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best way to force mate connectors on an imported stl?

kees_bijkerkees_bijker Member Posts: 18
This is a strange question perhaps, but my entire history modeling in 3D has been with Openscad. I therefore have many such files, which cannot be imported into Onshape. So I use the STL files often to make it again with some modification or to design something that will fit together with an existing STL.
The trouble is the STL files are just a great mess of meshes with points that do not seem to follow any logical positioning.
This makes positioning of mate connectors very difficult. More often then not I cannot find the same location on an imported file, which I would need for correct mating with another part. I need to use manual offsets most of the time and this is not very accurate nor convenient.
So, my question is if there is a better way of doing this?
I have till now simply attempted to place the mate connector somewhere on the piece by trying to find some mesh point close to where it needs to be. Very rarely do I find any right on the spot, and more rarely do I find symmetrical mesh points to use in the "in between" feature.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best Answer

  • matthew_stacymatthew_stacy Member Posts: 415 PRO
    Answer ✓
    @kees_bijker, STEP would likely be a better option than STL for what you are trying to do.  The imported solids will still be non-parametric, but significantly easier to use than mesh geometry.

    Onshape also has a competent suite of direct editing tools (e.g. move face).

Answers

  • matthew_stacymatthew_stacy Member Posts: 415 PRO
    Answer ✓
    @kees_bijker, STEP would likely be a better option than STL for what you are trying to do.  The imported solids will still be non-parametric, but significantly easier to use than mesh geometry.

    Onshape also has a competent suite of direct editing tools (e.g. move face).
  • kees_bijkerkees_bijker Member Posts: 18
    @kees_bijker, STEP would likely be a better option than STL for what you are trying to do.  The imported solids will still be non-parametric, but significantly easier to use than mesh geometry.

    Onshape also has a competent suite of direct editing tools (e.g. move face).

    Hi Matthew,
    I tried STEP now, by taking a random one from thingyverse, and indeed it is miles better then the mesh from an STL.
    Unfortunately, Openscad does not export STEP either, so now I will be looking for a good reliable file convertor for STL to STEP.
    Thank you, it gives me a way out.
    Kind regards and thank you for your time.
    Kees
  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 1,236 PRO
    You can add features to mesh models (imported as STL) in Onshape, including sketches. You should be able to lay out where you want mate connectors that way.

    But yes, STL in general is harder to work with. It was really developed as a way to 3D print things, not a basis for modeling. 
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