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Edit stl file

kurt_olav_kristensenkurt_olav_kristensen Member Posts: 2
i have an stl file that i need to edit to make some holes bigger.
Can this be done in onshape somehow? im able to import it but not edit it in any way..
Detailed guide wanted on how to make it eligeable for editing


  • casey_cleland238casey_cleland238 Member Posts: 1 EDU
    I am also wanting to be able to do this. Have you had any success?
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There may be some 3rd party add-ons that will convert STL data to editable surfaces, but OS doesn't do this by default. An STL file is imported as mesh, which is really only useful as a reference for creating actual solid and surface geometry.

    If you want to edit the STL, there are free options out there for doing that. Look into using Meshlab, Netfabb, or Blender.
  • GWS50GWS50 Member Posts: 156 PRO
    Try Meshmixer....it's a free bit of software and is surprisingly powerful and easier to get to grips with than Meshlab or Blender. It runs on both Mac and Windows.
  • jordan_shelterjordan_shelter Member Posts: 1
    So what file type would allow us to import a part that will to be edited in the software? Seems like this is a major point that should be made clearer to potential users.
  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,619
    Hi Jordan,

    You're right! We'll try to make the documentation on this more clear.  CAD files such as parasolid (.x_t), STEP (.stp), IGES (.igs), SolidWorks (.sldprt) and other native geometry files will come into Onshape as editable geometry.  Finalized mesh files such as STL and OBJ files will come in as meshes, and are not currently editable in the system.

    If you would like to help us prioritize this functionality please vote on https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/comment/24147

    For now here is a list of all the file types we can import: https://cad.onshape.com/help/Content/translation.htm
    If you have questions about whether a specific type will come in as a mesh or a solid please don't hesitate to ask.
    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
  • michael_goßmannmichael_goßmann Member Posts: 1
    Hi Jordan,

    You're right! We'll try to make the documentation on this more clear...   ...Finalized mesh files such as STL and OBJ files will come in as meshes, and are not currently editable in the system.
    Unfortunately this valuable piece of information is still not presented that prominent in the documentation or in the software. I spent like five hours over a couple of days trying to figure out how to edit an STL object/mesh in onshape. It just didn't work.
    Importing an STL file just for reference is sure not useless but it's kinda misleading if you ask me.
  • MBartlett21MBartlett21 Member, OS Professional, Developers Posts: 1,923 EDU
    You can now boolean with meshes.
    I wrote a custom featurescript that accepts meshes. The link is in the thread below
    MB - I make FeatureScripts: View FeatureScripts
  • janko_mrkvajanko_mrkva Member Posts: 1
    Good day.
    If something like Tinkercad could be done in Onshape, it would be amazing.
  • Henk_de_VlaamHenk_de_Vlaam Member, Developers Posts: 186 ✭✭✭
    @MBartlett21 and others,

    Jon Hirschtick once said in a webinar that converting an STL to Solid is now possible. When inquiring, he was referring to your custom feature Boolean Plus.
    Since I could use that feature on a regular basis, I have been playing around with it for quite some time, but I am unable to make a solid with it. The question now is: can you convert with it and if so, how is that done.

    I miss a solid manual. Can that be solved here via the forum.
    Henk de Vlaam (NL)
  • MBartlett21MBartlett21 Member, OS Professional, Developers Posts: 1,923 EDU

    My feature doesn't actually convert it to a solid. It just lets you do operations on the mesh that you couldn't before. The end result is still a mesh, though, and will be exported as one.

    To convert it to a solid, you have to go through an external program life Rhino or something.
    MB - I make FeatureScripts: View FeatureScripts
  • matthew_stacymatthew_stacy Member Posts: 164 PRO
    Onshape already allows material to be assigned to an STL mesh and computes volume and mass.  I fail to understand why it would be particularly difficult to take the next step and 'convert' that to a solid.  Seems like it already walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.  Why can't it be a duck?

    The water is further muddled by the fact that we are offered an import option to "create composite part from non-solid bodies".  I was advised that "non-solid body" refers only to surfaces, not meshes:
    There are actually a couple of open forum posts asking how to edit or modify STL files.  Unfortunately it seems to be a common client request for freelance CAD work as well.
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