Software for .stl modification

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Viro
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Software for .stl modification

Post by Viro » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:01 am

Hi,

I have a few .stl files of adapters I have prototyped. I am wanting to make changes to them so I can print out a more complete adapter. Is there a specific software or conversion that I should be using? I am starting to think maybe having them give me the .stl isn't what I needed.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Viro

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bubbasnow
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by bubbasnow » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:35 am

you can import them to solidworks but that costs $$

blender is free

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by bvandiepenbos » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:04 am

If you only have .stl from client you are rather limited on editing it.

Autodesk 123D is free, and easy to use.
Meshmixer is good, but more for artistic mesh editing not mechanical parts. free.
Blender is good also, but I read it's learning curve is steep.
FreeCad, free open source looks powerful but confusing.
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by enggmaug » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:39 am

I only use Wings 3D with manifold labs pluggin, because I know it, and it's free, and it just fits my needs.
I know there are some better softwares out there, but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle to change now.
It can import and tweek stls, like most other CAD softwares.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:56 am

enggmaug wrote:I only use Wings 3D with manifold labs pluggin, because I know it, and it's free, and it just fits my needs.
I know there are some better softwares out there, but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle to change now.
It can import and tweek stls, like most other CAD softwares.


Thanks for the reference to Wings 3D. I did not know about this software and I just downloaded it to give it a try.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by enggmaug » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:35 am

Wings3d can be a bit disturbing in the begining if you know other CAD softwares, but when you get used to it, it becomes really handy.

If you have any trouble using it, feel free to ask me, I probably can help you out with it.

Wings3D does not natively include boolean operations. That can sometimes be a problem when you are used to other CAD softwares, as you will think boolean. That's mainly why I use the manifold pluggin.

I already tried other softwares, but I am not arsed going through the learning curve again, when I can do it in wings3D.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:04 am

enggmaug wrote:Wings3d can be a bit disturbing in the begining if you know other CAD softwares, but when you get used to it, it becomes really handy.

If you have any trouble using it, feel free to ask me, I probably can help you out with it.

Wings3D does not natively include boolean operations. That can sometimes be a problem when you are used to other CAD softwares, as you will think boolean. That's mainly why I use the manifold pluggin.

I already tried other softwares, but I am not arsed going through the learning curve again, when I can do it in wings3D.

Thank you for your offer to help. I am really busy at this time but I do hope to install the software and see if I can learn how to
use it. I am not familiar with cad so I have no preconceived bias for or against the software.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Jimustanguitar » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:04 am

Sketchup doesn't support this filetype natively, but there are plugins available.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:14 pm

Jimustanguitar wrote:Sketchup doesn't support this filetype natively, but there are plugins available.

Do you mean that Sketchup will import an STL with the proper plugin?

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by JohnStack » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:42 pm

I just tried the free STL Importer/Exporter Extension for Sketchup. Works ok. Haven't printed yet but will do so very soon.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Jimustanguitar » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:29 pm

Eaglezsoar wrote:
Jimustanguitar wrote:Sketchup doesn't support this filetype natively, but there are plugins available.

Do you mean that Sketchup will import an STL with the proper plugin?


Yes. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1732

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:30 pm

JohnStack wrote:I just tried the free STL Importer/Exporter Extension for Sketchup. Works ok. Haven't printed yet but will do so very soon.

Finally getting around to some of my own things!

Do you find sketchup okay for minor cad-stl work?
And what version do you use?

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by AndThenSome09 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:37 pm

Only problem is on every cad program I have ( solid works, autodesk inventor, sketch up, free cad, OpenSCAD) when u import an stl it is really unusable because it is made up of tons of triangles, no surfaces, holes, edges, etc. So an stl is not the best bet to modify a design.
Last edited by AndThenSome09 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by enggmaug » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:41 am

that's true, before modifying a STL, you need to do some heavy cleaning of the triangles.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by neurascenic » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:03 pm

formZ will do a pretty good job of cleaning up those triangles. If you post your file, I would be happy to clean them for you. At least attempt it.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by McSlappy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:46 pm

Sketchup is OK for some stuff, I used it as my primary stl file creator for a while, but I often found myself having to trash and remake whole sections or parts of my model because of the way Sketchup like to magically create dumb geometry. You need a plugin for stl files and need to buy the 'pro' version to get boolean. For the price, look elsewhere.
3DS max has awesome boolean tools, but is pricey
Blender has OK boolean tools, they bug out often in my experience, but when they work they work well. It outputs stl files right out of the box and is free. Oh yeah, it has a steep learning curve.. I'm suprised by this considering how much time I've spent using 3d modeling packages, it still seems very odd in it's layout, selection and manipulation of objects.. Oh well, at least it's consistent.
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:13 pm

McSlappy wrote:Sketchup is OK for some stuff, I used it as my primary stl file creator for a while, but I often found myself having to trash and remake whole sections or parts of my model because of the way Sketchup like to magically create dumb geometry. You need a plugin for stl files and need to buy the 'pro' version to get boolean. For the price, look elsewhere.
3DS max has awesome boolean tools, but is pricey
Blender has OK boolean tools, they bug out often in my experience, but when they work they work well. It outputs stl files right out of the box and is free. Oh yeah, it has a steep learning curve.. I'm suprised by this considering how much time I've spent using 3d modeling packages, it still seems very odd in it's layout, selection and manipulation of objects.. Oh well, at least it's consistent.

Do you have any experience with FreeCad? I don't but some say that it works okay, but it is no solidworks.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by AndThenSome09 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:13 pm

My favorite program for making one off parts for the printer I'm designing has got to be OpenSCAD! I like coding anyway but the control you have with dimensions and such is just remarkable!
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:37 pm

AndThenSome09 wrote:My favorite program for making one off parts for the printer I'm designing has got to be OpenSCAD! I like coding anyway but the control you have with dimensions and such is just remarkable!

Openscad is a great program for you programming types but for someone like me with no programming experience is just gobbelty gook. I envy you guys that understands what
all that code means but I need the Gui version of something like 3d Cad for Dummies. My area of expertise is the electronics side. Started in the Navy as an electronics tech in the
computer side of things, great digital electronics schools in the Navy. This C and C++ leaves me bewildered so I have to find something freeware and just powerful enough to
produce 3D parts. FreeCad looks to be the best type software for me. I just need to spend many, many hours with it until I become reasonably competent.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by AndThenSome09 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:36 pm

Yeah, FreeCad seems to be pretty decent from the little bit I've used it. I have it installed on my computer but have only had it open a few times. Too bad you couldn't get SolidWorks, because it is powerful and still relatively easy to pick up and start going with it.
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by Eaglezsoar » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:45 pm

AndThenSome09 wrote:Yeah, FreeCad seems to be pretty decent from the little bit I've used it. I have it installed on my computer but have only had it open a few times. Too bad you couldn't get SolidWorks, because it is powerful and still relatively easy to pick up and start going with it.

I would love to have Solidworks but we all know what it costs, I am on a fixed income and can't come close to affording something like that.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by McSlappy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:54 am

No experience with FreeCAD :(
However I should have mentioned Vellum. Not sure of their stl capabilities, but it's like using Sketchup with the power of a full blown CAD program. Specifically the Vellum 3d packages like Argon.
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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by timothysvec » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:30 pm

Spaceclaim is nice.

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Re: Software for .stl modification

Post by geneb » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:09 am

If you're a Windows user, give DesignSpark Mechanical a try. It's based on the SpaceClaim engine and is free to use.
http://www.designspark.com/eng/page/mechanical

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