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Shell an STL?

Posted by curve12 
Shell an STL?
August 28, 2013 06:09PM
Is there a software that you can shell an STL with. I mostly use Rhino but I'm looking to learn a better software for creating solids.

Re: Shell an STL?
August 28, 2013 08:16PM
slic3r has command line scripts.

also skienforge can command line as well.

both work in multiplatform solutions.

this link may be dated, but it is a start [reprap.org]

this is shell for printing, not for creating stls that are hollow.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2013 08:22PM by jamesdanielv.
Re: Shell an STL?
August 29, 2013 11:22AM
We use Solidworks for creating objects, however it's a bit expensive. Netfabb is another way to go. If you interested in open source programs then you may want to look at using Blender.

Re: Shell an STL?
August 29, 2013 09:35PM
A bit expensive? In Canada and the USA the license cost for the basic version of SolidWorks is $4000 (at least that was the pricing a few years ago when I inquired for my employer of the time). From what I've heard in Europe it's almost double that price. "A bit" might be kind of an understatement don't you think?

FreeCAD is an open source parametric modeling software. It's built on the same principles as SolidWorks or CATIA or others. It has nowhere the level of features of the commercial offerings, but at this stage it can already be used to create parametric parts using a GUI (not parametric coding à la OpenSCAD, although there's a powerful python interface for the more programmer minded).

FreeCAD is a real CAD software. Blender is not. curve12 says he wants to create solids, it's not possible with Blender since it's a mesh modeler.

Here's an example of what can be done with FreeCAD, I made this for Lulzbot a few months ago when they were developing the TK-0 (now TAZ): [github.com] Since then they've made their own changes so these files are no longer up-to-date.

But honestly, Rhino is considered a pretty good tool, not sure you'll find something better unless you're looking for a parametric package.

And by the way, by definition an STL mesh is not a solid. Here's an example of how to hollow out a solid in FreeCAD to create an enclosure, if that's what you mean by "shell": [sourceforge.net]
Re: Shell an STL?
August 30, 2013 10:03AM
WOW, calm down dude. I was being sarcastic with "a bit". Also, if curve12 is a student, there is a student version of solidworks available for ~$150-$200.

@curve12 - there is a list on the reprap wiki that lists a lot of useful programs, including many CAD programs here: http://reprap.org/wiki/Useful_Software_Packages

Re: Shell an STL?
August 30, 2013 06:44PM
I am calm. Seems like you don't recognize sarcasm yourself. eye rolling smiley

Still, it's annoying to read so many people recommending SolidWorks here, blatantly ignoring its premium price. This is a mid-range CAD package after all, intended for small and medium businesses, not hobbyists. I just see that as encouragement to software piracy. How many here are actually students?

And I would not be surprised the educational version of SolidWorks cannot open files created with the commercial version. That's the case with Solid Edge.
Re: Shell an STL?
August 30, 2013 10:05PM
I'm note sure what you mean by "shell and STL", but I create my STL's with OpenSCAD. I started with Blender and struggled to figure out dimensions. I then tried out OpenSCAD, and it was as easy as:

cube([10,10,10]); //to make a cube 10 mm x 10 mm x 10 mm.

Re: Shell an STL?
August 30, 2013 10:21PM
Since we're bragging now, in FreeCAD I click on a cube icon, and voilà - a cube 10x10x10mm. winking smiley

Sorry for poking fun, I know many people do impressive/awesome work with OpenSCAD, but it is not for everyone. I also know that many people have a hard time grasping FreeCAD. It's a good thing there are so many different free design tools available, so everyone can find one best suited to their thought processes. smiling smiley
Re: Shell an STL?
August 30, 2013 10:27PM
I had never worked with any CAD before, so OpenSCAD was really the first thing I tried after Blender. And since it worked for me, I stayed. I am a programmer, so it fit my way of thinking. But I agree that it won't be for everyone. I think that one of OpenSCAD's problems is that when one opens a file, all those lines can be very intimidating. It was to me, anyway. But then I started making some stuff myself, and the next thing I knew, my code was just as big. But since it was mine, I loved it. :-) I would like to spend some time with FreeCAD someday.
Re: Shell an STL?
August 30, 2013 11:07PM
Well if you ever do try FreeCAD, head over to the FreeCAD forum and ask questions. smiling smiley I am not a programmer so I'm no help on python scripting (others do), but I have a pretty good grasp of FreeCAD's GUI tools.
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