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  1. #1

    How do I convert STL and OBJ models to STP/STEP/IGS formats?

    Hi Everyone,


    This is my first post on the forum in quite some time, so I'm looking forward to hearing what you all have to say.


    I'm currently looking to mass produce plastic and rubber parts. I've been in contact with several facilities overseas who are all requesting that I send them my models as either STP/STEP or IGS files. Currently, the only versions I have are OBJ and STL.


    I have two questions:


    1) As you can probably guess: Is there software that can help with such a conversion? As of right now, I've tried Fusion360 and FreeCAD. Neither seem to work. Could that have something to do with a high polygon model? I'm actually relatively new to 3D modeling and printing (I know more about printing than modeling), so I'm not sure.


    2) What exactly are STP/STEP and IGS models that seem to make them ideal for manufacturers? This is more just for my own knowledge and edification.


    If anyone can offer ANY sort of help or advice, I'd be very grateful.


    Very nice to meet all of you!


    -matt


    PS - I attached some images of some examples of the models I'm working with, and put them in a folder, here: https://app.box.com/s/5xcxjrbimkdko0q0dee7eof2bghaygcj

    Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.07.59 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.07.35 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.07.09 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.06.20 PM.jpg

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    STEP and IGES are common file formats used by manufacturing facilities for years. Together with DXF they are more or less the industry standard. They describe geometry in terms of rich definitions so the original smooth surfaces can be maintained rather than chopped up as in mesh formats like STL, PLY and OBJ. IGES is maintained by ANSI and STEP by ISO. The latter is a more recent format so I prefer STP. Some manufacturers will accept your mesh models though. If you want, I can convert these for you. Send me a PM - Cheers, Ralph
    Last edited by ralphzoontjens; 02-16-2017 at 03:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Thanks Ralph,
    What software is required to convert STL to a solid STP format.
    Is there any software that will do this automatically?

  4. #4
    Engineer-in-Training ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Hi, Rhino does a lot of file conversions. With 3D Studio Max you can export a mesh to IGES. I prefer Rhino.
    These computations are very intensive so you need to have a good amount of Vmem.

  5. #5
    Staff Engineer
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    IGES and STEP are neutral formats for sharing splines and surfaces, not meshes. If you want to convert your mesh to something you can export as IGES or STEP, you'll need to surface it first. The surface is not the same as the mesh; it will usually have less detail but be smoother. It's a lot easier to go the other direction; meshing the surfaces to create something that can be exported as STL, PLY, or OBJ.

  6. #6
    I have a white light scan of two components from a local Tool and Die shop.
    This created STL files.
    I need to make them into a parasolid or a solid model that I can tweak in CAD.
    We used gage pins in all of the holes so we could pick up good locations after the scan.
    These pins need to be removed from the STL file completely so I can have the parts 3D printed.
    Then I need the solid model to create all of the holes so they can be machined on a CNC mill.
    Is this possible

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by HTEC1 View Post
    I have a white light scan of two components from a local Tool and Die shop.
    This created STL files.
    I need to make them into a parasolid or a solid model that I can tweak in CAD.
    We used gage pins in all of the holes so we could pick up good locations after the scan.
    These pins need to be removed from the STL file completely so I can have the parts 3D printed.
    Then I need the solid model to create all of the holes so they can be machined on a CNC mill.
    Is this possible
    What you're asking about is called Reverse Engineering. Process of taking scan data and building up a solid cad model from it. I personally use Geomagic Design X software for that purpose and then build the models up in Solidworks. This is a service, there is no automated solution for what you're asking.

    Reach out if you'd like to chat about it.

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