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  • Unable to modify stl

    Hello, I'm printing a drawer system from thingiverse and everything is going well except for the hanger piece. I'm trying to create my own by loading the "hive module" and removing all but 2 edges and adding some tabs on it. The existing hanger seems to be incorrect and doesn't fit with the other pieces.

    When I try and import the stl into Tinkercad it processes for a long while and then eventually nothing is imported and there are no errors. I tried FreeCad and watched some DrVax intros. FreeCad will import the file, but to work with the imported shape, other videos suggested to "Create Shape from Mesh" in the Part menu. When I try this, FreeCad just goes into a processing state forever. I've let it run for quite a while - 10 to 15 minutes and it doesn't come back.

    The thingiverse project is located here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1743145

    and the stl I'm trying to modify is the "HIVE_Module_V5". Basically, I wanted to reduce this to just 2 edges of this shape, reduce the height of it to a few mm, and add two tabs to it so it was similar to the hanger piece.

    Thanks for any help!

  • #2
    Originally posted by jmooreiii View Post

    When I try and import the stl into Tinkercad it processes for a long while and then eventually nothing is imported and there are no errors. I tried FreeCad and watched some DrVax intros. FreeCad will import the file, but to work with the imported shape, other videos suggested to "Create Shape from Mesh" in the Part menu. When I try this, FreeCad just goes into a processing state forever. I've let it run for quite a while - 10 to 15 minutes and it doesn't come back.
    FreeCAD takes alot of time in that function and you need a powerful computer. I did the same thing with a spool holder, which is basically a small wheel. It took ages. 15 Minutes is basically nothing, here.

    When it returns, you need to "refine shape", which FreeCAD is using to "detect" circles and straight lines, which dramatically reduces the elements the object is build from. After that a model becomes sort of usable. On my crappy laptop I wanted to increase the axle diameter and each time I entered a value or change a position in part workbench, FreeCAD took a >10 minute rendering nap.

    However a better solution is to ask the creator for the source file or design it yourself. Meshmixer is also a good way to modify a model.

    Maybe a combination of both is a good idea. Cut away the parts in Meshmixer and only load the reduced model in, to do the final changes. This should save time.

    On first glance the model looks simple, but there are for sure tons of rounded corners in the connector area and they are basically circles represented by triangles.

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    • #3
      I've often wondered why people don't just include the source file when uploading to thingiverse. A few do, but most don't.

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      • #4
        Most people don´t even know what the source is. They think the .stl file is enough.

        Even .stp files are quite rare and still not the real deal. And when the source is included, in most cases you need Fusion360. That is the point, when I am out, since I don´t use windows.

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        • #5
          Still, I can't see how it would hurt for people to include source files. Sure, many won't be able to use them, but some will.

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          • #6
            Thanks so much, I repeated it again and just minimized the app and went back much later and it had worked. I have a fairly decent machine with an average gaming graphics card and 64gb of ram. I thought that would be enough. So CAD is more demanding than software dev and gaming?!

            Thanks again.

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            • #7
              I use FreeCad to make solids out of the stl files I want to manipulate. It will do files that Fusion won't even try but the bigger the stl file, the longer it takes. I have missed the 'refine' command that is noted above and will have to give that one a try to see if it will reduce the file size. Converted stl files are relatively speaking massive and as noted take lots of time to process.
              I agree and wish people would put up source files in a form that could be readily imported to ones favorite Cad as I rarely print a stl as presented and use it as a base to change as needed. I think stp files would work for most of us and this would make modification of projects much easier and faster. It would also save lots of file space!
              Country Bubba

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