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3D printing file formats....
show user profile  FX
For the second time a client asks for model in .stl format for 3d problem.

A few days later client returns saying the engineers are having problems with the .stl format and can I provide...

IGES (.igs)
STEP (.stp)
SolidWorks (.sldprt)
Stereolithography (.stl)
ProE (.prt)
Parasolid (.x_t and .x_b)
ACIS (.sat)
AutoCAD (.dwg, 3D only)
Autodesk Inventor (.ipt)

Am I right in assuming all these formats need to be NURBS surfaces, and I need to go the PowerTranslators route as I don't own Inventor or Solidworks ?

Annoying because .stl is in the list.


read 505 times
10/15/2014 3:16:37 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:16:37 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Could it be that the .STL wasn't watertight, and is failing the pre-print tests?

read 500 times
10/15/2014 3:28:28 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:28:28 PM)
show user profile  Idiotforaliving
At the office we send our iges files(you can export them from max) to a company in Shanghai that does magic with them to make sure they are solid and have a thickness. Costs about 50 euro's as far as i know. Shapeways is the name of the company.
For the record, we send poly meshes and we get a 3d proof file in return.

read 492 times
10/15/2014 3:39:14 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:39:14 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
Step do not need to be nurbs necessarily from what I understand (and since step and IGES are similar I'd assume IGES is the same way).

Now that being said a step file can contain nurbs (parametric) data also.

I don't know enough about this topic to know what I'm talking about but considering .STL is a common printed file type I would probably agree with what Nik is saying. Have you tried the magical STL check modifier in 3ds to double check everything? (sure you have.. just figured I'd ask).

@Idiotforaliving- 50 Euro a pop you say? Does it matter the size/complexity of the object?

- Portfolio-

read 482 times
10/15/2014 3:51:18 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:52:31 PM)
show user profile  FX
Cheers guys I just got feedback from the engineers via the client....

"That’s right, we can process STL files for our machining service, the difficulty in this instance seems to be linked to the file itself so we thought we should try asking for an alternative format. We haven’t been able to open it to manipulate it and identify the issue.

Would it not being watertight make it not open-able ?

I just ran an .stl check in it in max and it was open...doh!
read 481 times
10/15/2014 3:52:28 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:52:28 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark

read 478 times
10/15/2014 3:53:20 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:53:20 PM)
show user profile  FX
Is that a yes or no ? :P
read 476 times
10/15/2014 3:56:07 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 3:56:07 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
3D print files have to be watertight; they have to either be solid, or have thickness. In both cases, there must not be any open edges.

read 470 times
10/15/2014 4:13:31 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 4:13:31 PM)
show user profile  FX
Yes, I got that...but would that prevent the file being opened ?

I just sent two STL versions...ASCII and Binary...both watertight this time...awaiting response.
read 465 times
10/15/2014 4:21:09 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 4:21:09 PM)
show user profile  FX
Sorry can you confirm "Solid AND have thickness, or Solid OR have thickness.


read 462 times
10/15/2014 4:28:30 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 4:28:30 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Basically, a shape with no open edges. You can have a sphere that is hollow inside because of it's thickness. Either way, no open edges.

read 460 times
10/15/2014 4:39:59 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 4:40:13 PM)
show user profile  FX
Sweet, thanks, still waiting on response..... thing i just realized, the file was made up of two objects...both watertight, can this cause issues ?

@9krausec...yeah sorry i missed your post, stl check informed me of open edges.

damn this shits a pita, can't they just use fbx dammit :P

read 459 times
10/15/2014 4:47:41 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 4:47:41 PM)
show user profile  Idiotforaliving
@krausec, they just handle the digital file. i believe its 50 euro's.


read 458 times
10/15/2014 4:51:17 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 4:51:17 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
Thanks for the info! I also take back what I said about step handling meshes...

In Rhino right now I'm trying to export a mesh out as a STEP and it's talking back to me... I could of swore STEP was capable of handling mesh too.

- Portfolio-

read 456 times
10/15/2014 5:10:12 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 5:12:02 PM)
show user profile  FX
one STEP forward two STEPS back...:/
read 451 times
10/15/2014 5:45:16 PM (last edit: 10/15/2014 5:45:16 PM)
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