View Full Version : Stl Questions

04-02-2007, 06:28 AM
Stl Questions

Hi guys, got a job based on importing stl files produced from pro engineer. Using the importer that can be found on flay the results are pretty good but I have a couple of questions.

1. Is there any way to bring in a model with surface selections intact, no need for any colours spec etc. just hoping to use them as a way of selecting parts of the model. At the moment what I have is a million polygon model all with the same surface, not ideal for a model that needs split up and animated.

2. Has anyone else notice that you need to mirror the objects after they coming from the stl importer.

Oh I guess I could fit a 3rd question in:

3. Itís dam slow working with a model this size in modeler 8.3, was there really a large enough improvement in 9ís modeller speed (i.e. just making selection moving stuff about etc.) to now justify the upgrade.


04-03-2007, 12:45 PM
If you are on a PC, download AccuTrans 3D from http://www.micromouse.ca/

Use the "File -> Multi Open" menu command.

In the "Multiple Open" dialog box, click the "Add New File" button and select all the STL files. Click the "OK" button to close the dialog box.

Each STL file will be read and placed on its own layer.

One problem you may have is that an object that should be on one layer is spread across several layers. In the "Layers" list box in the "layers" window in the "tool palette" on the right side of the window by default, click on the green arrow for the layers you want to turn off.

When only the required layers are displayed, use the
"Tools -> Merge Selected Layers" menu command and the displayed layers will be merged into one layer.

Note: you can also turn off layers in the OpenGL view window, by placing the cursor over the layer and while holding down the "crtl" and "shift" keys click the right mouse button.

When saving to a LWO file, select "LightWave 2 (huge objects)".


AccuTrans adjusts for different coordinate systems when it reads and writes files, so you should not have to mirror your object in LightWave.


Pro/E will also save to VRML files. A set of files is written with one master file. AccuTrans only has to read the master file which links to the other files in the set.

Due to the way that Pro/E divides up objects, there can be thousands or tens of thousands of layers after AccuTrans reads the VRML files.

If you can get the Pro/E operator to use different colors for the objects that should be on the same layer, then you only have to use the "Tools -> Merge Layers With Same Materials" menu command to reduce the layer count down to a manageable number.


Some people use a third party polygon reducing program such as "Polygon Cruncher" to reduce the number of polygons in files made by Pro/E.


I can not comment on speed improvement in 9 as I am a programmer and not a model builder. With high polygon count models you may want to look at going with the 64 bit version of LightWave.

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