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How to edit Thingiverse STL files

Posted by shadowjig 
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
May 05, 2013 10:42PM
... I'm mostly using Ligtwave 7.5 - here it's made with selecting all the triangles of the element to resize (e.g. the bore cylinder) and scale it in trespect to the center either manually or by numerical value.

Or (for making bigger holes) construct a cylinder with the targed dimensions on a different layer and make a boolean subtract from the original object ...

Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
August 26, 2013 06:19PM
Sublime Wrote:
> Not all models are made with solid modellers. Some
> are made with mesh modelling tools like Blender,
> Mesh lab, Art of illusion, Wings, Z brush, etc,
> etc, etc. Most of them will edit the stl's as
> well.Take the time to learn one.
> Trying to force people to provide drawing and
> source code shows how little you appreciate the
> work they did in the first place. Be glad they
> shared at ALL.

Thank You!!!

All great products worth trying, I like Mesh-lab so far and have to try the others.
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
August 27, 2013 02:39AM
Lets say it this way:

STL is a one way ticket!

Deviating geometries from a mathematically defined model (Step; 3DM etc) to e.g. STL or VRML or one of the more illustrative file formats like OBJ oder 3ds always leads to a discretization of information ( in case of the illustrative files the renderer/ shader afterwards improves the facette look to back into a smooth appearance - the discretization is made to save calculation time and the improvement is just for the visualization not for the geometry!
A SPLINE or NURBS mesh always relates to functions similar to polynoms so you can calculate for each point on such an object an individual solution.

STL and the others consist of triangles or squares which have straight / flat facettes - so any additional information is lost in conversion and can not be restored! For manufacturing, maximum conversion quality is reached as the longest edge on the largest triangle is defined equal or smaller than the possible step resolution of the machine axis!! This would mean huge files ( larger than the mathematical files which were the origin) and so usually the resolution is chosen to be much lower!!

This is a typical OBJ or VRML Mesh

This is done from a typical mathematical model ( you still can see the isobate lines on the surfaces)


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2013 02:44AM by Optimist.
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
August 27, 2013 03:40PM
STL is a one way ticket!

That's one nice way to put it.

I'm not as nice: I call STL "garbage out". Because to experienced CAD users, that's what it is. winking smiley

STL is unsuitable for most large-scale manufacturing processes (injection molding) and even some small-scale ones (CNC machining).
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
August 29, 2013 11:43AM
That is what I mean ... just deviate a STL IF and when you need it, but further work on the mathematical source and just use STL as a pre post processor interface and only of your CAM is not able to handle better formats!

For HWC or Routing as Turning I'm lucky as I use a CAD with an integrated scripting engine - similar to VBA - not REAL TIME FAST but it works,,,








Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2013 11:48AM by Optimist.
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
February 17, 2017 07:36AM
So basically after reading all of this and many other things elsewhere there is no real way to edit .STL files. Since most things you get from Thingiverse do not include original solid model files, the closest I have come in some cases is the .scad files for OpenSCAD. These you can edit the mathematical code and then regenerate the solid to be exported is .STL. In the case of one thing I am working on manually manipulating close to 100 triangles to increase the depth of a 10mm diameter pocket by 1mm is way more trouble than it should be. Perhaps I have missed something somewhere along the line though.

John Guenther
Anderson, Indiana
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
February 17, 2017 11:42AM
What I've done several times is to import an STL file into OnShape.com, then "trace" the mesh outline to produce a new model. Circles and arcs can be regenerated using 3 points, and Bezier curves can be approximated. This works well if the object is geometric rather than organic.

I'm also using Meshmixer more nowadays to manipulate STLs. That has some good tools for selecting multiple triangles.
Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
February 17, 2017 12:38PM
I regularily change and adjust stl files. The key difference is that i use a polygonal modeller (Cinema 4D) instead of a CAD application. It is usually not a big deal.

Re: How to edit Thingiverse STL files
March 11, 2017 06:41PM
Sketchup is free. Import the STL file, then explode it. You can then manipulate any way you want.
I sometimes use TurboCAD depending on what I want to do.
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