As a company that specializes in CAD Translation, we often get questions about a wide range of CAD file extensions; to make this easier on our customers, we’ve compiled a list of the most common Brep and Visrep formats.
Please note: This is a list of all known CAD File Extensions, not a list of formats that TransMagic can Read and Write. For a list of formats supported by TransMagic products, please visit our CAD Formats page.
Brep vs Visrep
Brep stands for Boundary Representation, which is a true CAD format. Visrep stands for Visual Representation, which is a polygonal or tesellated format. We are including both Brep and Visrep formats in this listing since there is often confusion as to which is which. Where possible, additional notes are provided for each CAD file extension.
|Software||Extensions||Brep or Visrep||Notes|
|3D PDF||Visrep||3D PDF is a great format for sharing geometry with those who do not have access to CAD systems or CAD viewers; all that’s required is the Adobe Reader, which is already on almost all PCs.|
|3D XML||.3DXML||Visrep||3D XML is a visualization format developed by Dassault Systemes.|
|3DS Max Files||.3DS, .MAX||Visrep||.3DS files contain mesh or nurbs information; .MAX files contain all scene information, including mesh data.|
|ACIS Model & Assembly Files||.SAT, .ASAT, .SAB, .ASAB||Brep||ACIS is a geometric modeling kernel used in many CAD applications. .SAT and .SAB files are part files, .ASAT and .ASAB files are assembly files. Files that end with B are binary.|
|Alias Model file||.WIRE||Visrep|
|AutoCAD Drawing Files||.DWG, .DXF||Brep and Visrep||.DWG files are binary, .DXF files are ASCII. Both formats can contain both Brep and Visrep geometry.|
|Autodesk Filmbox Format||.FBX||Visrep||Primarily used for exporting mesh, material and animation data to game engines.|
|CADKEY File||.PRT, .CKD||Brep||CADKEY is now known as KeyCreator.|
|CATIA V4 Part & Assembly Files||.MODEL||Brep||.MODEL files can represent both parts and assemblies.|
|CATIA V5 Parts and Assemblies||.CATPart, .CATProduct||Brep|
|CATIA V5 Graphical Representation File||.CGR||Visrep|
|CATIA V6 Part and Assembly Files||.CATPart & .CATProduct||Brep||File format is similar to V5 files.|
|Collada Object Format||.DAE||Visrep|
|Creo Part and Assembly Files||.DRW, .PRT, .ASM||Brep||.DRW are drawing files, .PRT are part files, and .ASM files are assembly files. Creo was formerly known as Pro/Engineer.|
|Fusion 360 Files||.F3Z, .F3D, .CAM360||Brep||.F3Z files are archive files, .F3D are part files, and .CAM360 are toolpath archive files.|
|Generic CADD Files||.CMP, .GCD||Brep||.CMP files are component files, .GCD are drawing files.|
|Geomagic GeomView Design File||.WRP|
|Gerber Printed Circuit Board File||.GBX|
|HOOPS Metafile Format File||.HMF||Visrep|
|HOOPS Stream Format File||.HSF||Visrep|
|IGES||.IGS, .IGES||Brep||IGES files are predominately surface files, though the definition does allow for solid models. Read more about IGES, learn why to avoid IGES, and alternatives to IGES.|
|Inventor||.IPT, .IAM||Brep||.IPT files are part files, .IAM files are assembly files.|
|JT||.JT||Both||JT, created by Siemens / NX, is unusual in that it can contain both Brep and Visrep content. JT is also compressed about 8:1, so it is a good visualization format for large assemblies.|
|KeyCreator Part & Assembly Files||.CKD, CDL||Brep||KeyCreator was formerly CADKey; .CKD files are for parts and assemblies, .CDL files are for Wireframe Design files.|
|Kubotek Design Container File||.CKD||Brep|
|Lightwave Object File||.LWO||Visrep|
|Microstation Design Files||.DGN||Brep|
|Modo Scene Format||.LXO||Visrep|
|Navisworks Files||.NWC, .NWD, .NWF||.NWC files are cache files, .NWD are documents, .NWF are file sets.|
|NX Part and Assembly Files||.PRT||Brep||NX was formerly Unigraphics; one confusing aspect to NX .PRT files is that the same extension is used for both parts and assemblies.|
|Parasolid Model File||.X_T, .X_B||Brep||Parasolid is the geometric modeling kernel used for SOLIDWORKS, Solid Edge, and many other CAD solutions; read more about Parasolid here.|
|Pro/Engineer Granite File||.G||Brep||Granite is the geometric modeling kernel behind all Pro/E and Creo products.|
|Pro/Engineer Part and Assembly Files||.PRT, .ASM||Brep||Pro/Engineer is now known as Creo|
|Rhino 3D Model File||.3DM||Brep||Rhino is primarily a freeform NURBS surface modeler specializing in complex surface creation.|
|SDRC||.PRT, .ASM||Brep||SDRC was purchased by EDS in 2001, and then by Siemens in 2007, and is no longer in existence as a CAD solution. Since version 11, I-DEAS was able to export parts and assemblies as Parasolid files to provide interoperability with NX.|
|SMlib||.SMS, .IWB, IWP||Brep||SMlib is created by Solid Modeling Solutions; these files are geometric modeling kernels used in a range of CAD applications.|
|Solid Edge||.PAR, .ASM, .PSM||Brep||.PAR files are part files, .ASM files are assembly files. Solid Edge is made by Siemens.|
|SOLIDWORKS eDrawing File||.EDRW|
|SOLIDWORKS Part & Assembly Files||.SLDPRT, .SLDASM||Brep||.SLDPRT files are parts, .SLDASM files are assemblies. SOLIDWORKS is owned by Dassault.|
|STEP||.STEP, .STP||Brep||STEP is the most popular neutral CAD format in the world today.|
|Stereolithography Files||.STL||Visrep||.STL files are widely used for 3D printing.|
|Unigraphics Part & Assembly Files||.PRT||Brep||Unigraphics is now known as NX; one confusing aspect to Unigraphics and NX .PRT files is that the same extension is used for both parts and assemblies.|
|Wavefront||.OBJ||Visrep||.OBJ is widely used by modeling and animation solutions such as Maya and 3DS Max for transfering polygonal meshes.|
|ZBrush Files||.ZBR, .ZPR||Visrep||ZBrush is a modeling and texturing application.|
|ZW3D||.Z3||Brep||ZW3D is made by ZWSoft.|
|VRML||.WRL||Visrep||VRML stands for Virtual Reality Modeling Language.|
|WebGL||.HTML||Visrep||WebGL stands for Web Graphics Library. This format allows viewing and rotating in any HTML5-compliant browser with no plugins needed, and is suitable for online parts libraries.|
Try TransMagic’s CAD Translator
Many of these CAD file extensions can be read and written by TransMagic products; to see which ones, check out our CAD Formats page. Want to give TransMagic a try? Click here to try the free 7-day eval of TransMagic.
Brep vs Visrep Models – A comparison between Brep and Visrep models which looks at pros and cons of each.
The CAD Format Ladder Part 1 – A system to determine the best format for each situation.
The CAD Format Ladder Part 2 – Part 2, determining the best format for each situation.
What Format Do I Have Here? – Using the contents of the CAD file to determine the format and version.