Frequently Asked Questions
Compiled by Dr. Martin Hardwick
Updated: August 2006
STEP-NC defines a new bi-directional interface between CAM and CNC
systems. The interface allows much richer data to be passed into CNC
systems making them easier to program and operate. STEP-NC
inter-operability testing between CAM and CNC systems is ongoing and
many software vendors, job shops and manufacturers want to learn more
about this important technology so we have compiled a list of the most
frequently asked questions.
If these questions inspire more, you can email us at
STEP and STEP-NC International Data Standards
- What is STEP?
- What is STEP-NC?
- What is the relationship between STEP and STEP-NC?
- Why is STEP-NC important to Manufacturers?
- How Does STEP-NC Work?
Manufacturing Data Standards
- What is RS274D (also known as ISO 6983)?
- What is a Post Processor?
- What is IGES?
- What is AP-238?
- What is ISO 14649?
- What is AP-203 edition 2?
- What are the other STEP Manufacturing standards?
- Why is AP-238 special?
producing parts using STEP-NC
- How do I use AP-238?
- What is the current method for making parts on CNC Controls?
- And the new method on STEP-NC Controls?
- How to make the AP-238 file?
- How will an operator use a STEP-NC control?
- What about shops that do not have a STEP-NC Control?
STEP Application Protocols
- What is an Application Protocol?
- How is an Application Protocol defined?
- How do the Application Protocols share data?
- What is EXPRESS?
- What is a Part 21 Physical File?
- What is a Part 28 XML File?
- How do I learn more about STEP and EXPRESS?
how STEP-NC works with other Protocols
- How does AP-238 work with the other STEP Application Protocols?
- How does AP-238 work with XML?
how STEP-NC will impact the Manufacturing Industry
- How will STEP-NC impact CNC systems?
- What will happen to Post Processors?
- How will STEP-NC impact CAM systems?
- How will STEP-NC impact CAD systems?
- How will STEP-NC impact planning systems?
STEP-NC Features and Capabilities
- What is the basic organization of a STEP-NC control file?
- Can STEP-NC define probing operations?
- Can STEP-NC files be used to control many kinds of machines?
- Can STEP-NC describe multi-head machines?
- Can STEP-NC be used on turning machines?
- And other types of machining?
- Are there any limits to STEP-NC?
Possible Technical Issues
- Does STEP-NC require feature recognition?
- Can I use STEP-NC with tooling databases?
- How much does STEP-NC depend on tolerances?
- What about geometry healing?
Questions about Conformance Classes
- What are conformance classes?
- What is Conformance Class 1?
- What is Conformance Class 2?
- What is Conformance Class 3?
- What is Conformance Class 4?