About STEP

STEP stands for STandard for the Exchange of Product model data.

ISO 10303 is an International Standard for the computer-interpretable representation of product information and for the exchange of product data. The objective is to provide a neutral mechanism capable of describing products throughout their life cycle. This mechanism is suitable not only for neutral file exchange, but also as a basis for implementing and sharing product databases, and as a basis for archiving.

ISO 10303 Industrial automation systems and integration - Product data representation and exchange

STEP is an international standard, registered by

  • ISO, International Organization for Standardization

STEP got developed by the technical committee

  • TC 184, Technical Industrial automation systems and integration

sub commitee

  • SC 4, Industrial data


The development of STEP started back in 1984 or so and it took untill 1994/95 before the initial set got finally available as International Standard (IS). Over the years many books on STEP were published but unfortunately most of the good books are meanwhile out of print.

For German readers we would like to recommend:

  • Integriertes Produktmodell, M. Grabowski, R. Anderl, A. Polly, 1993, ISBN 3-410-12920-0

If you want to become familiar with STEP, you should try to get a basic understanding of:

  • The modelling language EXPRESS (part11)
  • STEP File exchange format (part21)

The core integrated resources:

  • Part 41: Fundamentals of product description and support
  • Part 43: Representation structures. This part is needed to understand part42.
  • Part 42: Geometric and topological representation
  • Part 44: Product structure configuration