STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 01:25AM
I'm currently printing out a modified version of i3 plastic parts for a modified variant of the Prusa Mendel i3. The original STL files I used were obtained from the i3 rework wiki page in the Thingiverse link. Because I've had plenty of experience using Solidworks (have the educational version), I used it to modify the parts. However, importing it as a solid body to the program scaled the model up so part was metres long instead of millimetres long. After modifying it, I exported the part files as STL files and imported them back into Solidworks again as a part file. I had to do this because scaling them down produced errors and some faces disappeared or lines sprawled over the part. I then scaled them down and exported them again as STL files.

When the files were sent off to be 3D printed by another person, they said that the files were either locked or not in a standard .stl format. And also the components were oriented wrong and were trying to print in 'thin air'. I opened them using OpenSCAD and turns out the program opened the files, but could not display it.

The main issue here is trying to get these files to be print ready. Are there any tips that anyone can offer?

I've attached 2 files: Z-AXIS-TOP-RIGHT-V2 is the original STL file from Thingiverse, and Z Axis Top Right is the same part modified in Solidworks and oriented properly. Using OpenSCAD, the 1st file opens and displays without fault but the 2nd file opens but does not display.

Thanks in advance!

John
Attachments:
open | download - Z-AXIS-TOP-RIGHT-V2.stl (105.3 KB)
open | download - Z Axis Top Right.STL (183.5 KB)
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 01:39AM
Also, I'm unsure if the 2nd file is even oriented properly. Solidworks makes sure that the ground plane is coincident to the largest face on the part (having a smaller z height), whereas uploading the file to Printrun shows that the part will be printed upright (having a larger z height).
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 02:32AM
The modified one looks fine to me. What program are you having problems with it?
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 02:41AM
Quote
tmorris9
The modified one looks fine to me. What program are you having problems with it?

Tried opening it in OpenSCAD using the line

import("Z Axis Top Right.stl");

Hit F5 and bam there's still nothing in the graphic window. It opens fine in Solidworks.
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 03:14AM
Quote
wingshafts
Quote
tmorris9
The modified one looks fine to me. What program are you having problems with it?

Tried opening it in OpenSCAD using the line

import("Z Axis Top Right.stl");

Hit F5 and bam there's still nothing in the graphic window. It opens fine in Solidworks.

it could come down to the version of openscad you are using,
for me Z-AXIS-TOP-RIGHT-V2.stl is bad and doesn't open in anything but "3d-tool" (my model viewer)

i would suggest redoing the edit in something like free-cad or do it within openscad where it originally came from, solidworks isn't exactly known for the great ways it produces stl files,




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Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 07:16PM
The only thing I could see wrong with "Z Axis Top Right.STL", was it needed rotating.

Here it is rotated...


_______________________________________
Waitaki 3D Printer
Attachments:
open | download - Z Axis Top Right.STL (146.5 KB)
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 11:33PM
FYI, while most CAD programs follow the convention that the XY plane is ground (top plane) and the Z axis "up", by default SolidWorks considers XZ the ground (top) plane and Y axis the up direction.

Which is why SW designs frequently don't have the orientation you expect when you open them in other software.

Quote
wingshafts
However, importing it as a solid body to the program scaled the model up so part was metres long instead of millimetres long.

In SW you should be able to set the units you import a model with. It's been a long time since I've used SW, I'm afraid I don't recall the menu where it's found.
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 11:46PM
Quote
thejollygrimreaper
it could come down to the version of openscad you are using,
for me Z-AXIS-TOP-RIGHT-V2.stl is bad and doesn't open in anything but "3d-tool" (my model viewer)

i would suggest redoing the edit in something like free-cad or do it within openscad where it originally came from, solidworks isn't exactly known for the great ways it produces stl files,

I was using last year's version of OpenSCAD and updated to this year's; still no effect.
And yeah Solidworks isn't the best to work with in terms of STL files.
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 11:48PM
Quote
waitaki
The only thing I could see wrong with "Z Axis Top Right.STL", was it needed rotating.

Here it is rotated...

Yeah I had a feeling that it wasn't rotated properly. Had to refer to OpenSCAD's graphic window to see if it was oriented properly. Funnily enough, Solidworks' front plane is the bottom/ground plane for OpenSCAD.
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 11:49PM
Quote
wingshafts
Funnily enough, Solidworks' front plane is the bottom/ground plane for OpenSCAD.

As I was saying...
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 11:51PM
Quote
NormandC
FYI, while most CAD programs follow the convention that the XY plane is ground (top plane) and the Z axis "up", by default SolidWorks considers XZ the ground (top) plane and Y axis the up direction.

Which is why SW designs frequently don't have the orientation you expect when you open them in other software.

Quote
wingshafts
However, importing it as a solid body to the program scaled the model up so part was metres long instead of millimetres long.

In SW you should be able to set the units you import a model with. It's been a long time since I've used SW, I'm afraid I don't recall the menu where it's found.

Yeah I found about that the hard way. Ground planes for both softwares are inconsistent.

And I fixed the issue with scaling of the models. The 'Open File' window when viewing STL files has an option button that opens up to change the scale of the units from mm to m.
Re: STL File Problems (solidworks and openscad stuff)
May 12, 2014 11:53PM
Thanks for all the input guys! I've seem to resolve the issue albeit in a more painstaken way.

I had to start from square one and made sure that units were in mm before opening STL files. Rotated them to make sure that they were consistent with OpenSCAD's ground plane and the STL files exported from Solidworks seem to open up in OpenSCAD, so all is well and good.
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