ID #1148

CX 7.5 - STL files - I need to use the .stl format to send a model to a Rapid Manufacturing (SLA or SLS) machine to get a 3D prototype.

STL files are preferred by some 3D printers and print services. You can now import and export STL files in Design 3D CX 7.5. STL files export with Strata model units. When you import an STL file into Design 3D CX 7.5, you can choose the model units in a dialog.

If you have a pre-7.5 version of Strata, you can still get a Strata model to an STL file but not directly. You will need to take the file through a third party program which can read one of Strata's export formats and in turn write the STL file for you.

-The most common method is to export a Collada or OBJ file from Strata 3D, then open that in a program like Silo or ViaCAD (both paid programs) or Wings 3D (free) and export to an .stl file. You can also use Netfabb to convert files from OBJ to STL. NetFabb is an STL file viewer and repair tool. The basic version of Netfabb is free.

-When converting a Strata file to an .stl file, you need to understand the scaling process. There is a helpful discussion on the StrataCafe about this:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13913&whichpage=1&SearchTerms=stl

-There is a lot of good information about 3D printing and scale conversion on the StrataCafe Forums. Simply search the Strata Design 3D CX forum, and include the archives. The search page is located here: http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/search.asp

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