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Is there a way I can edit an STL after importing it?

I am trying to cut the sides of an STL I imported, but it won't let me. Does Onshape allow STL's to be edited? Or how can I edit this piece?

Best Answers

  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Posts: 874
    edited January 11 Accepted Answer
    For someone whose 'dislike' of STL is so strong, you would think i would have had this response ready to paste from my clipboard! :)
    (Am I the last person using the pluperfect tense in posts?)

    I am piling on here @meghan_frederick, not to try to beat you with a stick, but for others that will find this thread when searching.

    STL is an end state. There is no intelligence and it is a 'low resolution' (faceted) representation of a b-rep ('boundary representation - aka, solid model).
    It is the LAST thing that you want to be editing. It's like making a photocopy of a book page and then saying you want to use that to edit the text  - Its not going to happen.

    I use STL files - we have 3D printers here at the office and i have one at home (you know, like all engineers), but i edit the b-rep to make changes and then publish the STL.

    There is a bona fide need to manipulate STL when reverse engineering (as a last resort) and i accept that need (although we dont do that).

    If you have downloaded something from Thingiverse (all are STL), i would suggest alternative repositories of free content.
    The Onshape public documents are great resource as is GrabCad.

    If you genuinely need to edit STL files, the only free STL editor that i know of is MeshMixer.
    Like most Autodesk software, it's cheap but you definitely get what you pay for! ;)
    At the professional level, the gold standard is Geomagic Raindrop (starting at $36,000)



    I hope this helps - Philip.
    Philip Thomas - Onshape

Answers

  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 874
    edited January 11 Accepted Answer
    For someone whose 'dislike' of STL is so strong, you would think i would have had this response ready to paste from my clipboard! :)
    (Am I the last person using the pluperfect tense in posts?)

    I am piling on here @meghan_frederick, not to try to beat you with a stick, but for others that will find this thread when searching.

    STL is an end state. There is no intelligence and it is a 'low resolution' (faceted) representation of a b-rep ('boundary representation - aka, solid model).
    It is the LAST thing that you want to be editing. It's like making a photocopy of a book page and then saying you want to use that to edit the text  - Its not going to happen.

    I use STL files - we have 3D printers here at the office and i have one at home (you know, like all engineers), but i edit the b-rep to make changes and then publish the STL.

    There is a bona fide need to manipulate STL when reverse engineering (as a last resort) and i accept that need (although we dont do that).

    If you have downloaded something from Thingiverse (all are STL), i would suggest alternative repositories of free content.
    The Onshape public documents are great resource as is GrabCad.

    If you genuinely need to edit STL files, the only free STL editor that i know of is MeshMixer.
    Like most Autodesk software, it's cheap but you definitely get what you pay for! ;)
    At the professional level, the gold standard is Geomagic Raindrop (starting at $36,000)



    I hope this helps - Philip.
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,161 PRO
    Hi, @philip_thomas, great explanation.

    Please will you add this "paste answer button" alongside the other two?

    Cheers,

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • meghan_frederickmeghan_frederick Member Posts: 8 EDU
    For someone whose 'dislike' of STL is so strong, you would think i would have had this response ready to paste from my clipboard! :)
    (I am the last person using the pluperfect tense in posts?)

    I am piling on here @meghan_frederick, not to try to beat you with a stick, but for others that will find this thread when searching.

    STL is an end state. There is no intelligence and it is a 'low resolution' (faceted) representation of a b-rep ('boundary representation - aka, solid model).
    It is the LAST thing that you want to be editing. It's like making a photocopy of a book page and then saying you want to use that to edit the text in a book using the photocopy - Its not going to happen.

    I use STL files - we have 3D printers here at the office and i have one at home (you know, like all engineers), but i edit the b-rep to make changes and then publish the STL.

    There is a bona fide need to manipulate STL when reverse engineering (as a last resort) and i accept that need (although we dont do that).

    If you have downloaded something from Thingiverse (all are STL), i would suggest alternative repositories of free content.
    The Onshape public documents are great resource as is GrabCad.

    If you genuinely need to edit STL files, the only free STL editor that i know of is MeshMixer.
    Like most Autodesk software, it's cheap but you definitely get what you pay for! ;)
    At the professional level, the gold standard is Geomagic Raindrop (starting at $36,000)



    I hope this helps - Philip.
    I also found that 3D Builder on Window computers work aswell. 
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