Desktop STEP File Viewer, STEP Viewer Online, STP Viewer Online 

The 3DViewStation is the leading STEP Viewer and STP Viewer

STEP, STP and STPZ files are often used for data exchange between different CAD systems or for long term archiving purposes. With the Kisters 3DViewStation you have now found your viewer with which you can display and view various variants of STEP. The Kisters 3DViewStation is not limited to STEP and STP, but offers support for over 60 different native and neutral 3D data formats, 2D drawings and also Office and image files. The 3DViewStation is thus a very universal viewer that can also display data from Catia, Siemens NX (formerly UGS, Unigraphics), PTC Creo (formerly Pro / Engineer), Solidworks, SolidEdge, Autodesk Inventor, DWG, DXF, JT, PDF, Can open STL, DOCX, JPEG, TIFF and many others. But the 3DViewStation is much more than just a viewer. For example, if you want to convert native 3D CAD data into a neutral format, you can use the 3DViewStation to export it not only in STEP, but also in JT, Parasolid, STL and others.

STEP Viewer online and STP Viewer online as an alternative to the desktop version

Most users use a locally installed Kisters 3DViewStation license as a STEP viewer on their Windows desktop PC or notebook. This is perfect for users who need the software every day. You load the data and can use the navigation to get an overview of a component or assembly. With the 3DViewStation, the data is also analyzed, e.g. measured, cut or annotated and saved in views for later use. Since the 3DViewStation is a real Multi CAD Viewer, native CAD data can also be loaded, i.e. STEP with Catia or NX, and thus analyzed in one session. Be it a collision investigation or a wall thickness analysis. We also know customers who load assemblies with the 3DViewStation STP, remove some components and save the result again as a STEP. So the quite large amounts of STEP data are often reduced to such an extent that a CAD system can import them in a reasonably acceptable time. Other customers use our comparison function to geometrically compare STP data with native CAD data, such as Catia or Inventor, and thus check whether the export from the CAD system worked properly.

Online STEP File Viewer or offline?

But is it always necessary to work with STEP files that have to be downloaded? STPZ offers good data compression, including zipped STEP data, but STEP itself is a very voluminous data format that you don't really want to download. For many applications, a download is also unnecessary. In an early bidding phase, it may be sufficient to view the data online. All you need is an online STEP file viewer like the 3DViewStation WebViewer variant. The files remain here on the file system of the WebViewer server. No geometries are transferred to the end device, which guarantees data protection. Otherwise, working with the 3DViewStation WebVewer version is exactly the same as with the desktop version. The same functions for measuring, dimensioning, cutting, comparing, etc. are available. Annotations can also be added, saved as views, or wall thickness analyzes can be carried out. The 3DViewStation WebViewer is not free software, but no installation and therefore no license is required on the device. Since only a browser is required for the STEP Viewer online, the Viewer itself runs on all operating systems, i.e. under Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, but also Linux. Some companies that operate STP Viewer online welcome the option of logging access data and times.

STEP file viewer for free?

You can find a lot of free software for STP viewers on the Internet. So why should you pay for commercial STEP viewers? For many users, the free products are enough and that is completely OK. But ultimately it depends on what you as a user have to do with the STEP data, what my job is and which functions I need. Here many free STP viewers are just pure viewers - just display data, look at it, that's it. Not so if you are working with the Kisters 3DViewStation. It offers over 180 interactive functions. Not only for rendering, zoom, pan, printing, and many standard functions such as measuring, cutting, but also advanced analyzes. This includes the split function for model and mold makers as well as foundries, the collision investigation that is otherwise only found in high-end DMU (digital mockup) systems, distance analyzes with spacer bands, wall thickness analyzes with color bands. As a commercial manufacturer, Kisters naturally also offers support for the 3DViewStation via email, telephone and desktop sharing. The 3DViewStation is very intuitive to use, but we also offer training. Our tutorial in the Help Center or videos on our website, e.g. in the BLOG or our YouTube channel, often help.

