Manual:Import and export to other filetypes

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FreeCAD can import and export to many filetypes. Here is a list of the most important ones with a short description of the available features:

Format Import Export Notes
STEP Yes Yes This is the most faithful import/export format available, since it supports solid geometry and NURBS. Use it whenever it is possible.
IGES Yes Yes An older solid format, also very well supported. Some older applications don't support STEP but have IGES.
BREP Yes Yes The native format of OpenCasCade, FreeCAD's geometry kernel.
DXF Yes Yes An open format maintained by Autodesk. Since the 3D data inside a DXF file is encoded in proprietary format, FreeCAD can only import/export 2D data to/from this format.
DWG Yes Yes The proprietary version of DXF. Requires the installation of the Teigha File Converter utility. This format suffers from the same limitations as DXF.
OBJ Yes Yes A mesh-based format. Can only contain triangulated meshes. All solid and NURBS-based objects of FreeCAD will be converted to mesh on export. An alternative exporter is provided by the Arch workbench, more suited to the export of architectural models.
DAE Yes Yes The main import/export format of Sketchup. Can only contain triangulated meshes. All solid and NURBS-based objects of FreeCAD will be converted to mesh on export.
STL Yes Yes A mesh-based format, commonly used for 3D printing. Can only contain triangulated meshes. All solid and NURBS-based objects of FreeCAD will be converted to mesh on export.
PLY Yes Yes An older mesh-based format. Can only contain triangulated meshes. All solid and NURBS-based objects of FreeCAD will be converted to mesh on export.
IFC Yes Yes Industry Foundation Classes. Requires the installation of IfcOpenShell-python. The IFC format and its compatibility with other applications is a complex affair, use with care.
SVG Yes Yes An excellent, widespread 2D graphics format
VRML Yes Yes A rather old mesh-based web format.
GCODE Yes Yes FreeCAD can already import and export to/from several flavors of GCode, but only a small number of machines is supported at the moment.
CSG Yes No OpenSCAD's CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) format.

Some of these file formats have options. These can be configured from menu Edit -> Preferences -> Import/export:

Import preferences.jpg

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