IGES Files (*.igs, *.iges)

The IGES translator can import and export IGES surfaces and BREP solids.

These IGES entity types are supported for import and export, except where noted.

IGES Entity Type Entity Name
514 Shell Entity
510 Face Entity
508 Loop Entity
504 Edge Entity
502 Vertex Entity
416 External reference entity
408 Singular subfigure instance entity
406 Form 12 External reference file
402 Form 7 Group entity
314 Group entity
308 Subfigure definition entity
198 Toroidal Surface
196 Spherical Surface
194 Right Circular Conical Surface
192 Right Circular Cylindrical Surface
190 Right Circular Cylindrical Surface
186 Manifold Solid B-Rep Object Entity
144 Trimmed (parametric) surface
143 Import only Bounded Surface
142 Curve on a parametric surface
140 Import only Offset surface
128 Rational B-spline surface
126 Rational B-spline curve
124 Transformation matrix entity
123 Direction entity
122 Tabulated cylinder
120 Surface of revolution
118 Import only Ruled surface
116 Point
114 Import only Parametric spline surface
112 Parametric spline curve
110 Line
108 Plane
106 form 12 Import only Copious Data—3D Piecewise linear curve
106 form 11 Import only Copious Data—2D Piecewise linear curve
104 Import only Conic arc
102 Composite curve
100 Circular arc


If there is wireframe geometry in an imported file, the software reads the IGES data and forms curves for the IGES wireframe entities. The 2D geometry is imported into a sketch rather than imported as reference curves.

If you want the software to try to form a solid from imported IGES data, export the solid or surfaces from the source system as trimmed surfaces (Entity type 144) or as untrimmed surfaces (Entity types 128, 122, 120, 118, 114). Also, set the number of significant digits (precision) as high as possible to ensure accurate translation.

You can import 3D curves in an IGES file as 3D sketch entities. In the Import Options dialog box, select the Free point/curve entities check box and click Import as sketch(es).

The IGES translator supports colors when you import curves.

You can select the levels to import for IGES files that contain multiple levels. Select the Show IGES levels option in the Import Options dialog box to display the IGES-In Surfaces, Curves, and Levels dialog box.

When imported surface data is not smooth, SOLIDWORKS tries to repair the surfaces.


The IGES translator exports SOLIDWORKS part and assembly documents as IGES files. Parts and surfaces exported to IGES format retain their part or surface color, and are displayed in color when in Shaded mode.

You can export both surfaces and solids in the same IGES file.

If you export a SOLIDWORKS assembly document that has hidden or suppressed components to IGES format, a dialog box appears asking if you want to resolve these components.

  • Click Yes, and all the components, including the hidden or suppressed ones, are exported.
  • Click No, and the hidden or suppressed components are not exported.

The IGES translator supports layers when you export an assembly document as an IGES file. In the Export Options dialog box, you must set the Surface representation/System preference to MASTERCAM. The assembly components in the IGES file appear on layers that you can turn on and off in Mastercam®, or in other applications.