On this page:
4.14.1 Exporting ACIS Files
4.14.2 Exporting Facet and STL Files
4.14.3 Exporting IGES Files
4.14.4 Exporting STEP Files
2021.11

4.14 Exporting Geometry

Geometry can be exported from Cubit in a variety of formats, including the ACIS ".sat" and ".sab" formats as well as in more portable exchange formats like STEP and IGES.

4.14.1 Exporting ACIS Files

Geometry can be exported from within Cubit to the ACIS "sat" (ASCII) and "sab" (binary) formats. These formats can be used to exchange geometry between ACIS-compliant applications.

To export ACIS files:

  1. Select File and then Export.

  2. Select the location for the file to be saved.

  3. Enter a File Name.

  4. Select ACIS from the Save as type drop-down menu.

  5. Click Save. A new window will appear.

  6. Optionally specify any appropriate settings from this window.

  7. Click Finish.

Export Acis [Debug] ’filename’ [<geometry_entity_list>] [Binary|Ascii] [Current] [Overwrite]

The filename should be enclosed in single or double quotes. By convention, binary and ASCII ACIS files use the .sab and .sat filename extensions, respectively. If a geometry entity list is not specified, the entire ACIS model is exported.A geometry entity list is specified in the same format used for other Cubit commands (See Entity Specification).Note that the model is saved as manifold geometry, and will have that representation when imported back into Cubit (See Non-Manifold Topology and Geometry Merging.)

When exporting, the filename extension will determine the default file type, either ASCII or binary. A .sat extension will default to ASCII; a .sab extension will default to binary. If you use a different file extension you can specify the type with the [binary|ascii] option (with an unsupported extension exporting will default to ASCII but importing requires the type to be specified). Binary files can be significantly faster but are not guaranteed to be upward compatible nor cross-platform compatible (although testing has determined compatibility between NT and HP/UX).

In the GUI version, the current option will set the default filename for autosave (cntrl-S or File->Save (auto inc)) to the imported filename. Also, the filename is then set in the window titlebar.

When exporting with the "file overwrite" option on, the software will check to see if the file exists already, and if it does, exporting will fail in the command line version or ask to confirm the overwrite in the GUI version of Cubit.The overwrite option will override this option and overwrite the file.The "file overwrite" option defaults to ON in the GUI version, OFF in the command line version.

When exporting, you can set the version of the Acis geometry. This allows backwards compatibility to previous versions of Cubit or other Acis-based applications. The command to change the Acis geometry engine version is:

Set Geometry Version [version_number]

where version_number can be one of the following:106, 107, 201, 300, 301, 401, 402, 403, 500, 501, 502, 503, 600, 601, 602, 603, 700, 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 800, 1007, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200. Note that you cannot set a version number that is higher than that of your current engine. For example, Cubit 6.0 was based on Acis 6.2, so you cannot set a geometry version of 700.

To retain any merging information during export of an ACIS file, set attribute on and set attribute off need to be used before and after the export acis command.

See also Importing ACIS Models.

4.14.2 Exporting Facet and STL Files

Facet files may be exported directly, or by converting from an ACIS representation. A facet file is very light-weight, containing only node and connectivity information. Facet files are ASCII only. An STL file is written in standard STL format. To export a facet file:

  1. Select File and then Export.

  2. Select the location for the file to be saved.

  3. Enter a File Name.

  4. Select Facets from the Save as type drop-down menu.

  5. Click OK. A new window will appear.

  6. Optionally select any appropriate settings from this window.

  7. Click Finish.

Export Facets ’filename’ <entity_list> [Overwrite]

The overwrite function allows you to overwrite an existing facet file.

To export an STL file:

  1. Select File and then Export.

  2. Select the location for the file to be saved.

  3. Enter a File Name.

  4. Select STL from the Save as type drop-down menu.

  5. Click OK. A new window will appear.

  6. Optionally select any appropriate settings from this window.

  7. Click Finish.

Export STL [ASCII|binary] ’<file_name>’ [<entity_list>] [tri <id_range>] [angle <value=15> ] [mesh|water tight] [overwrite]

4.14.3 Exporting IGES Files

IGES files can be read/written from Cubit using an added plugin available from Coreform. Contact mailto:sales@coreform.com?subject=Please%20provide%20details%20of%20IGES%20plugin%20for%20Cubit for details and pricing.

The ACIS IGES translator provides bi-directional functionality for data translation between ACIS and the IGES (Initial Graphic Exchange Standard) format.

To export IGES files:

  1. Select File and then Export.

  2. Select the location for the file to be saved.

  3. Enter a File Name.

  4. Select IGES from the Save as type drop-down menu.

  5. Click Save. A new window will appear.

  6. Optionally specify any appropriate settings from this window.

  7. Click Finish.

Export Iges ’filename’ [<geometry_entity_list>][Solid] [Logfile [’filename’] [Display]] [Overwrite]

As with ACIS file export, you can specify which individual entities to export.If unspecified, all ACIS entities are exported.

The logfile option is used to save information regarding the conversion to IGES format.This information saved to a file with the name specified by the user, or named ’iges_export.log’ by default.When running the GUI version of Cubit, the logfile can be displayed in a dialog window by using the display option.

The solid option allows solid volumes to be exported as Manifold Solid B-Rep Objects (MSBO). Without this option, the iges file is simply a collection of stand-alone surfaces.

The overwrite option works the same as with ACIS file export.

See Importing IGES Files for information on setting up the IGES import and export functionality.

Note that the IGES import and export functionality might not be available on all 64-bit platforms.

4.14.4 Exporting STEP Files

Cubit can export geometry to the STEP format, an emerging standard for storing geometry and other information. The STEP AP203 and STEP AP214 standards are supported.It is recommended to use AP214 for exchange of geometry information with Cubit.

To export STEP files:

  1. Select File and then Export.

  2. Select the location for the file to be saved.

  3. Enter a File Name.

  4. Select STEP from the Save as type drop-down menu.

  5. Click Save. A new window will appear.

  6. Optionally specify any appropriate settings from this window.

  7. Click Finish.

Export Step ’filename’ [<geometry_entity_list>][Logfile [’filename’] [Display]] [Overwrite]

As with ACIS file export, you can specify which individual entities to export.If unspecified, all ACIS entities are exported.

The logfile option is used to save information regarding the conversion to STEP format.This information saved to a file with the name specified by the user, or named ’step_export.log’ by default.When running the GUI version of Cubit, the logfile can be displayed in a dialog window by using the display option.

The overwrite option works the same as with ACIS file export.

See Importing STEP Files for information on setting up the STEP import and export functionality.

Note that the STEP import and export functionality might not be available on all 64-bit platforms.