CAD interoperability

Seamlessly exchange CAD data from virtually any source while maintaining your data integrity.

Realise robust interoperability

  • Icon for standardisation

    Standardise CAD applications across your organisation

    Eliminate redundant costs caused by multiple CAD platforms and varying standards for different engineering departments.

  • Icon for reducing time

    Reduce wasted engineering time and free up resources

    Avoid time-consuming and frustrating steps needed to repair CAD file translation errors on an ongoing basis.

  • Icon for removing errors

    Eliminate downstream problems caused by translation errors

    Confidently work with imported CAD data without risk of missed interferences, corrupted data or other downstream issues.

  • Icon for protecting ideas

    Protect your intellectual property with model simplification

    Use automated tools to simplify files and remove proprietary information prior to sharing with suppliers and clients.

Brochure titled “Top 10 Use Cases for CAD Interoperability”

The need for CAD interoperability

The product development process involves collaboration between multiple teams and shared CAD data from various software applications. From changing your CAD software to collaborating with other teams and suppliers, discover the top use cases for robust interoperability.

CAD interoperability with Autodesk

Read virtually any CAD file without translation and convert designs from one CAD file format to another.

  • Connected models

    Choose between translating data to allow for editing or maintaining associative references to the original file so models automatically update whenever source files change.

  • Model simplification

    Use automated tools to remove unnecessary details from your models, protecting intellectual property and reducing file sizes for easier exchange with your customers and suppliers.

  • 3D CAD interoperability

    Associatively reference models created in SOLIDWORKS, Creo, CATIA, NX, Solid Edge, STEP, Fusion 360, Revit and Alias without translation.

  • Selective import

    Select only which portions of the referenced data you want to include in your design upon import. You can even edit your selection later if you change your mind.

  • Previous version support

    Open files saved in the next release of Inventor for single-year backwards compatibility.

  • Revit interoperability

    Import and export building information models natively from Revit to reference as you model BIM objects or customised-fabricated designs.

  • Property mapping

    Define how properties from each file type map to Inventor file properties to minimise manual re-entry of metadata.

  • AutoCAD DWG interoperability

    Associatively reference native DWG files into your 3D models to use as the basis for part modelling or assembly skeletal modelling.

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Learn more

See how people are using CAD interoperability


Reducing machining time from 30 hours to 10

Kalitta Motorsports uses the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection to save design and manufacturing time and optimize their overall operations.

"We started in 2015 machining our clutch assemblies and now we are doing clutch assemblies, cylinder heads, and so many more parts. It is a huge cost savings and so much more efficient." – Chad Head, General Manager at Kalitta Motorsports

Image courtesy of Kalitta Motorsports


The CAD Interop Survival Guide

Learn how to overcome everyday challenges and work better internally, externally and with your supply chain.

Get Spec’d In

Read how building product manufacturers can create BIM content from their CAD models with the appropriate level of detail.

Video: Feature-based translation with ITI

Feature-based translation

Learn how Autodesk partner ITI can help you to automate the migration of intelligent, fully featured CAD data from CATIA V5, NX, Creo/Wildfire, Solid Edge and SOLIDWORKS.

Image courtesy of ITI

Let’s talk strategy

As a global leader in the integration of architecture, engineering, construction, product design and manufacturing processes, Autodesk can help you to develop the capabilities needed to achieve your goals.

Keep in touch today to schedule your business consultation.

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3D CAD conversion is the process of translating a non-native 3D model, metadata (property information) and sometimes feature history into the destination 3D CAD software. With Autodesk Inventor, no conversion is needed: You can simply open non-native CAD files without translation.

A CAD file translator is a tool that allows 3D models to be imported and exported between different software programs.

Once a 3D CAD file is created, it becomes the centre for all downstream applications. Previously, engineers would need to translate 3D CAD files depending on which application the file would be opened in. Now, 3D model files can be opened without translation for use in all downstream applications, like CAM or simulation.