R20 CAD import - compatible CAD Apps...not just file formats


I’m not very familiar with CAD apps by name other than being aware of the big names (AutoCad, Solidworks, etc).

Now that R20 can import more CAD stuff - if a client asks what files I can accept they often only know what CAD software their designers use and don’t know about actual file formats/names.

What are the names of the CAD applications we can now work with (because we can open their files or their exports), and what file format from each would I request? What might be a common CAD app that does not have an export path for an R20 compatible format?



They have to know the files they can export. It is the barely minimum to ask for a client.


it is often the case that my clients are 3-5 companies removed from the actual engineering source

design house > agency > client > vendor > manufacturer > engineering company > etc

it often covers multiple continents and languages - so no, it is not a minimum to expect, it is simply impossible in some cases


I could be wrong about this, but I am pretty sure the formats that R20 can bring in fall under the category of ‘industry standard’, and any CAD application should be able to export to at least one of them.

If dealing with a client that needs to utilize this function, I would give them the list of compatible formats for them to pass along to their CAD folks.


Yes - formats such as STEP are widely used ‘industry standard’ neutral exchange formats - I’d be surprised if there were any of the major CAD tools that couldn’t export it. JT is another format exported by some of the big CAD tools.

One I would shy away from in general is IGES. This is an old format - origins in the late 1970’s / early 80’s - and it hasn’t been actively developed since the mid 90’s. Solidworks is a ‘software specific’ format rather than vendor neutral - albeit widely used.

STEP would be my #1 ‘neutral format’ choice for R20 -

I’ve not had chance to do a significant amount of testing - but from my experience so far I’ve got to say that the Maxon folks have done a great job on the CAD importer. It’s actually a real game changer for me as it allows much easier working between C4D and other more engineering / manufacturing focused CAD tools such as Fusion 360. Some components are simply so much easier to model in a tool like Fusion - and working with those tools and importing into C4D is now so much easier. Stuff like this… < 5 mins in Fusion. How long in C4D?


1 minute 40 seconds with volume modelling, just tried :wink:


: )

…but MUCH less control - or MANY more polys…


And what about UV stuff? I feel like the volume stuff seems cool, but I also need the ability to have extreme control over UVs and from what I see the volume builder makes mesh that would be impossible to deal with the UVs

Or am I missing something?


The uvs for volumes are junk by default, just a spherical map. But since when do CAD apps make usable uv data?


totally agree that CAD UVs are junk, just wondering if there was some sort of feature in the volumes tools that subverted what seems to be similar to the bad UVs of CAD

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