I have seen here lots of STEP / IGES format models. Is thats the format of any software or it is the format supporting many softwares. Pls rply if you know :)
STEP / IGES is the format that is supported by nearly all the CAD software and even other engineering software such as Gambit Ansys Abaqus Adams and ...
another point is that STEP / IGES could also be read by windows notepad. and also could be read by programmable software such as Matlab
the disadvantage is that a STEP file is not editable and the design tree of the model is not available too.
Both STEP & IGES are neutral file file formats that allows the transfer of files between different CAD software. STEP is more recent and I thinks it's more reliable. 3D models can be produced from these files and used for analysis, modeling or even drawings. However, the files cannot be edited since the feature tree is unavailable. I've used it to sent or recieve files from customers.
Step & Iges are indeed CAD neutral but unlike parametric systems who need a structure/history tree, you can still edit these data in dynamic modeling systems like Solid Edge ST, SpaceClaim, Creo Direct as these systems do not use the history of the features.
But all metadata like threads, fits, etc will still be lost as the formats are neutral.