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Help > Solve > Modeler > Import a CAD file

Import a CAD file

When you first open the Modeler for a new design, the tree will prompt you to import a CAD file.

The tree for an empty Modeler

In a future release, you will be able to design a simple model geometry from scratch using “primitives” (shapes). Currently this is not possible and you must import a CAD file.

Select IMPORT CAD to open the attach files dialog:

The import CAD dialog

You can also open this dialog by selecting  in the toolbar. If you have already imported a CAD file, this will replace the existing CAD file and remove all associated materials and physics constraints.

In the attach files dialog you have two options:

  • My Computer: Upload a CAD file from your computer (accepted file name extensions: .step, .stp, .iges, .igs, .x_t, .x_b, .sldprt, .sat, .sab).
  • Onshape: Log in to your Onshape account and import a CAD file from there. See Onshape below.

Length units

If the CAD file you’re importing does not contain a length unit, a dialog will prompt you to select one.

Length unit dialog

You can change the length unit later, if required, by selecting the CAD file in the tree and then editing the Length unit property in the properties panel.


Onshape is a cloud-based CAD system that OnScale integrates with. The first time you log in to your Onshape account from OnScale, you’ll have to grant OnScale permission to access your Onshape account.

Once you’ve authorized OnScale, in the Onshape tab of the attach files dialog, you’ll see your Onshape documents. Select Recent Files to show just documents that you’ve recently worked on or All Files to show all your documents.

Expand a document to show its parts and assemblies. Select an assembly or part and then select IMPORT to import it into your OnScale design.

Importing an Onshape document