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STL export-- arbitrary coordinate system?

michael_bushmichael_bush Member Posts: 1 PRO
edited November 2016 in Community Support
I've got a model where the parts are all where I want them to be, but when I create an STL export, the origin is moved to some apparently arbitrary place inside the body.  
This is problematic because I'm trying to produce models that can then be manipulated (in another software package) with a coordinate transformation.
How do I force the STL export to use the coordinate system that I've designated in the model?


  • rex_hansonrex_hanson Member Posts: 18
    I have the same question. Looks like there isn't an answer since this was first posted back in 2016.
  • mthiesmeyermthiesmeyer Onshape Employees Posts: 67
    Hi @rex_hanson,

    STL files are simply a list of x, y, z points defining triangles that, when rendered, look like the shapes that you were modeling. If you create some geometry offset from the origin by a significant amount:

    then export that geometry as stl and re-import to Onshape (ensuring that import units are the same as export units), you will notice that the geometry has not changed position:

    What software are you importing your STL file into? It is possible that they designate a different axis as y (perhaps y pointed up?) or that they are trying to be helpful by centering your geometry on the origin after import.


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