|Colin Heseltine||09/01/2019 20:53:17|
|322 forum posts|
Has anyone played around with editing .stl files they have downloaded from sites such as Thingiverse. I have looked at a few Youtube tutorials where people are using Tinkercad and it looks as though it is worth a try. Has anyone on here used it for this purpose?
Are there better options. I do have Turbocad 2018 Professional but struggling with the learning curve.
|Jeff Dayman||09/01/2019 21:04:10|
|1599 forum posts|
In my opinion, time would be better spent learning a good 3D modeling package like TurboCAD or many others, rather than a "repair" or "doctoring" editor for stl files.
A good 3D model can be modified at will as needed and from it you can output clean stl anytime. I'd be hesitant to do a big complex time-and-filament-intensive print from an iffy doctored stl file.
(but I do have the advantage of owning a Solidworks license)
|Steve F||09/01/2019 21:41:30|
59 forum posts
Yes i've had a dabble with stl files........Yuck
First thing is an stl file is a mesh and the object is made up of triangles. Loads of em. If it's something engineering rather than artistic you can open it in designspark. Select the object and do convert to solid. You can then sometimes mess about with the file. Then resave as and stl or designspark file for future editing. If its something artistic then head for meshmixer. You can muck with all the triangles pushing and pulling the shape. It's best if you can download the file in it's native cad format rather than stl.
|Fergus Stirling||09/01/2019 23:37:07|
15 forum posts
STL files are a garbage fire of a format, used to use them in a former GovT job. There are many standalone convertion programes you can use to put them into somthing more usable, modify in your program of choice then output to a clean STL (or somthing else if you can)
I used to use them in solidworks and 3DSMAX (but i had to write some custom tools to import them properly) The biggest problem is that the format simply defines a list of unconnected triangular faces, so when you import them into a program, it has to undertake a 'vertex welding process' and assume that vertices within approximately the same location are connected to form contiguous mesh faces. So each final vertex point in a mesh may be made up of many triangular "corners". this obviously falls over when you have very complicated STLs with high levels of detail because there has to be an assumed tollerance when doing the weld process.... so nearby verticies that should occupy the same 3d co-ordinates can get pulled together forming a big broken meshy blobfest..... Blaa bla bla....sorry bored myself...
admittedly you can (with the likes of both of thes programs import them unwelded, but then you just end up with a big pile of triangles, which makes any hope of modifying the object unrealistic.
The early commercial Stereolithography 3d printers that we used to have, would only really work with STL files, and back then (ironicaly only about 10 years ago) small models would cost thousands of pounds each to print. Do newer 3d printers work with other file formats or is STL still the only format used?
|Gary Wooding||10/01/2019 08:06:21|
|572 forum posts|
STL files can be edited in Fusion 360 which, as you know, is free for hobbyists etc. F360 is my program of choice for producing models for 3D printing.
I've been using TurboCAD for years (since V2 in fact) but have basically ditched it in favour of F360.
|Brian G||10/01/2019 08:35:46|
|558 forum posts|
Perhaps it also depends on what else you do? If you also like punishing the brown stuff, SketchUp seems to be the woodworker's preferred software, and although it doesn't directly manipulate STLs it has excellent add-on import and export functions and is simple to use. Its interface is pretty intuitive and you can be creating models (or modifying models imported from STLs) and exporting to STLs within an afternoon.
|Neil Wyatt||10/01/2019 11:31:33|
16449 forum posts
The only way to edit an STL meaningfully is to treat it as an amporphous lump and either cut bits off or add bits on. TurboCAD will do this but it's a ghastly process. Even a cube becomes at least twelve triangles as an STL and the potential for creating 'non-manifold vertices' and other trauma is huge.
There are alternatives to STL for 3D printing, but the only advantages of other formats are adding properties like colours and textures.
The reason for STL is that it is a purely geometric representation made up of straight lines and vertices which makes generating one from a CAD program straightforward and processing for printing easy, but editing a nightmare (for example a sphere defined by just a centre and radius becomes a huge geodetic construction as an STL.
1215 forum posts
That's fine (and I'd agree) for models that you design yourself, Jeff, but many of these STLs are lifted from, say, Thingiverse without any accompanying native file. The STLs contain no history so they can only be edited in gross fashion in a cad program.
|Colin Heseltine||10/01/2019 18:47:07|
|322 forum posts|
From all the views above it looks as though I had better have another go at Turbocad and do it properly rather than try to edit/play with .stl files.
|Jeff Dayman||10/01/2019 19:40:24|
|1599 forum posts|
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