraph's SmartPlant family of plant modeling software, SmartPlant 3D is a full suite of complementary software that provides all the capabilities needed to design a plant, and then keep it as-built throughout its life cycle.

Files can be exported from SmartPlant 3D as MicroStation DGN files and imported natively into Okino software via our dedicated DGN importer.

Please refer to the 'Intergraph PDS' section of this 'CAD Compatibility' page for additional information.

 Inventor (Autodesk) 1 3 34 1 XGL
The best method to export data from Autodesk Inventor into Okino products is via the native Autodesk Inventor importer written by Okino. This will import assembly and part data from a live running copy of Inventor or from disk-based Inventor files; no resident copy of Inventor is needed to read from the disk-based files. More recent versons include support for importing texture mapping, meta data and selective LODs.

Starting in 2008, an equally good method to convert from Autodesk Inventor assembly data into Okino software is with our DWF-3D importer. Okino has one of the most extensive implementations of DWF-3D, allowing complete scenes, hierarchy, materials and textures to be conveyed. The DWF-3D method slightly outweighs the native Inventor import method if you are getting files from a remote vendor, or you simply want hassle free conversions. Please note -- have your vendor center the model at the origin and pre-scale the model to be no smaller than 1x1x1 unit and not much larger than about 10k units in width, prior to exporting the DWF-3D file from Inventor. Also, export a "3D" DWF file and not an old fashioned 2D "plotter" DWF file.

Other methods to export from Inventor into Okino software are: IGES, STEP and XGL/ZGL.

Importing into Inventor can be done via DXF/DWG files, IGES, native ProE/Creo .asm/.prt, ACIS .sat or STEP. In these cases the files must contain 'solids' based data and not mesh polygon data. Exporting solids-based files is not done by Okino products, except if you can import NURBS surfaces and export to IGES in which case Inventor will try to stitch the NURBS back into solids.

 MegaCAD 2 1   21
MegaCAD is a German MCAD modeller written by Megatech Software GmbH.

Conversion from MegaCAD into Okino software is best done by IGES or STEP files using the import options "Topology = Faces" and "Optimize Hierarchy" enabled. MegaCAD can also export VRML 1.0 and DXF/DWG but this is not recommended for use in data translation.

 MicroStation (DGN) 1     22 U3D
If we had to put one program and one file format into a category and class of its own, it would be MicroStation. We could literally write a large book on our daily experiences and software development over the last decade and a half.

Okino is one of the primary super-experts in DGN file format conversion and software development. We have spent well over a decade developing one of the key and critical DGN import conversion systems. The reader of this text has to understand from the outset that the DGN file format is unlike any other that we support. DGN files are often used to represent GIS datasets, or very large 3D Plants (oil & gas platforms, factory buildings, etc). As such, the data is defined by an enormous number of tiny 'procedural data elements', such as procedural cylinders/cones, surfaces of revolution, surface of extrusion, 2 point line segments, NURBS surfaces, BREP solids, meshes, and such. This is unlike most other 3D file formats which simply define their geometry data as clean and simple to import meshes or BREP solids.

The import of DGN files is all about interpretation and data compression/optimization, as Bentley's MicroStation program will allow a dataset to be modified in realtime on a per-viewport basis, including level and symbology overrides. Even MicroStation itself has trouble interpreting its own data in our long experience. The most important aspect of Okino's DGN conversion system is its unique data optimization and compression system -- this is the black magic which allows an ultra-massive DGN dataset to be imported, then heavily optimized (but not modified) so that it can be dealt with in simpler downstream applications. Many customers will say "Wow" once they see a massive oil & gas platform spinning around in realtime in Autodesk's 3ds Max once processed through this Okino conversion system. We have placed an incredible amount of time and effort in making this a very robust and viable conversion system.

One simply does not convert a 300MB (for example) MicroStation DGN 'oil & gas factory' to programs like 3ds Max, Maya, etc. in a one-button blind manner. On the contrary, a large part of the development effort in our DGN conversion system has been placed on making it a 'stepping stone' application, bridging ultra-complex 3D plant data with programs which simply cannot accept such datasets. Please write to us first, explaining how large your Microstion DGN dataset is (in terms of disk file size) and what machine resources you have available to you. A small 5MB DGN file can be equivalent to a 200MB STEP or IGES file in terms of complexity, and a 50MB DGN file can often be equivalent to a 2GB CAD file.

Please write to us if you wish to chat about native MicroStation DGN import.

To keep this explanation short, we offer several distinct choices for importing from MicroStation DGN files, or from any program which creates DGN files such as Intergraph PDS or Autodesk Navisworks:

  • Natively import MicroStation DGN files, or the top-level master DGN file.
  • Natively import the top-level .dri (Design Review) master file from Intergraph PDS which itself will read in the DGN files. This is supported by Okino's DGN importer.
  • Import from a secondary file format as recommended below (STEP, U3D or VRML2).
  • Import your PDS or PDMS files into Autodesk Navisworks, convert to DWF-3D files, and import into Okino software via our DWF-3D importer. Navisworks may run out of memory while creating the DWF file, for the complexity reasons we allude to directly in this section.

Please also refer to the 'Tutorial: How to Import Massive DGN Files (PDMS Plants, Oil Refineries, etc)' section of the Okino DGN help file.

There is no single ideal 3D file format to export from MicroStation - the file format to choose is often based on the geometry contents of your MicroStation data, the size of the data and how many element-overrides are used.

In our long experience dealing with MicroStation conversions we feel that the STEP, U3D and then VRML file formats are the best secondary methods for converting data from MicroStation to other 3D applications. They are also preferred in some cases when the native DGN files are just too large (such as a DGN dataset exceeding 200MB in total size). These file formats overcome the problems of extracting and converting "complex elements" and "trimmed NURBS" data from DGN files that otherwise are not a problem with STEP, U3D or VRML2. Our tests have shown incomplete data export from MicroStation when IGES, JT, Parasolid, ACIS or DXF/DWG were chosen. VRML2 has been shown to work well for piping but often lacks a nice part-level hierarchy that often comes across via U3D. If your source models are known to be BREP solids then use STEP, else try U3D and VRML then decide which one has been created cleanly via MicroStation. VRML2 should be used witha pixel tolerance of 0.5 for nice pipe tessellation.

Also refer to the Okino DGN exporter which allows 3D data to be re-purposed from most CAD, DCC and AEC programs into native DGN files.

 Navisworks (Autodesk)  1      
In simple and direct terms, the best way to import data into Okino software from Autodesk Navisworks is via our dedicated DWF-3D importer. It is suggested that you keep the "Compress & optimize number of objects" option enabled. You may also have to add in a scaling factor if the imported model ends up being too small.

Autodesk Navisworks products deliver project review software for 3D coordination, 4D planning, photorealistic visualization, dynamic simulation, and accurate analysis. Create a whole-project model by integrating design and construction information, including complex building information modeling (BIM), Digital Prototyping (DP), and process plant data. With Autodesk Navisworks project review software, you can collaborate, coordinate, and communicate more effectively to reduce problems during design and construction.

 PTC Creo Elements Direct 1 3    1 .neu
In December 2007 PTC purchased the CoCreate Software GmbH company for US$250 million. The original 'CoCreate Modeling' program was subsequently renamed to 'Creo/Elements Direct' which should not be confused with the 'Creo/Elements Pro' software (equivalent to Pro/ENGINEER).

Conversion from 'Creo/Elements Direct' can be done using several methods:

  • Via native 'Creo Elements Pro' (Pro/ENGINEER) files, .asm and .prt imported using Okino's ProE/Creo technology. Please only import the top-most assembly file.

  • Via PTC .neutral assembly and part files imported using Okino's ProE/Creo ProE/Creo technology. Please only import the top-most .neutral assembly file.

  • Via STEP 'solids' imported using Okino's IGES and STEP technology. Please make sure to export IGES as "BREP Manifold Solids" and STEP as "AP214".

NOTE: Wire harnesses need to be exported via IGES-solids or STEP-solids files with the "Export Cable Surfaces" and "surfaces" option enabled within PTC software.

