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Thread: STP File Format

  1. #1
    Member Fernee's Avatar
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    STP File Format

    Hi All! best of luck for this 2020!!!
    Does anyone have experience with the STP format? a client is asking me to model some stuff for 3D printing, and I have never been involved in this area, but Iīve been reading since some past LW versions that itīs supported and some people have done nice things with this.... I need help here, some info, tutorials, before I say YES to this project.
    Thanks!!
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  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    there is step and stp files, stp I think is catia default format.
    But no...Lightwave do not import stp format, so that is a no no...it does import stl format, which is a different format.

    I just checked on Grabcad, downloaded a stp file, and I opened it in designsparks ( which is free if you sign up with an account) and it could open it though it doesnīt have it in the import formats, and I get an message saying it is readable only..thus not editable in designsparks if you want to change dimensions on it, or change fillet etc, you can highlight areas of the model but no editing.

    That said, from Designsparks ..I could export it to stl or obj and open in Lightwave for printing from there ..or editing of the mesh.

    The question is..why do you aim for stp format, will you be provided with already made stp file parts? or do the client just ask for stp file format when printing? Lightwave do not export to stp either, so do they not accept the stl format?

    Check Jennifers vids for 3Dprinting with lightwave..

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  4. #4
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    STEP/STP is a general, open CAD format used by many applications. You can use FreeCAD ( freecadweb.org ) to open STEP/STP files and export to OBJ for LW. This is a one way conversion. You cannot translate anything of value from LW to STEP format. It is best to keep STEP in STEP format, using a standard CAD application.

    But I'm also wondering if STL (not STP) is the real topic.
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  5. #5
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    STEP/STP is a general, open CAD format used by many applications. You can use FreeCAD ( freecadweb.org ) to open STEP/STP files and export to OBJ for LW. This is a one way conversion. You cannot translate anything of value from LW to STEP format. It is best to keep STEP in STEP format, using a standard CAD application.

    But I'm also wondering if STL (not STP) is the real topic.
    Thanks for adding, I forgot about freecad, I suppose you could even edit the model there as well, which you can not do in Designsparks, only import it and export out to stl, or obj for import to Lightwave.

  6. #6
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Kinda on the same topic ...

    https://youtu.be/8oXuYhWgeT4
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    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    yea, don't think you can use stp for 3d printing as stp is largely vector and parametric, probably means stl, which is native and opened/imported by most 3d software,
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  9. #9
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Ben Tommy Eriksen has some as well for stl and lightwave, along with a lot of other interesting vids for Lightwave, and other cad tools like Inventor and fusion 360.
    Full video list..
    https://www.youtube.com/user/BenTommyE/videos


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    Member Fernee's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your quick answers, maybe I didnīt explain myself correctly, the thing is, Iīll be modeling the object required from the client in lightwave, and then, I have to deliver in the STP format, that by all your posts, I find, I wonīt be able to do, since Lightwave doesnīt support it.... maybe, thereīs a way to export in STL, and somehow to reexport from other software to the file format asked from the client?
    Still not confirming to the client until Iīm sure I can do the task.....
    Last edited by Fernee; 01-08-2020 at 07:42 PM.
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  11. #11
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    You need to use a real CAD program to create and deliver STP. You cannot effectively convert to STP from a mesh like LWO or STL.

    Here is direction for a very rough conversion ( https://grabcad.com/tutorials/how-to...-using-freecad ).

    Without experience with CAD software and producing STEP data, I'd avoid this client's project.
    Last edited by raymondtrace; 01-08-2020 at 08:18 PM.
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  12. #12
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernee View Post
    Thanks for all your quick answers, maybe I didnīt explain myself correctly, the thing is, Iīll be modeling the object required from the client in lightwave, and then, I have to deliver in the STP format, that by all your posts, I find, I wonīt be able to do, since Lightwave doesnīt support it.... maybe, thereīs a way to export in STL, and somehow to reexport from other software to the file format asked from the client?
    Still not confirming to the client until Iīm sure I can do the task.....
    It sounds as if you need more info on several fronts, one being the client as to real specifics. On the other front, I certainly wouldn't know. But I know who would.

    Drop Okino Graphics a note. As in PolyTrans.

    https://www.okino.com/conv/conv.htm

    Robert is a hoot to say the least and one of the original 3D graphics format techno-nerds. Never met him but when I bought Polytrans it was a several e-mail exchange before he'd even sell it to me!

    And then several multi paged messages of details after that...

    Anyway, if anyone would know if Lightwave can be used for this via some translation process, he would. Might be a couple pages of explanation, but you'd have pretty definitive options on deciding how to pursue it.

    Worth a message anyway I'd think.
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  13. #13
    re STEP import

    lightwave: i don't think supports step files

    freecad can import steps
    3ds max can import step files
    C4d can import step files
    modo has plugins available for step file import

    blender does not import step files
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  14. #14
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cresshead View Post
    re STEP import

    lightwave: i don't think supports step files

    freecad can import steps
    3ds max can import step files
    C4d can import step files
    modo has plugins available for step file import

    blender does not import step files
    Yes, freecad..may be the best choice...free.
    Designsparks...can import it, and export to stl or obj...also free.

    3d max, too expensive
    c4d..too expensive
    Modo..with cad loaders, darn expensive.

    Blender...someone is working on a free step importer, but itīs not finished yet.

  15. #15
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    CAD software like CATIA, Solidworks and others use the neutral STEP format to translate their high precision solid NURBS geometry between them.

    In general, going from 3D apps geometry with polygons/meshes does not work since the quality to too low and difference to big between polygons and NURBS. But there are exceptions if the geometry is simple and high quality.
    VIACAD 10 PRO with Powerpack 10 Pro has 2 functions called "Subdivision to NURBS" and "General Mesh to Analytic Solid" that can transform (retopology) polygons to surfaces for simple models. Some other CAD apps have similar functions too, this example is the cheapest I found.
    Again, for simple models only.

    It is also possible to convert every triangle as a surface and load it in a CAD app (and export to STEP) but those models can get very large and lock up the PC while it tried to load a few GB in RAM and then it is not possible to spin it around in the CAD app.

    Examples:
    http://www.csi-concepts.com/Demo/videos/ornLeaf.mp4
    https://youtu.be/rthl-lHwHs0

    Looks like Freecad has a similar function, but also need a good mesh first:
    https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/FreeCAD_and_Mesh_Import

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