Mesh bodies are useless?

I use the app exclusively for creating 3d printed objects. Often I will leverage other works from other websites. Most of the time this is just nuts and bolts, electronic components, etc. that fit in to my models. Occasionally I need to leverage the import for dimensions. When outside models are imported as ‘mesh bodies’ they seem completely useless. I cannot get the dimensions from the body, and I cannot project it on to a plane, to measure it in other ways.

How can I leverage these imports so that I can design with and around them?


As an example of what I am trying to achieve:

To create the base, if I had modeled it myself in-app, I would either a) be able to measure the edges, or more likely b) project the object to a plane. Projecting the object onto a plane is ‘a lot like’ tracing it; but, it is NOT tracing it, and the measurements would be more precise.

I cannot even choose the mesh solid to create a construction plane.

I have been using the app for months, and have created some pretty useful things from it that have been realized via 3d printing, but I find that except for ‘making things up’, Shapr3D is pretty hard to work with when creating real-world objects that rely on other real-world objects that I would prefer to import rather than modeling from scratch so I can use this app.

Hi, Shapr3D is basically a CAD software that works with BREP models. Mesh models are whole different geometry representations and they have their own modeling tools even though there can be overlaps with BREP modeling tools. In Shapr3D we are mainly focusing on exactly dimensioned CAD models but Boolean tools are applicable on closed mesh models too.
In your case, if you import the mesh file and create a base around it, you can simply subtract the mesh from the BREP model made in Shapr3D. What you will see after the Boolean operation is that the base gets automatically converted to a mesh model. This is sadly needed to make the Boolean work.

If you have the possibility, please try to import STEP or IGES format files which you will be able to work with just like they were created in Shapr3D.

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Time for a Sticky on what shapr is and isn’t?

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Unfortunately, for this project, a STEP model is not available.
I understand (to a degree) the limitations of importing STLs, and working with mesh bodies.
However, in my ignorance it seems like you should be able to leverage some of the characteristics of the body, such as projecting its edges to a plane where you would be able to work with them.

The mesh body itself is not import to my project, and I will likely just measure by hand and model from scratch.
But, you did answer my question: mesh bodies are pretty much useless in Shapr3D.

I tried once importing mesh body
It’s useful…
To make a measurable copy of it that is. :slightly_smiling_face:

They are as useful as in other CAD systems. Mostly they are used as references.

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Fusion 360 can convert relatively simple meshes to BRep. As for being used for references, I’ve brought this up before, but being able to project a mesh profile onto a sketch would be tremendously useful and something Shapr3D cannot do. Even when using meshes as object cutting bodies, the result is always a mesh, making meshes almost useless in that capacity.


I’m using ScandyPro to scan car interiors and create aftermarket parts that fit. What is your suggested workflow for taking that mesh into Shapr3D. Through mesh mixer? I was hoping I could do it all on iPad Pro on shapr3d

Agree w/OP. Even allows you to import a mesh and place drill holes, etc. This will likely be near the top of the growing list of the reasons why I will elect not to go beyond a 14 day free trial.



You can use boolean operations with meshes, so it is possible to drill holes for example.

Here’s an example of using boolean ops with meshes as stated by @Laci_K.
I imported a terrain STL from Thingiverse. I was able to subtract an oval perimeter and two square recesses for a project. It worked out quite well.

I’ve downloaded many STL’s from Thingiverse and will say that about 20% of them are either broken or corrupt- meaning unable to perform simple booleans therefore unusable.

Yeah, IDK. I’ve only tried 2 or 3 that I purchased on Etsy for use as art relief on switch plate. I tried so many different software tools to convert the mesh into something I could use the boolean functions of shapr3d with them, but no luck.

The conversation about what shapr3d is and isn’t is amusing. Kinda embarrassing that the toy CAD app (tinkercad) can do pretty much anything with any imported .stl as if it were just any other body. Assuming you can get the mesh reduced to < 300,000 triangles and < 25MB, tinkercad can work with it.


NO you cant.

Hi Stavros, boolean operations with closed mesh bodies are fully supported. Did you run into issues with this feature?