This tip is the first of this site’s tips to be supplemented with a video version of the tip, both here and on YouTube.
To see the YouTube video version of this tip, CLICK_HERE, or just click on the video at the bottom of this post.
This post shows how to import a STEP file into AutoCAD, and how to change the 3D object’s orientation to align properly with the view cube and standard AutoCAD views.
The video shows the process of importing a highly detailed 3D speaker file. This is part of a project I completed recently with much trial and error, so I hope this tip, along with an upcoming Part 2, will save you a lot of time and angst.
The steps are:
- Make sure you’re in the 3D Modeling workspace.
- Go Insert tab > Import panel > Import button.
- Make sure the Files of Type selector is set to STEP files.
- Select the STEP file and hit OPEN. Close the dialog box that says it’s processing.
- When the white and blue button in the lower right says “completed,” click on the button, right-click, and choose “Insert.”
- The object appears but orientation needs correcting.
- Change to Hidden visual style. Select the 3D object and get the Rotate gizmo.
- Select the circle in the plane of rotation. Click in empty space when the object is oriented properly.
- Position the object as desired relative to the origin point.
That’s it! The next CAD tip will discuss how to flatten the 3D object into a 2D object. Hint: there’s now a much better way than using the FLATTEN command.
Please leave comments in the box below.
Keep on CADDing! 🙂
Here’s the video:
Nice….Thank you for sharing. I think it would be helpful for all.
I can’t import step file with AutoCad 2011, which version are you using?
Raymond, I’m using AutoCAD 2014. Not sure if 2011 had this capability. Mark
Hey Mark. I’m using CAD 2014 myself and I recently cannot load *.STP files for some reason. I did it a few weeks ago now it just sits on importing… Any ideas?
I am using AutoCad 2001 as well. It does have this functionality.
At the bottom, switch to Model Space Classic Mechanical then select the Insert Tab from the ribbon.
You will see an Import section that lists IGES and STEP file.
wow, awesome blog post. Really Cool.
Thanks! That was really helpful!
Hi! thanks for th tip! from Chile!
but got a problem the insert model stay as a block, so, how i can impor the step file and get the differents solids from the model to work with them? thanks!
good but very slowly how to change to quickly, my pc. as intel(R)Xeon(R)cpu E3-1220 V2 @ 3.1 GHz , Display adapters NVIDIA Quadro K4000
Hi Mr. Mark
im using autocad 2014 to import the STEP file but when i try to import it after change the workspace to be 3D modelling its always failed to import. can you help me to solve this please sir?
Thank you, it worked!
Using AutoCAD 2015, can get all the steps to work except we don’t know what is the “white and blue button” to finalize the import process? Please advise where to find that button on the list of commands so we can add it.
Bob, thanks for the question. There is a video accompanying the written post that shows the button clearly. Here is the link: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. At time 1:15 in the video, you see that when the box appears saying “Your import job is processing in the background,” your job will not actually begin processing until you hit Close to close the box. Then the white and blue button appears in the bottom right of your screen. Hover over it and the tooltip “Import job in progress” will appear. Hope this helps! Mark
That “blue and white button” is not on our status bar. I have tried to locate a way to add it to the status bar and have been unsuccessful. What is the name of that button on your customization list? Do you know how to add a command to the status bar?
The white and blue button only appears after you hit the Close button on the “Import – Processing Background Job” dialog box . It’s not a standard button that can be turned to visible or hidden using Customization. I don’t have version 2015 handy, but it worked on v2013 and it works on v2017. I suggest you follow the steps shown in the video carefully, being sure to hit the Close button as described above. Hope this helps! Mark
Knowing it was hidden until needed allowed us to watch it pop up. It looks a bit different on our computer, but we were able to get it to work. Thank you for your help.
You are very welcome!
I am stumbling over the first portion of the video where you push on the gear button in the lower right corner to change to “3D modeling view” I do not have this button and have searched everywhere and can’t find it. I am using Autocad 2015.
You may have the Workspace Switching button hidden. Go to the bottom right corner of your screen and you should see a button with three gray horizontal bars. Hover over it and a tooltip saying “Customization” appears. Click it and a menu appears. In this vertical menu, make sure that “Workspace Switching” has a checkmark next to it. If it does not, click on the Workspace Switching button. Now the gear-shaped Workspace Switching button should be visible in the status bar. Hope this helps! Mark
Thanks Mark! I will give that a try.
Is it possible to open a step file in AutoCAD LT 2014? I have the gear icon in the lower right but i don’t have the 3D Modeling option. Thanks
Kevin, I don’t have access to AutoCAD LT. Since LT lacks 3D capabilities, I would think it could not import a STEP file. Mark
Hey Mark, I was wondering if you could tell me how to get the annotations and measurements to show on an imported step file. Everything has been very similar so far in the process of importing and controls. I am using Autocad Mechanical 2017
does it applied to CAD Mac version? Currently using cad on mac 2014 version. Does not work here for me. Please help.
I get to the insert file into drawing part. When I right click and click on insert, the drawing does not show and the command line reads cancelled. Any reason thi would be happening? I am using AutoCAD 2015.
Peter, did you try Zoom Extents?
Thanks, that worked. I am still working through the tutorials.