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A “GOOD” STL! What’s That?

Nov 15 2012

One subject I always overhear sales talking to our clients about is how to create a good STL file from their solid modeling software   




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STL files can be saved in ASCII or Binary format. ASCII format creates very large file sizes. Parts that have an extremely large file size usually are in an ASCII format or contain over 150,000 triangles. Files such as these can cause problems with file transfer over the web and hinder the process for setting up Rapid Prototype machines.                

An indication as to if you have a good resolution STL file is by looking at the amount of triangles that were generated. On average an STL file (in Binary format) that has the number of triangles, which fall between 25,000 and 75,000, will usually be a good resolution file. The exact number of triangles is geometry dependent, which in turn causes variations between part designs. You can also look at the STL file and see if the resolution is too course or over tessellated.  The images to the right show examples of different quality STL files.

I suggest generating all .STL files in “Binary” format using a Chord Height (Deviation) setting of .0005 of an inch (.0127mm). Angle Control is not as important and can be left at the default setting.

Click here for aditional information.

Over Tessellated Good Tessellation