Visualizing STEP files with OpenGL

Please Help,

I am a newbie to OpenGL but am very excited by the opportunities offered by this API. My boss gave me an assignment to try and decipher a “Standard for Exchange of Product Model data” (STEP file) so that it can be visualized.

As I said, I am a newbie and am looking for any help/hints. The first thing I hope someone can tell me is how to render a 3D Vector in OpenGL? In the STEP file I have a series of VECTORS (complete with orientation, length, and a cartesian_point) in 3D. I am using C++, so ANY simple code displaying a simple oriented vector in 3D would be GREAT.

Thanks in advance for any help/hints.

Not really simple, but a good open-source package :


Thank you for the information. However, is there a quick command/code in the OpenGL API to “draw” a simple line given a “direction/orientation” (x, y, and z), a vector length (say 1.e1), and a cartesian point (say, -2.5E0, 5.E0, and -1.E0)?

I know that this is probably pretty easy stuff, but I am completly new to OpenGL.


you’ll need to actually search the man pages but here is a quick untested tutorial to begin with :

for ( each vector to draw ) {
   glVertex(x,y,z); // start line
   glVertex(x+dx,y+dy,z+dz); // end line

dx,dy,dz being the direction.


Thank you. This is exactly the information I needed.