 PTC Creo Elements Pro (ProE/Creo) 1 3    2 .neu
Okino has a long history of supporting and selling to ProE/Creo (Creo Elements/Pro) users, and for moving ProE/Creo data files into all major 3D file formats and animation packages. ProE/Creo conversions are the very cornerstone of our business since 1996. Okino licenses a real copy of the ProE/Creo core software from PTC to perform the decryption and processing of the ProE data, and hence can guarantee perfect conversion results.

Many people jump to using IGES for ProE/Creo conversions. That is VERY rarely used with Okino software in this day and age. First, you should ask for and import native ProE/Creo files (.asm and .prt) - only import the top level assembly file and not every .prt file (as some people try to do). Second, you can alternatively ask for ProE/Creo "neutral" files, which is sometimes easier to import where accelerator files have not been created for the original ProE/Creo dataset. Third, if you must, you can convert using ProE/Creo IGES or STEP files, but that is never needed with the first two options we have mentioned here.

If you absolutely must use IGES files exported from ProE/Creo then please make sure to export as "BREP Manifold Solids" and not the mid-1990's old fashioned "Surfaced NURBS". ProE/Creo defaults to the old "Surfaced NURBS" unless otherwise overridden. This technical difference is explained in detail on our IGES page.

NOTE: Wire harnesses need to be exported via IGES-solids or STEP-solids files with the "Export Cable Surfaces" and "surfaces" option enabled within PTC software. Better yet, export out a full set of ProE/Creo "Neutral" asm & prt files for which you'll import the top-level .neu.asm assembly file.

Suggestion: If your ProE/Creo assemblies are massive, then we recommend that you first "Shrink Wrap" them first inside ProE/Creo prior to export. In many cases this will significantly reduce the size and complexity of the exported model.

 PTC Pro DESKTOP 1        
Pro/DESKTOP is a solids modeler from PTC Corp. A free version, Pro/DESKTOP Express, is also available for download from their WEB site.

Native Pro/DESKTOP files can be imported into Okino software via the Pro/DESKTOP importer provided in the Okino Granite/Pack add-on license.

 Orcina OrcaFlex          DirectX
OrcaFlex is the world's leading package for the dynamic analysis of offshore marine systems. With over 50 man-years of development, OrcaFlex is renowned for its breadth of technical capability and user friendliness. OrcaFlex is in use by over 220 clients, mainly in the offshore engineering business, with others in seismic, defence, ocean engineering, oceanographic research, aquaculture and related fields.

Importing 3D graphics into OrcaFlex's shaded view is always performed using the DirectX file format which can be generated using Okino's bullet-proof DirectX export conversion system. The Orcina WEB site recommends that the exported models not be too large. If you are converting CAD models then you can set the mesh density on each Okino CAD importer. You can also use Okino's CAD-biased polygon reduction system to reduce the models prior to re-export to DirectX file format.

 Quantapoint PRISM 3D       1  VRML 1.0
Quantapoint Corp provides laser scanning technology and services that help their clients achieve Zero-Defect Projects. Quantapoint digitizes customer facilities using its patented laser scanning technology and provides professional services for visualization, analysis, quality control and decision support to help eliminate potential risks across the project lifecycle.

Quantapoint's PRISM 3D software is used for directly viewing and interacting with Quantapoint's 3D laser scanning file format. Okino software forms part of the "CAD Conversion Option" for the Quantapoint PRISM 3D software. Once the data has been imported, it can be viewed and clashed against the scanned "Digital Facility".

Input into the PRISM 3D software from any Okino software product can be done by the VRML 1.0 file format.

 Revit (Autodesk)  1      

The best way to move visualization data out of Autodesk Revit is with the DWF-3D file format - you would "Publish DWF 3D" from the Revit "File" menu. Okino has one of the most extensive implementations of DWF-3D, allowing complete scenes, hierarchy, materials and textures to be conveyed from Revit through Okino conversion software. Okino's DWF conversion system was written over a period of 10 years specifically to handle Revit based data.

Importing into Revit is by DXF/DWG, ACIS SAT and SketchUp file formats.

