ISO 10303 is an ISO standard for the computer-interpretable representation and exchange of product manufacturing information. It is known informally as STEP, which stands for Standard for the Exchange of Product model data. ISO 10303 can represent 3D objects in Computer-aided design (CAD) and related information.
Proteus uses this format to import 3D models for footprints and also to export 3D representations of PCB boards to Mechanical CAD products. Both relevant Application Protocols (AP-203 and AP-214) are supported.
Importing STEP Files
The popularity of STEP as a data exchange format means that STEP models for footprints are widely available on the internet. Many manufacturers provide STEP models for their parts and there are several dedicated sites with many thousands of freely available models.
In addition, the popular PCB Library Expert tool will not only allow you to quickly create library parts but can also create STEP files for your library parts. Both the 2D footprint and the 3D STEP file can then be imported into Proteus.
Proteus allows you to create your own model if you do not have a STEP/IGES mode or a 3DS model. Simply give it a body type, a colour and some dimensions and you can have a 3D model that resembles the physical device. Nearly every device can be replicated as a geometric model. The Geometric models will be exported in the MCAD file in STEP/IGES format.
Exporting STEP Files
When the 2D PCB Layout is complete, Proteus can export a single STEP assembly comprising the board edge, holes on the board, the PCB parts on the board and optionally the silkscreen definitions as well. This assembly is typically then loaded into an MCAD tool for case design and fitting.
STEP models for parts can either be imported or created using the simple Proteus 3D modelling language along with its live preview
STEP Files exported from Proteus will import into almost any professional MCAD software package. Indeed, such is the popularity of STEP that most tools will import from a single command on the file menu.
Proteus includes component data as standard in the STEP file output so you will find object browsing and identification straightforward in the receiving software package.