CATIA V5 Reader

The CATIA V5 Reader provides full access to the Assembly, B-rep, Visualization, View and PMI Data stored within a CATIA V5 file. A file does not need to have a particular extension to be read correctly by HOOPS Exchange however the file extensions of CATIA V5 files that you can expect to be loaded by HOOPS Exchange are:

  • .CATDrawing

  • .CATPart

  • .CATProduct

  • .CATShape

  • .CGR

Our readers are updated to the latest released version within 90 days of the release of the authoring software. You can see the exact version supported in the current release here.



External references are fully supported which means that components in the assembly can reside in a separate STEP or CV4 file. The reader will automatically load and present this data to you. Additional support is provided for:

  • Datum planes and construction geometry

  • Exact recreation of the CATIA V5 assembly tree (no flattening, no re-organization or renaming of parts in the assembly tree); Incremental load is supported by our CATIA V5 reader.


B-rep support within CATIA V5 is based on the CGM modeler. HOOPS Exchange provides evaluators which allow you to direct query all the geometry types available in CGM. You can additionally ask HOOPS Exchange to approximate any specific geometry and provide it in a standard NURBS form.

The list of surface types available in CATIA V5 is:

  • CATChamferSurface

  • CATCone

  • CATCylinder

  • CATDraftSurface

  • CATFilletSurface

  • CATGenericFillet

  • CATGenericRuledSurface

  • CATLinearTransfoSurface

  • CATNonLinearTransfoSurface

  • CATNurbsSurface

  • CATOffsetSurface

  • CATPlane

  • CATProcOffsetSurface

  • CATRevolutionSurface

  • CATRuledSurface

  • CATSpecSurface

  • CATSphere

  • CATSweepSurface

  • CATSweepSegmentSurface

  • CATTabulatedCylinder

  • CATTorus

The list of curve types available in CATIA V5 is:

  • CATCircle

  • CATEllipse

  • CATHelix

  • CATLine

  • CATNurbsCurve

  • CATPLine

  • CATPCircle

  • CATPCurveEquation

  • CATPEllipse

  • CATPHyperbola

  • CATPNurbs

  • CATPParabola

  • CATPSpline

  • CATProcCurve

  • CATSplineCurve


The CATIA V5 reader can directly access the cached visualization data (commonly referred to as CGR) stored within a CATIA V5 file. This occurs if the reading mode in HOOPS Exchange is set to tessellation only.


There are two types of views supported in CATIA V5:

  • Annotation views: A view plane in addition to visibilities that are applied to the PMI entities

  • Capture views: A full camera definition, visibilities applied to PMI, visibilities and transformations that can be applied to components in the assembly and the optional definition of section planes.

Both types of views are fully supported by HOOPS Exchange.


HOOPS Exchange provides access to all PMI data available in a CATIA V5 file. These can be created by either the Functional Tolerancing and Annotation module or the Tolerance Advisor with CATIA V5. The PMI is provided in both Visual and Semantic form.

The list of specific PMI types supported is listed below:

  • Datum

  • Datum Target

  • Dimension

  • Dimension (Basic)

  • Dimension (Coordinate)

  • Dimension (Cumulated)

  • Dimension (Curvlinear)

  • Dimension (Stacked)

  • Distance

  • Flags

  • Feature Control Frame

  • Geometrical Tolerance

  • Note Object Attribute (Text)

  • Note Object Attribute (Ditto)

  • Roughness

  • Weld


The HOOPS Exchange Demo showing PMI from a CATIA V5 part


Entities can be filtered by entity type, layer or colors which all are supported by our CATIA V5 reader. Additionally support is provided for:

  • User defined coordinate systems

  • Persistent and non-persistent IDs. Very important for people who need to map their data to other CAD systems. HOOPS Exchange supports this feature at the edge, face, body, and assembly level.

  • User attributes attached at all levels of the model (assemblies, parts, instances and faces).

  • Entity names attached at all levels of the model (assemblies, parts, instances, faces, coordinate axes, etc.)

  • Piping is supported, except for pipes with an empty cross-section.

  • A density value of -1 means that no density was set in the CAD file.

Import Options Specific to CATIA V5

A3DRWParamsCatiaV5Data.m_bCacheActivation forces HOOPS Exchange to quickly load the CGR representation for the model. This behavior is designed to mimic the “Work with the cache” mode in CATIA V5.


Our CATIA V5 reader includes support for CATDrawings with the drawing information provided in the structures used to represent PMI. This functionality supports drawing views. Please refer to the <hoops_exchange>/samples/exchange/exchangesource/DrawingViewer for a sample demonstrating how to access this information.


As of HOOPS Exchange 2023 SP2 U1, HOOPS Exchange provides support for Publications. Check our programming guide for more information.


  • Density on linked materials is not supported.

  • Density is not retrieved on prototyped parts with different densities.