 Solid Edge 1      1 JT, XGL
The defacto best way to transfer data from Solid Edge into Okino software is via the native Solid Edge importer written by Okino. This will import a mesh representation of a Solid Edge assembly (with hierarchy and material information) from either disk-based files, or from a live running copy of Solid Edge. In the former case, no local copy of Solid Edge will be required.

From Okino's extensive testing of the "3D exporters" provided with Siemen's Solid Edge product, the best one to use (other than for native files) would be STEP. You need to enable the "AP214" checkbox on their STEP exporter. Exporting STEP out of Solid Edge, and into Okino software, has been verified as providing high quality geometry, assembly information (hierarchy) and parts colors. Subjectively, you may have to enable or change these options on Okino's STEP importer: (1) "Flip Y Up" in case the geometry comes in on its side, (2) "Topology = Faces" in case the material colors are assigned at the 'Face' (NURBS) level and not the 'Bodies' level, (3) You may have to scale your model larger or smaller to fit the 'ideal' 1x1x1 to 10000x10000x10000 world-space cube that provides the highest quality display quality in Okino and other downstream 3D programs (ie. don't import your entire model to be only 0.001 units across!!).

'XGL' would be another common, but much simpler method, to export data from Solid Edge into Okino software. However, Solid Edge does not provide any assembly hierarchy in the XGL file.

'JT' is another secondary method to export data from Solid Edge, although we suggest the native Okino Solid Edge importer first, and STEP second.

 Spaceclaim   CheckCheck  Check1
SpaceClaim is a solid modeling CAD (computer-aided design) software that runs on Microsoft Windows and developed by SpaceClaim Corporation. SpaceClaim is a multipurpose 3-D modeling application providing efficient solutions to common modeling tasks. Built on the direct modeling technology, SpaceClaim removes geometry problems associated with various 3-D CAD operations, such as design or concept modeling, repair of translated CAD files, general model defeaturing, and complete model editing.

SpaceClaim provides for a good selection of 3D import and export file formats (which can be found on their "SpaceClaim supported formats" PDF file).

Exporting from SpaceClaim into Okino software can be done with any number of 3D file formats such as: ACIS SAT, IGES (186-entities is best), JT, Parasolid x_t, Rhino 3dm, SketchUp, STEP, VRML or Wavefront OBJ. Out of this list a safe bet would be to use STEP AP214, IGES BREP solids (186-entities) or JT CAD files. For non-CAD files, either VRML2 or Wavefront OBJ.

Exporting from Okino software into SpaceClaim can be done with JT, Rhino 3dm, VRML or Wavefront OBJ.

 SolidWorks 1 2    3 See Notes
Regardless of whether you own a copy of the SolidWorks application, the recommended method to import CAD data from SolidWorks .sldasm and .sldprt files is via the Okino native SolidWorks importer, available and supported since 1998. It is one of our top-3 requested CAD importers, sold bi-hourly, which will import from a live running copy of SolidWorks or from disk-based files when no local copy of SolidWorks is available. This is one of the most highly refined and requested CAD modules in Okino software. It does a mathematically flawless conversion.

If you cannot or do not wish to use the native Okino SolidWorks importer then you will want to use a properly exported IGES "BREP solids" file and not a STEP file. Okino deals with SolidWorks data more than most people and as such we have found that IGES BREP solids files produce numerically flawless conversions over STEP files. By using this method you will have upwards of 5 UI sliders to fully control the mesh tessellation quality on your side of the conversion pipeline. Please have your SolidWorks data vendor export out a proper BREP solids IGES file in the following manner:

  • Press "Reset" to ensure the start-up IGES options are chosen
  • Change the top combo box to "Manifold Solid (type 186)"
  • Disable the "Flatten assembly hierarchy" checkbox
 Tekla Structures (Xsteel)  1     1 DGN

Tekla Structures is 'Building Information Modeling' (BIM) software that enables the creation and management of accurately detailed, highly constructable 3D structural models regardless of material or structural complexity. Tekla models can be used to cover the entire building process from conceptual design to fabrication, erection and construction management. Tekla 'Xsteel' is included within the Tekla Structures package.

3D export file formats of Tekla Structures & Xsteel which are supported by Okino software are: Microstation DGN, DXF/DWG and STEP AP214.

