508,289 active members
2,868 visitors online
Register for free
Login
IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > Uncategorised CAM Discussion > Converting STL file to 3D solid
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    23

    Converting STL file to 3D solid

    Hi,

    I am looking (desperately) for help or instructions for converting a STL mesh file into a solid format. So far anything I have done has not worked very well -- I tried importing it in SolidWorks as an object and it's not working; as a surface it imports with all the mesh facets, etc.

    I need this file converted such that I can create a solid out of it and add features to it (an additional solid box/etc. which is attached -- I can do this in AutoCAD if I have it in the right format).

    Any thoughts, suggestions, etc.?

    Thanks and best regards!

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    58

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    have you figure this out? yet i'm looking to do the same

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    4863

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    You'd need some kind of reverse-engineering software to do this effectively. An STL file is just a mesh - a lot of triangular facets joined together at the vertices, which are all that are listed in the file format. This is the sort of data that 3D scanners produce - they have no way of recognizing edges, holes, and other features. All those have to be identified by another kind of software; this process of retrieving the "design intent" is called Reverse Engineering. We sell a program: Design-X from 3D Systems, that does a good job of this - for example, you can pick 3 points on the edge of a round hole and the software will do the rest, constructing a circle in the right place. Still, reconstructing a complex mechanical object can take some time. If you have all the measurements, it might be just as easy to model the object in question in Solidworks.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    58

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    if i can't use stl file what file should i look for what will work?

  5. #5
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    34575

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    Quote Originally Posted by rmachinist View Post
    have you figure this out? yet i'm looking to do the same
    Explain exactly what you want to do.
    Did you create the model yourself, or download it from, somewhere?
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

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

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1795

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    To make mods for some of the 3D printing I do, I use Fusion 360.
    The steps are as follows:
    1. From the Insert Menu, Insert Mesh
    2. If the orientation is satisfactory, Click 'OK'
    3. At this point, I usually save the drawing before proceeding futher.
    4. Right Click on "The file name in the info area"


    5. In the dropdown menu, click on "Do Not Capture Design History".
    This will bring up a warning box. Click on 'Continue' to make it go away.
    6. Make sure you are in 'Model' Space and click on 'Modify'>'Mesh'> 'Mesh to BRep'
    7. Click on the object you just imported and Click on 'OK'

    You now have a solid model, but it shows all the stl facets. you can get rid of most if not all (depending on the model) by doing the following.

    A. Switch to 'Patch' space
    B. Click on 'Mod' menu >'Merge' and then select two adjacent "triangles" of the model and then 'OK'

    Depending on the model, you may have to repeat a few times to get rid of the 'triangles' and in some cases you won't get them all but it should be better than origination.
    Save your file again as usual and make the mods you want then to save the final as a .stl if you desire,
    Right click on the model name and then click on 'Save as Stl' in the drop down menu.



    HTH
    Art
    AKA Country Bubba (Older Than Dirt)

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    58

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    I get a warning: this mesh contain large amount number of facets

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1795

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    Thats one BIG file.
    I think it gives that warning at about 10,000 facets!
    I have seen where some people "cut" portions to be able to make it work, but I haven't run into that problem with the stuff I have downloaded from thingiverse.
    Art
    AKA Country Bubba (Older Than Dirt)

  9. #9
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    58

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    Thank's for your help it work great i tried it on a small file!!!

  10. #10
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    34575

    Re: Converting STL file to 3D solid

    10,000 faces is not a big model at all. These days, even 500,000 is not really that big. and I think large files will crash F360 if you try this.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

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

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    47
    Oh yes! The ANSWER is Meshcam! For $250 you can convert your stl files as desired! And, not in the cloud!. I bought it discounted and have been more than satisfied! You may get more options with a "cracked" version of Artcam, but expect to get your computer corrupted or hacked,

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-04-2015, 12:49 PM
  2. Converting a pdf file to UG part file
    By gaoxingdcf in forum UG NX
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-20-2010, 01:47 AM
  3. Help with converting file
    By slink74659 in forum Uncategorised CAD Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-18-2009, 12:38 AM
  4. converting a mastercam 9 file into a Solidworks file
    By Michael82 in forum Solidworks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-17-2009, 07:14 PM
  5. Help converting .fgc file
    By slammedxonair in forum DynaTorch
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-12-2009, 10:19 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •