Dave Loffredo

Version 17 Software Released!

Version 17 of the STEP Tools development stack of libraries and tools is now available for use in STEP, IFC, and Digital Manufacturing solutions. The full stack includes the EXPRESS-level STEP and IFC libraries previously packaged as ST-Developer as well as our STEP-NC simulation and machining libraries, .NET and Node interfaces, an enhanced business-logic level APIs.

Our software stack has grown over the past twenty six years. At the heart of the software is the set of EXPRESS-based C++ programming libraries used within many commercial STEP and IFC CAD interfaces. Built on top of this are the newest simulation and high-level APIs along with .NET and Javascript client-server interfaces that are bringing Digital Manufacturing into production.

Software Stack

The STEP Tools software stack runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms, with others available upon request. The C++ libraries are built for all of the latest compilers, including Visual Studio 2015 and 2017, and the Xcode 8.0 environment. The core libraries we have many refinements for handling multiple files in memory, better matching from EXPRESS types to C++, and applications are now 5% smaller with increased performance.

We tested our Part 21 Edition 3 implementation in the vendor interoperability forum with the new anchors and URL references, plus we have have subjected it to "fuzz" testing with thousands of intentionally corrupted STEP files.

The ROSE Math Library is a new addition to the stack with functions for vectors, transforms, meshes, unit conversions, and other operations common to engineering data. It works with STEP, IFC, CIS/2 or any other information model.

Tolerance Support

STEP solutions have the latest STEP AP242 definitions. The STEP faceter is stronger and faster with easy creation of AP242 tesselated models or XML for lightweight viewing. Solutions can leverage new APIs for geometric tolerances with a full range of functions for working with datums, common datums, datum modifiers, and tolerance modifiers. Our desktop and web visualization tools take full advantage of these to work with AP242 semantic PMI data.

A new STEP checker and browser investigates data sets on any platform. It can analyze STEP file contents and print reports like previous AP checkers, but now you can move beyond batch operation to interactive viewing using the built-in web server.

Software Stack

Software Stack

IFC BIM solutions have the latest IFC4 addendum 2 definitions. We also have a new IFC Faceter Library which handles IFC extruded solids, shell-based surface models, and resolves color styles that appear in the IFC data. This supports simple viewing as well as an IFC checker that can also browse the raw IFC data.

New Year

AP242 Tesselated Model created by STEP-NC Simulator

Framework solutions with the newer portions of the stack have technology that can make programming five times faster. We have been developing these since 2003, and they can program at the STEP ARM and the AIM levels. In addition, we have adopted network technologies for web frameworks, P21 Edition 3, XML and JSON, referencing using UUID’s and URL’s, and Digital signatures for STEP data.

For Digital Manufacturing applications, as demonstrated recently, our STEP-NC simulator can calculate material removal, our STEP-NC interfaces can communicate with existing machine tool controls and MTConnect clients, and our server tools can provide geometric viewing on any Web client or mobile device.

Contact us to discuss how we can apply this stack to a software solution for your specific needs!