Open STEP File

Information, tips and instructions

Open STEP File

A STEP file is used to store 3D models formatted in an ISO 10303-21 standard for the purpose of the exchange of 3D product data.

It contains three-dimensional data in a format that can be recognized by various programs.

In the CAD industry, it can be difficult to share models between users with different software and CAD systems. To solve this problem, the STEP format was created as an ISO standard. Its use and goals are similar to the PDF format for storing high compatibility documents.

This greatly increases the likelihood of being able to open the 3D file if another CAD user shares it as a STEP 3D model, even if the recipient is using different software.

NOTE: Although they use the same format and design philosophy, STEP differs somewhat from the STP files; therefore they should not be confused.

Applications that open STEP files


  • IMSI TurboCAD Pro
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • CADSoftTools ABViewer
  • Autodesk 3DS Max
  • Dassault Systemes SolidWorks
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • FreeCAD


  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • FreeCAD


  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Dassault Systemes SolidWorks
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • FreeCAD

There are also some universal viewers that can help you with your task. Most of them are free and can be easily downloaded from the web, such is the case of STP viewer for Windows (, which is suitable for opening STEP, STP files and many other types of 3D modeling files.

To open STEP file, just have the appropriate software installed, either paid or free. For example, if you try to open a file with a viewer, you can get the following features:

  • Tree view of all 3D object markers
  • Dynamic zoom on the object
  • 2D view of 3D object planes and surfaces
  • Dynamic rotation
  • Adding features to the 3D object such as shadow or changing its color
  • View only line drawing of the object

If you cannot open STEP file with any of the programs mentioned above, with universal viewer, or, you cannot convert them with any tool for this purpose, it is very likely that you are not dealing with a STEP file. Even if it has the STEP extension, it may not be the right format, or in the worst case, the file is corrupt.

Open STEP File on Windows OS

  • Try double clicking on a STEP file in Windows File Explorer.
  • If the STEP file reading software is associated correctly then the file will open
  • If the file did not open you should install Autodesk 3DS Max software
  • To open STEP file in Autodesk 3DS Max you need to launch it and then select File->Open in the main menu
  • In the File Open dialog select STEP file and click "Open"
  • You can also download and install FreeCAD parametric modeler

Get more information about how to open STEP file.

Also check how to:

If you are not able to open file with certain file extension make sure to check if extension for the file is correct. It is possible that information in the file doesn't match file extension.

File Extension Info

SRT Quick Info
  STEP format
  not available
Opens with
  Autodesk 3DS Max
  Dassault Systemes SolidWorks
  Autodesk Fusion 360