 Unigraphics (UG NX)        1 JT

Through decades of experience, we have found that the 'STEP AP214' file format is the most stable and mathematically sound method to source CAD data from UG NX. We would higly recommend using STEP over Parasolid format. JT is another good and viable option for those who are tied into using JT datasets with UG NX.

 Tribon (AVEVA)  1      

AVEVA's Tribon is a naval architecture program originally developed by Kockum Computer Systems (KCS) for designing commercial and naval vessels. KCS was spun off from Kockums shipyards as an independent company, later renamed Tribon Systems, which was in turn acquired by AVEVA in 2004.

Tribon Technology has been used in ship building industries for the past 40 years. Its number 1 objective has been to provide the world's ship builders with unique software solutions to increase their efficiency. It has continuously improved quality, saved cost and shortened delivery lives. Over 260 ship builders and design agents in 39 countries rely on Tribon applications.

Data can be exported from Tribon in the 3D DXF/DWG file format and read into Okino software via our dedicated DXF/DWG importers.

 Vectorworks  CheckCheckCheckCheckCheck   See Notes

Vectorworks is a computer-aided design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software program developed by Nemetschek Vectorworks that is used for drafting, technical drawing and 3D modeling. Vectorworks offers 2D, 3D, production management, and presentation capabilities for all phases of the design process.

Okino has dealt with Vectorworks, primarily in the early 1990's when it was being developed by Diehl Graphsoft, Inc., after which the company merged with the Nemetschek Group of Munich, Germany.

Vectorworks exports to various 3D file formats with varying degrees of integrity. There are several "best conversion" methods from Vectorworks which will retain the geometry, part naming, assembly hierarchy, materials and texture map associations.

Based on real tests of complex Vectorworks models, you can export the model from Vectorworks using the Cinema-4D .c4d, COLLADA .dae, FilmBox .fbx and/or DWF-3D .dwf file formats. Please make sure to choose the correct Vectorworks export radio button option to retain the class structure (so that the part naming and assembly hierarchy is exported).

 VBS2          FBX, 3DS, FLT
Virtual Battlespace 2 (VBS2), by Bohemia Interactive, is a comprehensive open platform with proven capability for training, simulation and development. Next generation gaming technology is adapted to provide collective military and first responder tactical training and mission rehearsal worldwide. VBS2 offers a configurable game-based virtual environment that can either simulate real-world systems in its own right, or be employed on simulators of varying fidelity to provide realistic visuals.

Import of data into VBS2 is generally done with its 'Oxygen 2' software, which is Bohemia's 3D model generation and import tool. The supported import file formats of Oxygen 2, which are equally well supported by Okino, are FBX, 3ds and OpenFlight.

 Vulcan (Maptek, Mining)  1       SHP
Maptek's Vulcan, the premier 3D mining software solution in the world, allows users to validate and transform raw mining data into dynamic 3D models, accurate mine designs and operating plans.

Data can be exported from Vulcan in the 3D DXF/DWG file format and read into Okino software via our dedicated DXF/DWG importers.

An "Arc ESRI Arc GIS Interface" is available from Maptek which allows Vulcan data to be exported to ESRI .shape files. Such files can then be imported via Okino's .shp file importer. This is an untested conversion path from Vulcan software at this time.

 WinCaps II (DENSO)       1  DirectX

Conversion into WinCaps II (a 3D program from DENSO Robotics) is best done with the either VRML2 or DirectX file formats. If one has to be chosen over the other, VRML2 is a generally better file format thanDirectX but both will convey the same data as required by WinCaps II.

As one of the world's largest automotive parts manufacturers, DENSO has been a leader and pioneer in manufacturing automation, including the design and manufacturing of industrial robot arms, since the 1960s. DENSO is also the world's largest user of small assembly robots, from four-axis SCARA robots to five- and six-axis articulated robots. More than 16,000 DENSO small industrial robots are employed in the company's own manufacturing facilities, and more than 60,000 additional DENSO small industrial robots are used by other companies worldwide.


Legend: Red = preferred import method. 2, 3 and 4 are the second, third and fourth preferred import methods.