STL to CAD conversion

General discussion of 3D printers

STL to CAD conversion

Postby tmccafferty » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:34 am

Anybody know of some reasonably priced software to convert STL files into something editable like STEP?
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Re: STL to CAD conversion

Postby bdring » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:40 pm

STL is a horrible file format to start with for CAD. Most high end CAD systems can import the file and try use it in assemblies, but feature like holes are not even round.
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Re: STL to CAD conversion

Postby orcinus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:49 pm

No personal experience with it, but...

http://www.solveering.com/instep.html

FIrst google result.
Still a few days of free beta left.

But yeah, like Bart said, STL is a very bad starting point.
It's not parametric nor procedural, it's just a triangulated set of vertices.
Kinda like raster vs. vector image.
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Re: STL to CAD conversion

Postby bdring » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:13 pm

Here is one imported into CAD. As you can see there are a lot of faces. Even if you could start stitching faces together, at best you will end up with the Sketchup quality CAD file.

stl.png
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Re: STL to CAD conversion

Postby orcinus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:32 pm

You could open it in a CAD and use snap to reconstruct the whole thing parametrically from the imported vertices.
Then again, you could that from an STL as well...
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Re: STL to CAD conversion

Postby Enraged » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:15 pm

I find it easier to start a new part file and then reference the STL for basic dimensions. That way I can make a completely parametric model.
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