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Repairing STL files
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* June 14, 2017, 01:22:21 PM
Hi all,

I am trying to repair an STL file I pulled off of thingiverse. I am currently trial testing TurboCAD 2017 Pro Platinum. Is there a way to repair non-manifold edges?

Have a great day,
Jim

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* June 14, 2017, 02:21:02 PM
#1
Don't know. But you might try SAT Healing. Select the faulty object and then click "Healing" icon (looks like a red cross).

Henry H

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* June 14, 2017, 04:16:13 PM
#2
I am trying to repair an STL file I pulled off of thingiverse. I am currently trial testing TurboCAD 2017 Pro Platinum. Is there a way to repair non-manifold edges?

Use a program like the free version of NetFabb or MeshLab to repair stl files, whether they be from Thingiverse or saved from TC.

I would think stl files would enter TC as TCsurfaces, and whilst TC may repair some stl files on opening, it will be more by chance than anything else. 

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* June 15, 2017, 08:07:48 AM
#3
I was able to repair it in Meshmixer. I checked it in Simplify3D and it claims to be watertight now. However, now I can't turn it into a solid. Before I fixed the errors, it would create a hollow solid, but now I get the warning "This TC Surface cannot be transformed into ACIS solid."

I have the check box for "Healing of SAT insertions" checked, but I can't find the SAT healing command anywhere else in TC2017.

Anybody have further ideas? Are there any tools for working with the mesh in TurboCAD? I have mostly been using it for solid modeling to output a STL. Bringing an STL in from somewhere else seems exceedingly painful.

Have a great day,
Jim

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* June 15, 2017, 08:43:04 AM
#4
I was able to repair it in Meshmixer. I checked it in Simplify3D and it claims to be watertight now. However, now I can't turn it into a solid. Before I fixed the errors, it would create a hollow solid, but now I get the warning "This TC Surface cannot be transformed into ACIS solid."

I have the check box for "Healing of SAT insertions" checked, but I can't find the SAT healing command anywhere else in TC2017.

Anybody have further ideas? Are there any tools for working with the mesh in TurboCAD? I have mostly been using it for solid modeling to output a STL. Bringing an STL in from somewhere else seems exceedingly painful.

Have a great day,
Jim

In my 2017 installation, SAT Healing is a toolbutton on the "New Modify" toolbar. Go to View>Toolbars to add this toolbar to your desktop if you wish.

Henry H

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* June 15, 2017, 12:37:28 PM
#5
Thanks Henry. Fortunately, I was able to fix the model in Blender, and now I can convert it to a solid by simply selecting it and under Properties > 3d changing the radio button from TC surface to Solid. There were some intersecting faces that seemed to trip up TurboCAD.

So, the process for modifying STLs in TurboCAD seems to be:

1) Fix STL (I used Meshmixer and Blender)
2) Open STL in TurboCAD
3) Select mesh
4) Right-click and select Properties in the pop-up menu.
5) Left-click 3d
6) Change radio button from TC surface to Solid.
7) Make modifications. I was able to slice the model and subtract simple extruded cylinders from the resulting ACIS solid.

I hope this helps somebody in the future. This worked in both V20 and TC2017, so I am not sure I have any reason to upgrade to TC2017 unless somebody knows of any mesh tools I was unable to find in the new version.

I do have one more question, though. When I extrude a cylinder from a circle, it now shows up as a TC surface and I have to change it to a solid to subtract it from my solid. I imagine that one of the steps above made a change to a default that decides what is created when an extrusion is done. Does anyone know how to change it back, so I can continue working like I am used to?

Have a great day,
Jim

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* June 15, 2017, 12:59:03 PM
#6
When you activate the Simple Extrude tool, go to its Properties dialog or the 3D section in the Selection Info and make sure that "Solid" is selected, then make your extrusion. Simple Extrude should retain this setting.

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015, 2016, 2017
Designer, Deluxe, Expert, Basic, Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10, 64-bit


* June 15, 2017, 02:35:54 PM
#7
Thank you John, that is exactly what I needed to do.

In case anyone is curious, I am trying to print a model that doesn't really lend itself to 3D printing. It is a Star Trek Enterprise and there just aren't any flat surfaces to put it on the bed. So I am going to split the model and subtract a few cylinders for holes. That will allow me to print a couple of pins to put the model back together once it is done.

Of course, there are also many cases where I can get a model of something that is almost what I want, and with a tool like TurboCAD, I should be able to get exactly what I want. It's a nice theory, but a little more difficult in practice than it sounds. ;)

Have a great day,
Jim

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