STL Import option in v 3.14

Really excited about the ability to import the STL format in the latest 3.14 update.

I noticed the Supported Formats screen now shows a green check next to stl in the import column and also shows “reference only”. I expect this otherwise might be referred to as “Read Only” in that the underlying geometry in the STL file is brought into SHAPR and that point becomes basis for a SHAPR file.

An export to STL would create a new STL file from the native SHAPR file data. All work is done in SHAPR and none of the original STL is maintained inside of SHAPR. Am I understanding correctly?

Hi Fillister and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

The STL file format is a mesh based file format, that means that it’s not “proper CAD data”, just a bunch of triangles. A fairly good comparison would be vector graphics compares vs. raster graphics = CAD data vs. mesh data.

This is why it’s not possible to edit STL files like other data, because it’s a “lossy” file format. However in future releases you will be able to mix mesh bodies and CAD bodies (boundary representation is the technical term for it) in Shapr.

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Thank you. The reply is appreciated.

I noticed talk of meshes in 3.15. Are we able to alter the .stl files with the current release or no?

You can do booleans. subtract, union and intersect them with solids. The result will be always mesh.

The problem is I need to make a shell. If I have to do that as a subtraction method, which is not ideal, I will just use tinkercad for that.