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how to import stl files

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Answers

  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    While we don't comment on specific time-frames, we do understand that this is a highly requested capability :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • prasad_dixitprasad_dixit Member Posts: 1
    Let me explain my situation and why I need STL import functionality:

    I have used CAD Applications like CATIA, UG NX, Inventor for few years and have been developing CAD software for about past 10 years. I know that STL format has limited use if used directly in a MCAD package. 

    However, lately I was involved in some reverse-engineering projects and needed to use 3D scan data which was available in STL format. Because of complex surfaces involved we needed some reference geometry for modeling in OnShape. But we can't do that right now and had to rely on manually taking dimensions and using it for modeling instead of reference STL geometry. 

    I hope STL import is made available soon. 3D scanners and printers are becoming ubiquitous and they all work mostly with STL. It will be very helpful in speeding up certain projects.

  • joseph_hajdukjoseph_hajduk Member Posts: 1
    I would appreciate this feature,  specifically fit with parts we don't intend to model, but have access to scanned STL files for.
  • christopher_46christopher_46 Member Posts: 2
    I need to be able to import an STL for the same reason as prasad_dixit did. I import the stl and when I open the model nothing appears except the name and type to the left.
  • mischlmischl Member Posts: 28 ✭✭
    in the meantime you could use/try instep which converts from stl to stp what you then can import into os: http://www.solveering.com/instep-purchase.htm

    costs only $25 and helped me in some parts (not all). there is also a direct way from importing stl to os documents, see app store 
  • viruviru Member, Developers Posts: 619 ✭✭✭✭
    @kyle, Now it is possible for user to import, view, edit and save STL files in Onshape with the help of STLWorkbench. I am very excited about new App (STLWorkbench) which is introduced in Onshape app store recently. STLWorkbench has robust, fast, automatic functionality for analyzing and processing the STL files or meshes which will brings one of the most exciting additions added to Onshape app store yet.


    Kindly refer below video for more detail.


  • greg_hodsongreg_hodson Member Posts: 1
    I appreciate that there is an app store so that features can be made available which otherwise would not be, but STL Workbench is $30 pm which compared to the $100/pm base price of Onshape represents quite a premium. I notice that many of the add-ons are $30-$60pm, so the real-terms price of Using Onshape could rise dramatically if Onshape core features are not developed in becasue there are apps avaialble to
  • craigjcraigj Member Posts: 2
    I don't see the point of STL Workbench.  
    From what I can see it has very limited stl editing capabilities and it does not allow you to pull the stl based parts into other parts studios in your document.
    if you need to edit an STL, or combine multiple STLs into a single mo
  • abdulla_aldarmakiabdulla_aldarmaki Member Posts: 1
    please add me to the list I do many STL files changes
  • aviv_harariaviv_harari Member Posts: 4
    I , too, vote for alowing to import an STL file. I only want to add a handle to the model or attach a mounting plate with some screwholes. redoing the whole model for this is not an option.
    in the meantime, I turn to tinkercad to achieve this but I really prefer to have a one stop shop for all my designs...
  • neobobkrauseneobobkrause Member Posts: 103 EDU
    I agree that the currently level of support for STL files is useful, though minimally so. To assume that a user is going to manually recreate a design based on an imported mesh, without prioritizing more important and useful use cases, is to show a significant lack of understanding of user goals. And I say this with sufficient understanding that OnShape’s graphics engines does easily support meshes as first class objects.

    I can well imagine that the limited use the STL support already in the product has been getting as an indication of target users’ lack of interest in mesh-based tools. But I couldn’t disagree more. Rather, the minimal traction of the current feature is an indicator of how poorly the mesh/sampled features of the product are understood by product marketing OR how poorly suited the current graphics kernel is to the capabilities needed by core OnShape users as well as those investigating OnShape for future use.

    - Bob
  • neobobkrauseneobobkrause Member Posts: 103 EDU
    As a follow on...

    i should also also say how much I appreciate the team prioritizing the development of the current feature. It speaks to an awareness of the rapidly increasing  importance of sampled shapes in the design ecosystem.

    - Bob
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @aviv_harari and @neobobkrause  - thank you for your comments. 

    There is no intent (currently) to provide editing capability, as a mesh is a very poor substitute for a brep model.
    The most common workflow for Pro users is the need to reference an imported mesh when creating new geometry - this works very well and their needs in this area are largely met. There are a couple of tools i would happily recommend if you are looking to edit mesh;
    1) Meshmixer - this is a free tool for fixing and simplifying mesh data
    2) Geomagic Design X (formerly raindrop) - this is a pro level tool for manipulating mesh and skinning with NURBS surfaces.

    I hope this helps explain our perspective.

    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 606 ✭✭✭

    2) Geomagic Design X (formerly raindrop) - this is a pro level tool for manipulating mesh and skinning with NURBS surfaces.

    Geomagic Design X is quite a bit more expensive than Meshmixer isn't it?
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @michael3424 - Yes, given that meshmixer is free, DesignX is infinitely more expensive! :)
    Design X starts at $36,000 - but quite simply, it's the state of the art solution.
    The industry is moving towards a hybrid kernel - Parasolid has publicly stated that they are working towards this. This would all the use of brep and mesh in the same model and will open up some interesting workflows. Until then, it is unlikely that the functionality in most mainstream CAD programs will be any more than that which Onshape offers today.


    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • neobobkrauseneobobkrause Member Posts: 103 EDU
    The industry is moving towards a hybrid kernel - Parasolid has publicly stated that they are working towards this. This would all the use of brep and mesh in the same model and will open up some interesting workflows. Until then, it is unlikely that the functionality in most mainstream CAD programs will be any more than that which Onshape offers today.
    I appreciate the value of solely BREP-based tools like OnShape. And I would agree that BREP-capable tools will continue to provide value for certain use cases. But this old assumption that the very kernel of a tool should be exclusively BREP-focused is very out of step with today’s realities. To say that the limited display of a mesh is as far as OnShape is capable of supporting is to permanently marginalize your product into a continually shrinking set of use cases. I use OnShape, I teach OnShape, as an example of how traditional mechanical engineers design machine parts. But I teach Rhino/Grasshopper as the tool to use when designing parts people will see and touch.

    - Bob
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 606 ✭✭✭
    @philip_thomas Yowsers - $36k certainly is a lot more expensive.  Thanks for the price reference.  As a former Geomagic Design (aka Alibre) user, I've sometimes wondered about the price of Geomagic's other products.
  • ISPTUSAISPTUSA Member Posts: 8 PRO
    Adding myself to the list of people who would like STL import.
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