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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    STL to CAD files

    Hey there all,
    I need to find a program if one exists that will allow me to transfer .STL files to a format that will allow a CAD software program to read them. I need it to be IGES, STEP, , etc so I can machine the part that has been converted.
    Anyone know of such a program?

    Any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
    *Registered User*
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Re: STL to CAD files

    Turbocad or

    Usually your CAM program can import an STL. pretty common format.

  3. #3
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re: STL to CAD files

    If you are looking to convert the .stl into a solid or surface model, you really can't.Even if you could, it wouldn't be any better than the .stl. That's like turning a pencil drawing into a photo.

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  4. #4
    Monkeywrench Technician
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Re: STL to CAD files

    like Gerry said an STL file is not really a solid. it is made from triangles, it is machinable but won't be smooth

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: STL to CAD files

    You can machine directly from a STL mesh file, if you use a CAM program that can deal with them - DeskProto is one. If it is tessellated too coarsely, you'll see faceting in your machined parts, but if the triangles are small enough you won't. There are "surfacing" programs that let you construct different kinds of geometry over the top of your mesh files, if you really need NURBS or parametric formats, but you'll usually lose some detail when you do that. On the other hand, the new surfaces will be smoother. But if all you want to do is machine the parts, you don't really need to do that.
    Andrew Werby

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: STL to CAD files

    As mentioned previously, TurboCAD (and possibly many other CAD programs) can import STL files. The scale may be off it it was drawn in mm and loaded in with inches. That is easy to fix. If the object is not smooth enough, then you may have to re-draw all of the surfaces to create a new 3D object that matches the outline of the STL object.


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