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Editing imported (complex) parts - I need a strategy

alex_gendernalikalex_gendernalik Member Posts: 8

I have been struggling with this topic in both OnShape and Solidworks. I know others have the same problem and everyone has their own techniques to deal with it but I can't formulate a good approach for myself.

Many times we can download 3D files of parts from vendors, such as McMaster-Carr, or from sites such as Thingiverse. Often the objects import without features and have overly complex meshes (generated from the import/export process?) and it isn't possible to get the original files with object features.

How can I go about effectively editing these objects? For example here is a part that I downloaded as an .stl (download from link or see picture below):


I would like to replace the honeycomb mesh with indented/slotted area so I can slide a piece of clear Lexan that is the same shape as the honeycomb area.

What should be my first step? Do I need to select all faces in the honeycomb area? Should a make a sketch that is the same shape of the honeycomb area and cut extrude into it?

Also, what is the best files for importing? Is it possible to know from the file type if the part will have features?

I appreciate all the help - I understand this is a common topic but it would be great if I could bounce some questions off you guys as I work through this.


- AH

This part was downloaded from here and any modification will be uploaded to thingiverse to give the original designer credit: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2719422


  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 944 ✭✭✭✭
    In general, you should modify solid models in a solid modeler (like Onshape) and mesh models in a mesh modeler (like MeshLab or Blender). Trying to modify an STL with Onshape or SolidWorks is painful, like sculpting with a pencil. 
  • alex_gendernalikalex_gendernalik Member Posts: 8
    Thanks. So many times I see people have made improvements on parts and I wonder how. I feel like I am missing something.
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