ISO 10303-238 STEP-NC Standard
The STEP-NC AP238 standard is the result of a fifteen year international effort to replace the RS274D (ISO 6983) M and G code standard with a modern associative language that connects the CAD design data used to determine the machining requirements for an operation with the CAM process data that solves those requirements.
STEP-NC builds on the previous ten year effort to develop the STEP neutral data standard for CAD data, and uses the modern geometric constructs in that standard to define device independent tool paths, and CAM independent volume removal features.
With the concept of "working steps" in place, the manufacturing process becomes streamlined. Now, a machine tool can receive a file with STEP-NC data, "know" what it means, and proceed milling the piece without any more instructions. There will be no more programming the machine tool for each individual piece. Moreover, the benefit of the standard goes further. With a set of standard "working steps" in place, all manufacturers will be able to share information reliably and instantaneously. A STEP-NC converted CAD file that is completed on the east coast can be sent over the internet to a machine shop on the west coast and they can immediately start milling the part.