A quick query.

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 From:  Bowl of Soup (WILKINSLAFLAMME)
2078.1 
Hi guys/gals,
don't want to take up too much of anyone's time, could someone point me to a discussion (or even a help topic) on MoI's scale/units interaction with regards to STL export, thanks, I guess a discussion of unit/scale information inside the STL file format might help me as well.

Also, anyone recommend an inexpensive third party CAM check for the above format, I want to start checking my exports in-house rather than using friends with licenses. Most of what I want to do is 3D printing, so I don't need any tool path functionality in the app.

Thanks again for entertaining my ignorance and laziness with regards to scouring the forum.

Adam.
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 From:  Bowl of Soup (WILKINSLAFLAMME)
2078.2 
I am going to answer part of my question. It appears, after some research, that STL format just has a generic unit, so I guess my answer to myself would be: send the STL file to the printer with instructions as to which scale the generic unit is (e.g. 1 mm) and his CAM app will allow him to set this scale (hopefully).

Still open to suggestions for checking the STL files, a lot of other CAD/3D packages have trouble exporting STLs because there is a redundant normal/facet tag in the file format that can be interpreted/generated loosely by various apps.

Thanks again.

Adam.
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2078.3 In reply to 2078.1 
Adam
Sorry if I am missing something "most of what I do is 3D Printing"?

In what app?

What file formats will that "app!" accept?

Is that app amenable to the various file format variations that are around--FOR an individual file type?

(App A reads a file format this way. App B reads a file format that way---it's crazy!)

A relationship between specifics apps/formats/end needs need to be clarified I think

Brian
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2078.4 In reply to 2078.1 
Hi Adam, yes as you found unfortunately STL does not actually contain within it any way to label the unit system that is used for the coordinates in it.

I would recommend contacting your printer / service bureau to see what their policy is. I'm not sure what is the most common but they may require you to use a certain unit system or you may need to fill out a form or something that declares it, probably something like that.

As far as checking software goes, from what I have heard the Magics software is kind of the standard deal for that: http://www.materialise.com/materialise/view/en/92074-Magics.html . I'm not sure how expensive it is, probably not in the "cheap" range though I would guess. They do have a "MiniMagics" free scaled down version though:
http://www.materialise.com/materialise/view/en/1248872-MiniMagics.html which looks like it has some inspection tools, just not any editing tools. So that could be a good one to try.

Also Deelip Menezes has just recently put out a new company and has some new software for RP stuff. That's at http://www.print3dcorp.com/ pick the Print3D 1.0 Standalone button in the upper left corner of that page. I haven't taken a look at that yet myself but I would not be surprised if there were some basic checking functions in there as well. That also has some kind of automatic price quote and submit type system.

- Michael
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Message 2078.5 deleted 15 Oct 2008 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2078.6 In reply to 2078.3 
Hi Brian - actually STL does not really have the same problems as you can run into with other file formats because it has a really really basic structure. Triangles only, no colors, properties, grouping, render materials, or anything like that, just triangles and that is it.

Because it is so basic there does not tend to be any issues with applications reading it.

Other formats may require an application to do a lot more complex calculations to process the data, like triangulate a complex n-gon, or convert a trimmed NURBS surface into a polygon mesh - the more kinds of complex tasks that are involved that an application needs to do the more chance there is for there to be problems...

But typically because it is so basic STL tends to not be used for transferring data to a rendering program, only for transferring to a rapid prototyping machine for 3D model construction.

- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
2078.7 In reply to 2078.6 
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2078.8 In reply to 2078.6 
Burrman deleted his post!

Nomenclature----aaahhhhh!

On my birth certificate I am "Bryan"!

For 6 weeks my wife and I lived in sin until I rectified the wedding documents!

Ya gotta laugh!

Brian
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 From:  DannyT (DANTAS)
2078.9 In reply to 2078.2 
Hi Adam, you also have meshlab http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/ which is open source software and has a few mesh tweaking tools, as well as analysis tools like measurment, it's worth a look, if your not too lazy ;)

Cheers
~Danny~
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 From:  steve (STEEVE)
2078.10 In reply to 2078.9 
Mesh lab is a great piece of software for meshes
And it runs on Linux too (if you can compile it)
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