Data Exchange

Data Exchange providing interoperability with most popular data formats, which relies on Shape Healing to improve obtained shapes.


Data Exchange allows developing OCCT-based applications that can interact with other CAD systems by writing and reading CAD models to and from external data. The exchanges run smoothly regardless of the quality of external data or requirements to its internal representation, for example, to the data types, accepted geometric inaccuracies, etc.

Shape imported from STEP

Data Exchange is organized in a modular way as a set of interfaces that comply with various CAD formats: IGES, STEP, STL, VRML, etc. The interfaces allow software based on OCCT to exchange data with various CAD/PDM software packages, maintaining a good level of interoperability.

  • Standardized Data Exchange interfaces allow querying and examining the input file, converting its contents to a CAD model and running validity checks on a fully translated shape. The following formats are currently supported.
    • STEP (AP203 : Mechanical Design, this covers General 3D CAD; AP214: Automotive Design);
    • IGES (up to 5.3);
    • VRML and STL meshes.
  • Extended data exchange (XDE) allows translating additional attributes attached to geometric data (colors, layers, names, materials etc).
  • Advanced Data Exchange Components are available in addition to standard Data Exchange interfaces to support interoperability and data adaptation (also using Shape Healing) with CAD software using the following proprietary formats:

These components are based on the same architecture as interfaces with STEP and IGES.