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Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

Has anyone else had to "convert" CATIA files into a usable 3D format, for animation purposes?  I need to eventually get client-driven CATIA files into a usable format for Lightwave or 3D MAX.  I would even take Maya, if anyone has a solution!  The CATIA files are so large, and I could really use a converter that retains CATIA Layers as Lightwave "groups".  Anyway, I'm obviously not a CATIA user, I'm an animator.  

Any ideas would be helpful.


RE: Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

Hi Scott,
One can use Catia?s own animation module for something very basic, or the most high end programs (see www.mscsoftware.com for instance).
You can export Catia 3D models as *igs or *wrl file and import them into 3Dmax; I think is better to do it as parts not assy?s so you can use the IK from 3Dmax.
The Catia?s files are NOT big (that is the reason it is so wide used in the high complex assy?s industries),  is the 3DMax which give you huge files (that is the reason it is not used in the high end industries where Softimage is the way to go).
I was playing for you, with a helicopter frame (Safari/Baby Belle) and exporting it as *wrl I got 2 Mb. which converted to 3Dmax become 33Mb.


RE: Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

I've just gone through importing a largish assembly of parts into Maya and it wasn't easy...

The only intercompatible file type between Catia and Maya is IGES. The problem being that Catia's IGES export capabilities are extremely poor in my experience.

Exporting the assembly from Catia to IGES yielded the loss of all spatial relationships inside the assembly. This meant I had to measure the exact position of every part in the assembly, export each part individually and move it in Maya...

Then it turns out that when Maya (or any other program aside from solidworks as far as I can tell) imports Catia IGES files incorrectly... I did find that Pro/E will import STEP 203 format from Catia extremely well. So I contacted a friend who works with Pro/E, and had him import each STEP file, and then export it as IGES from Pro/E. I then could import the Pro/E IGES files into Maya without much trouble. I did find that the accuracy of both curves and surfaces in Maya was set to a very low value by default on imported IGES files. But that doesn't affect rendering.

Overall it was not an overly pleasant experience, but I'm happy that it could be done.

RE: Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

Hello renderfarmer,

This may be off topic but it is regarding your exporting problem.  I am currently using V5R10GA because I found that exporting IGES files in SP1 and SP2 produced "the loss of all spatial relationships" whereas in GA this problem does not occur for me.  In the IGES files I created in SP1 and SP2 look like the axis systems of each component are all on top of each other.

RE: Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

Dear CATIA Gurus,
I want to take catia model into proe. What should be the best possible format or procedure to perform this task.


RE: Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files

STEP 203 is the best way I could get Catia models into Pro/E.

RE: Convert CATIA to OBJ 3D files


Strange, I was told that ProE should open CATIAV5 files...

Eric N.


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