Split an STL file  

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sledjunk
(@sledjunk)
Eminent Member

I am trying to use a part of an STL file downloaded from Thiniverse.  It is a RAM Ball Mount on a diamond shaped base.  It is really only the base part that I need because I want to add another part to it instead of the ball.  I have tried PrusaSlicer, MeshMaker, FreeCad, and TinkerCad.  None of these allow me to do what I need. The file opens as a single object and I cannot remove anything without removing everything.  Does anyone have any suggestions how I can accomplish this without spending a lot of money?

TIA

Dave

Posted : 15/07/2020 10:59 pm
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

I. Prusa slicer you could use the cut tool to remove everything above the height of the base. Then you could export it as an stl. Without actually seeing the model and what you want to keep and remove it’s hard to know if the simple cut technique will work. 
Personally I’d use blender and it’s tools to re model it but then again I’m somewhat familiar with blender now as I’ve even using it for a few months. 

Blender has the advantage in that it’s totally free, has a small footprint and can do almost anything if you can figure out the tools and commands lol. 

I actually have a modified ram mount from thingiverse that I used on the genset modules at work for some test rigs to hold them. 

Posted : 15/07/2020 11:34 pm
sledjunk
(@sledjunk)
Eminent Member

I have heard good things about blender, however, it will not run on my laptop as it complains about the graphics controller.  I would like to get something working.  I am slooowly getting the hang of TinkerCAD, but cannot get very far with FreeCAD, yet.

Posted : 16/07/2020 1:06 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Reputable Member

You can most definitely split and remove sections of .STL files with Freecad.

If you use the Part workbench, convert mesh to shape -> refine shape -> convert to solid, you can then use objects and the cut operator to remove what you do not want.

There's also the split operation, if you just want to split an object into two or more pieces.

Posted : 16/07/2020 1:17 am
sledjunk liked
sledjunk
(@sledjunk)
Eminent Member

@jsw Thank you for the nudge to get me in the right direction.  Having a bit of a problem getting my head around 3D CAD.  Only design course I had was Grade 9 Drafting  about 50 years ago.  Did we even have 3D back then?? 😊 

Posted : 16/07/2020 6:18 am
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Reputable Member

Sorry if I'm taking over your thread but is seems an obvious place to ask, how can I join two STL files preferably in Prusaslicer?

Posted : 16/07/2020 3:28 pm
Lichtjaeger
(@lichtjaeger)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @towlerg

Sorry if I'm taking over your thread but is seems an obvious place to ask, how can I join two STL files preferably in Prusaslicer?

Right-click, load part...

Posted : 16/07/2020 4:19 pm
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

@towlerg

Add one object.  Must be placed on the plater as usual.  Then right click on that object and select Add Part > Load.  Navigate to your second object and select it.  This will allow you to place the second object wherever you like (actually you can now place either wherever you like as long as some part of the combined object touches the print bed). 

When placed this way Prusa Slicer treats them as one logical object so when slicing it combines them with regards to perimeters and infill etc.  If you just over lap 2 parts placing them normally you will end up in a big mess as Slicer will slice them individually so will be putting 2 x the plastic into 1x the space where they overlap.  Basically don't do that.

You can also export the plate as a stl once you have everything positioned where you want it.  Its not the 'best' way of doing it as the geometry will contain overlapping areas so might cause other programs issues potentially but it does work.  

For me Blender once again is my tool of choice as you can rework it to 'proper' geometry.  I have used it though when I printed out an updated extruder part where I added some basic support spars to the pinda mount to support it both sides to minimise any possibility of sagging due to heat.  It was quick and dirty but printed ok.

Posted : 16/07/2020 4:24 pm
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Reputable Member

@lichtjaeger and @neophyl   Thanks guys.

Posted : 16/07/2020 4:57 pm
mr.b
 mr-b
(@mr-b)
Trusted Member

Sledj, comments about using prusaslicer are correct but somewhat limited.  They may work for you.

