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 How to get STL file for 3d printing?
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Pete_Q
Infrequent Poster

3 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  07:22:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,

Would like to ask if someone have idea and or experience how to get stl format out from Strata. I would need to have a 3d-print from one of my models made in Strata.

Thanks for your help & Br,
Pete

Edited by - Pete_Q on 12/11/2008 07:28:43

Brian Lawson
A Fountain of Information

USA
5217 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  08:38:57  Show Profile  Visit Brian Lawson's Homepage  Send Brian Lawson an AOL message  Reply with Quote
We do not write .stl files, you'll need a second program for that. What some of our users do in this case is use an inexpensive program called ViaCAD, it is less than $100. You can Export from Strata to an OBJ file which ViaCAD can read then it can write the .stl file.

Brian Lawson
Strata Technical Support
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Pete_Q
Infrequent Poster

3 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  08:48:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Big thanks for the tip Brian, appreciate it a lot!
-Pete
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4884 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  09:38:18  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pete, you might want to look at Silo instead of ViaCAD if you already have a model in Strata.

ViacAD is not a polygonal modeler, it is a solids and NURBS modeler. The only polygonal format from Strata that ViaCAD can read is DXF, and DXF files are usually compromised (not complete) when they come from Strata to ViaCAD.

Silo is going to take more direct fomats from Strata, and handle them with less translation concern. If any editing is needed, Silo is going to be better at doing this. Silo also writes STL, and does a fine job. You can use the free demo to do this. Last I checked, even after the Silo demo expires, it continues to work as a free translator.

So I would chose Silo over ViaCAD for this particular purpose.

What ViaCAD is wonderful for is taking STEP files from CAD modelers (STEP and STL are NOT the same thing) and converting them to either OBJ or VRML for use in Strata. ViaCAD can also write STL [corrected: I originally typed STEP when I meant STL] files, but it does that best from its own models.

ViaCAD and Silo are both useful programs, but you need to sort out what each does. The best way to do that is to try the free demo of each.

Jean

Edited by - jpro on 12/11/2008 13:49:39
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4884 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  09:55:31  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage  Reply with Quote
one more thing: OBJ is the best exchange format between Strata and Silo. You will have to work out the scale factor between the two, which is a bit tricky. Strata's underlying unit of measure is the point, which means the underlying size of your object is, for instance, 72 x the inches measure.

So, if you have a model 10 inches tall, Strata will consider it to be 720 units tall. You will need to calculate this translation so that you do not send a file to you service bureau that is 72 times as large as you want. The easiest way to do this is at import or export in silo, using the import or export scale factor.

Jean

Edited by - jpro on 12/11/2008 09:58:11
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Pete_Q
Infrequent Poster

3 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  02:06:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent, thank you Jean for a valuable insight, will try out with these advice in mind!

-Pete
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4884 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  14:34:34  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I see this thread has been recommended, so I'll add a couple of updates. Newer versions of ViaCAD can also import OBJ, so that helps, if you have a newer version. I would not buy it for this purpose, although I have bought it for other purposes.

Silo is still a good option.

Wings is also a good option, and it is free.

Probably several other applications can also do this translation for you, but you can't beat free for Wings.

Jean
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jhnhth
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  14:58:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the helpful info.
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Ahmad Johari
Infrequent Poster

Malaysia
19 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  20:31:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Pete,

I have printed files from Strata on the Zprinter using the vrml format. Works better than stl since its includes the textures and colors I applied in Strata when opened in Zprint.

Hope this helps.

Ahmad.
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markomark
Infrequent Poster

26 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2012 :  11:17:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rhino 3d also is very good and seamless, imports .obj files and exports to all CAD formats (mac or pc)
mac version: http://mac.rhino3d.com/
FREE for a while, they are in perpetual beta - very good since it uses NURBS to create points for CAM instead of polygons.

This is VERY helpful if you need compound forms for CNC routing or 3d printing from your strata file.

windows version: (evaluation) http://www.rhino3d.com/download.htm
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