View Full Version : LWO to STEP

03-20-2017, 05:50 PM
Ok, I searched and couldnt find the posts I know were there on this but....

Am having issues with LW's STL export, some apps seem to think its not a solid..when I know it is. Going to a milling process and I guess its picky...

Was wondering if there is a plugin to export STEP directly?

I tried looking on LWCad page to see if it had this for an export format, but the site isnt really laid out very well that I could see.


03-20-2017, 08:56 PM
STL is stereolithography which describe only the surface geometry and is widely used in 3d printing. It is not solids based, but one requirement for 3d printing is for it to be "watertight". STEP is a neutral format that is solids based. Going from polygons to solids is a tricky business and is something LW cannot currently do. Third party software such as Polytrans or nPower can do the job. CNC machines usually want solid or nurbs models, polygons are not kosher. :)

03-21-2017, 12:38 PM
Designsparks, which is a free cad tool, will let you import obj,sketchup,stl and step.
so if you export lw to obj, or to stl, you can then right click on the item in the structure tab and you will get a menu where the first option is to convert to solid.

Designsparks also lets you put your object in to a pdf as a 3d object in the most easiest way there is, just export it to 3d pdf, so you can send your 3d objects for visual evaluation or measuring within the pdf..without the user on the other end
have to use any 3d program.
Download somewhere at the bottom of the page, it has some nice tools for rapid prototyping as well, nice realtime fillets etc, we actually used it to create a drawing that went to a welding company.


03-21-2017, 02:21 PM
Thanks, I'll give that those suggestions a go.

03-21-2017, 02:42 PM
If considering designsparks..which may be useful for other stuff, you need to register with your mail and also provide phone number I think, but itīs free..so if that isnīt an obstacle, it may be of use for rapid prototype design, with parametric workflow and with dimensions..though you can not set up drawing sheets with those dimensions directly in pdf, though you may set a viewport with dimensions, and use a pdf plugin like pdf creator and print to pdf, that should yield dimensions in your pdf if needed, the 3d pdf is ok though, from where you can set dimensions in acrobat reader when opening the pdf and using the 3d tools within, also good to make cut through junctions.

It is the enhanced version of designsparks mechanical that is a bit expensive that carries the options to use the dimensions to create exact sheet prints with dimensions.

03-21-2017, 05:25 PM
found FreeCad and it works fine..easy to use too and the step files wroked. Free and isnt a cloud based app either.


Thanks again

03-22-2017, 11:00 AM
found FreeCad and it works fine..easy to use too and the step files wroked. Free and isnt a cloud based app either.


Thanks again

Great..and I forgot to mention freecad, it is more complex than designsparks in terms of what it can do, features etc, but also more clunkier and not as easy to work wit as designsparks, for a cad user or solidworks user, freecad may be no problem...while a basic modeler user from more standard 3d package may find it easier to work with design sparks.
I actually adviced we should use freecad at the place I currently work at, but the guy who was to take care of the drawings thought it was a bit clunky and messy and felt designsparks was way better..for him.
Freecad hasnīt got proper dimension tools directly..that also works in the datasheets for drawing printings I think..but it need some installation plugins as I recall for that to work properly.

Then again for you the important thing was stl to solid I reckon, and the other stuff is secondary and only valid upon interest or need later.

03-22-2017, 02:19 PM
Yep, right now, my only concern is converting stl, etc into step. The dimensions were retained according to my client..so for now its good.

04-04-2017, 04:03 PM

Please try my free STL exporter for LW.

(I use it for my own prints.)


04-04-2017, 04:11 PM
Looks good..but what are its advantages over the stl exporter built into lw?

Of course, my original issue was getting to step for going to cnc machines. stl export from lw is pretty stable for me.