Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020



Transparent file size reduction for STEP model files

STEP files generated by many FOSS modelling programs are much larger than those generated by the equivalent commercial software packages. This does not meaningfully matter for most files. However, for libraries of STEP files containing thousands of models, the extra bytes in downloads and storage can be problematic.

This talk introduces a single-purpose library and command line utility called STEPReduce that removes the superfluous elements, replacing them with their equivalent, existing in-file references. I will show a reduction of 50% file size in both compressed and uncompressed STEP files over the full KiCad STEP library. I will also show the resulting improvement in complex model load times using the industry standard OpenCascade import routines. Finally, I will show the utility's verification routines of solid model equivalence between compressed and uncompressed files.

Please note that this talk replaces one entitled "News from gEDA/gaf" that was due to have been given by Roland Lutz, who has sent his apologies but is now unable to attend as he has fallen ill. We wish him a speedy recovery.


Photo of Seth Hillbrand Seth Hillbrand