I needed to do the same thing on a design that I wanted to remake.  I was unable to do it with prusa slicer.  Tinkercad was as dud as well as I couild not even upload the file into Tinkercad.  I do not like paying for cad software or even begin to try Blenders high learning curve.  So I had already been doing tutorials on Openscad (looks like steep learning curve but really not), as Freecad is way to buggy on my macbook and decided to open the file in OPenscad.  It did just what I needed to do.  I was able to select the part I wanted removed and did it with now problem.  It was a snap saving and exporting as an stl file.  I was then able to upload the new file into Tinkercad so I could add my additional designs.  I could have added in OPenscad but I am not functional in it to work as quick as I can in Tinkercad.  This was the only program that would let me do what ever I wanted to do with the design.  Freecad would not let me do anything maybe because I am using mac version.  Anyways I had reserved from using Openscad for so long becuase it looks to intense of a learning curve than freecad but I have found from the few tutorials it is not.  It is just a stripped down way of doing things with out the gui ammenties of Freecad.  I like it because by learning Openscad I am learning the theory of CAD to some extent where as Freecad is great but just learning more about using gui tools than using and understanding cad coordinates which by extension increases my understanding of gcode to a degree.  If that makes sense.

 

Posted : 16/07/2020 5:23 pm
sledjunk liked
sledjunk
(@sledjunk)
Eminent Member

Thanks for the suggestion of OpenSCAD.  I'll look into that as well.  Still trying to keep an open mind on what tools to use.

Posted : 16/07/2020 5:56 pm
Soma1975
(@soma1975)
New Member

Have you tried Meshmixer?

You could remove the not wanted part by adding a meshmix-body and doing a boolean substractive operation.

Here is a youtube tutorial:

Posted : 16/07/2020 6:46 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @towlerg

Sorry if I'm taking over your thread but is seems an obvious place to ask, how can I join two STL files preferably in Prusaslicer?

Again, Freecad will do this in a few seconds.  Start a new project, import your two .STL files, position them x-y-z where you want.  Then select both and export as a new .STL file.  I do this all the time.  You do not have to convert to shape or anything.

Posted : 16/07/2020 11:47 pm
sledjunk
(@sledjunk)
Eminent Member
Posted by: @soma1975

Have you tried Meshmixer?

You could remove the not wanted part by adding a meshmix-body and doing a boolean substractive operation.

Here is a youtube tutorial:

I tried MeshMixer, but once I imported the STL file, I was kind of overwhelmed.  I am new to this and the 3D CAD kind of has me befuddled.

@mr-b I have tried OpenSCAD but cannot see how to start with a STL file

I have accomplished this task with FreeCAD thanks to the help from @jsw, but this is only the start, of course.  I hope I can get a handle on this soon.  The level of frustration is annoying...

 

Posted : 17/07/2020 1:09 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Reputable Member

I'm glad that worked for you.

There's quite a learning curve to many of the software tools used with 3d printing.

I settled on Freecad a few years ago because it will do (almost) anything I need and it's cross-platform, so I can use it on my media PC in the office (Linux) and the laptop (Windows).  I have found it's good for both drafting and beating up on existing .STL files for remixes.

I would like to try Meshlab, but I have not found a current stable version that actually runs on the media PC.  They say that Linux versions are/were available, but I cannot find one that actually exists and works.

Open SCAD is too much like work!  If it works for you, all the better, but I find it difficult, and I'm a retired techie with more years of experience than I care to admit.

Meshlab is also a great one for fixing corrupt .STL files.  Again, it has an extremely steep learning curve.  It's a Swiss Army Knife of fix-it tools.  I've learned enough to be dangerous with it.

Posted : 17/07/2020 1:54 am
mr.b
 mr-b
(@mr-b)
Trusted Member

@sledjunk

Did you try import.  Go to file import and then look for your file and import it.

Hope that helps.  Or try Freecad if it does work for you then by all means stick to it.

 I like Freecad but on windows and I have mac and linux now which is not very stable for me becuase of mac version and linux version running on older laptop.  That really not a negative on the linux version.

I just like OPenscad too because once I get the understanding of it, it opens up a whole new world for me and options for model building.

Posted : 17/07/2020 3:40 pm
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