Convert 3D Models to STL files

How to Convert 3D Models into STL Files


How to Convert 3D Models into STL Files


STL (Stereolithography or Standard Tesellation Language) is another format which has been around for a long time.  It was developed by 3D Systems when 3d printing was just starting however the ability to define a 3d object with a set of triangles (or facets) is often used for purposes other than printing including visualization.   The format is composed of a set of triangles that have been fit around the 3d object.  This conversion from 3d object to triangles is called tessellation.  There are three default tessellations (high, medium and low) and you can define the tessellation with greater control if you modify the parameters but for most 3D printing you can utilize the default settings.  The higher the tessellation the more triangles and the larger the file created.  There is an option for format which defaults to Binary.  Although the other option for ASCII is available this is somewhat archaic and only useful if you needed a human readable file that you could edit.  Unlikely.
If you select a component that is composed of multiple bodies you can switch the Structure option to “One File Per Body”.  This can be useful if you want to batch all the potential bodies into STL format at one time.  This isn’t availabe when you Send to Meshmixer because Meshmixer only wants one file at a time

How to Convert 3D Models into STL Files


How to Convert 3D Models into STL Files


Pro/E allows you to save model designs in STL format. This is done at all levels of design, for both individual parts and assemblies. When dealing with assemblies, you can specify parts of an assembly to either include or exclude from the resulting STL file. Use the procedure below for saving both parts and assemblies as STL files for printing with Objet 3D printers.

To save a Pro/Engineer as an STL file:

Deviation Control

The Deviation Control settings in the Export STL dialog box affect the accuracy of the model and the size of its file. Chord Height – Also known as “chordal tolerance,” this setting specifies the maximum distance between the surface of the original design and the tessellated surface of the STL triangle (the chord). Therefore, the chord height controls the degree of tessellation of the model surface. The smaller the chord height, the less deviation from the actual part surface (but the bigger the file).

Angle Control

This setting regulates how much additional tessellation occurs along surfaces with small radii. The smaller the radii, the more triangles are used. The setting can be between 0 and 1. Unless a higher setting is necessary, to achieve smoother surfaces, 0 is recommended.
When you have made all of the required settings, click Apply and OK to create the STL file.

Saving a Pro/E Assembly as an STL File

How to Convert 3D Models into STL Files


Solid Edge ST6 – ST8

Tip: Review the controls for exporting STL files in Solid Edge here.
Note: Solid Edge is capable of creating individual STL files from the components of an assembly, but this functionality is not built into the program. It is achieved through the application programming interface (API), using Visual Basic scripts. This solution does not enable a visual preview of the polygon mesh before saving the STL files.

Solid Edge (Older than ST6)

Note: Solid Edge software from Siemens PLM (formerly USG) supports STL output at the core level, enabling you to save both parts and assemblies as STL files. However, when saving an assembly, all of its components are included in a single STL file.


Feel free to Connect With Us