STEP-NC is a machine tool control language that extends the ISO 10303 STEP standards with the machining model in ISO 14649, adding geometric dimension and tolerance data for inspection, and the STEP PDM model for integration into the wider enterprise.
STEP-NC was designed to replace ISO 6983/RS274D G-codes with a modern, associative protocol that connects computer numerical controlled (CNC) process data to a product description of the part being machined.
A STEP-NC program can use the full range of geometric constructs from the STEP standard to communicate device-independent toolpaths to the CNC. It can provide CAM operational descriptions and STEP CAD geometry to the CNC so workpieces, stock, fixtures and cutting tool shapes can be visualized and analyzed in the context of the toolpaths. STEP GD&T information can also be added to enable quality measurement on the control, and CAM-independent volume removal features may be added to facilitate regeneration and modification of the toolpaths before or during machining for closed loop manufacturing.