CAD to STL

Get Ready to 3D Print your CAD File

Find below step-by-step instructions for converting various CAD file formats to STL for printing on Objet 3D printers.

Need to fix an STL? Download here.

Catia

  1. Select STL command
  2. Maximum Seg to 0.015mm
  3. Select the model and > select Yes
  4. Select Export > type File name > OK

Catia can import almost any design-file format, but only those that include solid data (IGES, STEP, Parasolid, etc.)

STL files can be saved – with a special add-on module. Catia V5 is capable of creating STL files from parts (CatiaPART files), but not from assemblies (CatiaPRODUCT files) or geometrical representations (car files). Therefore, source files, including those saved in a neutral format (STEP or IGES, for example), must be saved as parts. If the source design was saved as an assembly, it is imported to Catia as a product.

To create an STL file from it, you must first convert it to a multi-bodied part. The procedure described below is one of several methods for doing this.

Phase 1: Saving a model design in STL format

Opening and Preparing the Source File:

  1. From the File menu, select Open, and open the source file. If the source design was saved as an assembly, it is imported as a CatiaPRODUCT model.
  2. Save the product file.
  3. From the File menu, select New > Part, and give it the name of one of the components.
  4. In the product window, select this component, and copy it (with the Edit menu or the right-click pop-up menu).
  5. In the part window, paste the component.
  6. Repeat steps and until you have copied all of the components and pasted them as individual parts. Figure on the right shows the result of pasting the components of the product into individual part files.
  7. From the File menu, select New > Part, and give it a name suitable for the combined model.
  8. Copy each of the individual components (parts) from the working files and paste them into the new (combined) model file.

Since the geometries of all of the parts are retained, they should be aligned correctly in the combined part. The new part is now ready to be exported as an STL file.

Phase 2: Re-aligning parts (if necessary)

Occasionally, because of the way the original assembly was designed, some of the components may not align correctly in the combined part. If so, you must align them, using the Constraints feature, from the Insert menu.

Before saving the file, it is advisable to review the settings that determine the accuracy of the model – and the size of the file. To see these parameters:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Options.
  2. In the Options dialog box, display the Performance tab.
  3. Under the General category (on the left), select Display.
  4. Pay attention to the 3D Accuracy settings.

Fixed – The lower the setting, the finer the details of the model in the STL file. A very small setting results in a very large STL file. Curves’ accuracy ratio – The higher the setting, the smoother the surface will be, when dealing with complex geometries, especially if surfaces contain sudden small changes with small radii (like the bumps on a golf ball).

Phase 3: Saving the Part as an STL File

After preparing the part, as described above, proceed as follows:

  1. From the File menu, select Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select stl from the Save as type pull-down list.
  3. Click Save.

Since Catia5 supports non-continuous model designs, importing geometry into a part by copying and pasting is not problematic.