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CAD File Extensions

IGS file extensions

IGS CAD data exchange files store data in IGES plain text format. IGES was a popular format for CAD data exchange until STEP (ISO 10303) was introduced in 1994. After that IGES specification was not updated and its popularity dwindled down. But many files in IGES format are still being used and stored. Many government agencies still have CAD models in IGES format.

STP file extension

STP CAD data exchange files store data in STEP plain text format (or archived folder with multiple plain text files). Other extensions used by STEP CAD data exchange are STEP and P21. STEP is a leading CAD exchange data format. It is supported by major CAD systems including Autodesk AutoCAD, Dassault Systèmes CATIA, Solidworks and many others.

DWG file extension

DWG is a binary file format used by Autodesk AutoCAD to store CAD models. DWG is not open source and only partial third party specification of it is available. It is officially supported by Autodesk software and other software like CATIA, Sketchup, Solidworks can import from DWG.

DWT file extension

DWT is a drawing template file extension used by Autodesk AutoCAD. DWT files are used to store model templates which could be used to instantiate new drawings.

DXF file extension

DXF is a plain text CAD data exchange format from Autodesk used for compatibility with other software packages and CAD product lifecycle components.

SLDDRW file extension

SLDDRW, SLDPRT, SLDASM file extensions are used by Dassault Systèmes Solidworks to store CAD information. These files are stored in Microsoft Structured Storage format which is binary file format based on COM structured storage specification. This format could be read by 3rd party software but certain binary subparts of Solidworks files could have proprietary binary format.

CATDRAWING file extension

CATDRAWING, CATPART, CATPRODUCT file extensions are used by Dassault Systèmes CATIA software version 5 and later.

CAD Exchange Formats
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Extension Details
AutoCAD Drawing File Format
MIME Type
  • application/acad
  • application/x-acad
  • application/autocad_dwg
  • image/x-dwg
  • application/dwg
  • application/x-dwg
  • application/x-autocad
  • image/vnd.dwg
  • drawing/dwg
Opens with
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • DWG TrueView
  • Autodesk Online Viewer