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.

Pro/Engineer

  1. File > Export > Model
  2. STL
  3. Set chord height to 0. The field will be replaced by minimum acceptable value.
  4. Set Angle Control to 1
  5. OK

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/E as an STL file:

1. Check that the model design is continuous and “watertight.” This step is especially important if the design was imported from a neutral design format. Non-continuous bodies are likely to result in defective models. You cannot always check for continuity by examining the model displayed in shaded view. Therefore, use the following method:

  • View the model with hidden lines displayed.
  • From the View menu, select Display Setting > Scheme > PreWildfire. The model surfaces are displayed in magenta. If the design is continuous, the contour lines are white. If there are gaps, the lines are yellow.
  • Fix the model design, if necessary, before saving it as an STL file.

2. From the File menu, select Save a Copy. The Save a Copy dialog box appears.

3. From the Type pull-down menu, select STL.

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.

4. 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

1. From the File menu, select Save a Copy. The Save a Copy dialog box appears.

2. From the Type pull-down menu, select STL. The Export STL dialog box appears. In addition to the settings used when exporting a part STL, this dialog box enables you to specify the parts of an assembly to either include or exclude from the resulting STL file. In the dialog box one of the parts of the assembly (the tire) has been excluded, leaving two parts (the hub and the main wheel) to be exported to the STL file. The design resulting from these settings (when you click OK) is shown on the left.

3. When you have made all of the required settings, click Apply and OK to create the STL file.