About the STEP file format

STEP or STP is a data format for many and many others. That is basically correct, but what is STEP all about?
STEP, the Standard for Exchange of Product Data, was created on the basis of an initiative in the automotive sector. Several automobile manufacturers, the so-called OEMs, were confronted with the same problem: It was impossible to transfer CAD data from one CAD system to another. The manufacturers of CAD systems are of course not interested in this, as it is good for their own business if everyone who wants to process certain CAD data has to use and license exactly one CAD system for this. But the world is heterogeneous and CAD systems also have different strengths in one area, but weaknesses in other areas. Not even talking about the costs. And although they are actually competitors, the OEMs have bundled their forces to find a neutral description language for 3D CAD data that can be exported and re-imported across all CAD systems: the birth of the STEP data format, together with the EXPRESS schema description language. Today STEP is an open data format with ISO standard and the best, if not perfect, way to exchange 3D CAD data between CAD systems. Siemens tried something similar with JT, but was unable to achieve it.

STEP, STP, STPZ, STPX, AP 214, AP 242, STEP XML and more

When we receive STEP data today, these can have different file extensions. STEP, STP, STPX or STPZ - the compressed STEP. There are some so-called application protocols for STEP, which are ultimately EXPRESS schemes for specific purposes. In the automotive CAD environment it was originally STEP AP 203, pure 3D geometry. This was followed by AP 214, which contains the product structure including geometries and is still the most widely used STEP variant today. In Conformance Class 6 (STEP AP 214 CC6), this also allows STEP files to reference other STEP files externally. The counterpart to native CAD assemblies, with subassemblies as an additional file. However, since 3D annotations, so-called PMIs (Product Manufacturing Information) have long since replaced many 2D drawings, it was time for STEP to be able to handle them as well. This is how the AP 242 was created, which supports PMIs and PMI views. In the STEP working groups, however, it was also recognized that the ISO often took a long time to implement innovations. So it was decided to use the advantages of XML and STEP XML variants with the extension STPX were created. In order to make STEP faster, the option of not only coding exact CAD data (BREP) but also tessellation was added. This means that you can now finally observe similarly short loading times with STEP that characterized the other competing fast visualization formats.

The 3DViewStation software download is free - test it now!

Talk to us today and let us explain the advantages of the 3DViewStation as a STEP viewer for desktops or as an STP viewer online by phone. Why wait? We are also happy to meet via web meeting and on-site at your premises or at trade fairs and user conferences in Germany, Europe, the USA and Asia. Or you can simply download a test version for your desktop PC yourself and test the Kisters 3DviewStation in peace with your STEP and other data. If you are more interested in a STEP Viewer online, you can also test the 3DViewStation WebViewer version at any time - online of course, without any installation. Simply register and view and analyze public examples or upload your own STP, other CAD, drawings or Office data. You can determine whether these CAD files should be publicly viewable via links or whether you want to store them in a private area.

30 years of CAD viewer experience

Whether as an Enterprise Multi CAD Viewer, as a 3D Viewer, 2D CAD Viewer or STP Viewer offline or online - we have the right solution for you. For over 30 years we have been offering viewer solutions for the manufacturing industry, initially viewers for industry standards and standardized formats such as TIFF, CALS, JPEG, then also for the up-and-coming Autodesk products with DWG, DXF, DWF and PDF. Then the 3D era began and so today we are currently supporting the high-end CAD systems with the 3DViewStation, especially CATIA, Siemens NX (formerly UGS) and Creo (formerly Pro / Engineer). JAVA was only used briefly for web-based viewers. Today, however, browser-based HTML5 solutions such as the 3DViewStation WebViewer version without any client installation have established themselves - for PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Our CATIA viewers have long since become an important part of more complex applications such as the PLM systems 3DExperience and SmarTeam. You can find it just as easily as a viewer online in product configurators and after-sales solutions as in spare parts catalogs. Finally, the invitation that you are welcome to sign up for our newsletter in order to receive information about innovations from us from time to time.