STL files

I know Inventor can export STL files. But I have no way of checking to make sure they are correct. When I try to open them, it doesn’t do anything.

I need to make an ipt part in inventor then get it into a 3D stl or dxf part. I need 3d for sure. Is exporting the stl all I need to do? I’m just curious, how do I make a 3d DXF (like wireframe)? Maybe somehow AutoCAD can assist? I need to start with an ipt though.

If you Save As .stl you should get a usable file. I have used Inventor to produce SLS (Selective Laser Sintering, a rapid prototyping method) parts for our robot. It worked pretty well, come by our pit in LA and we’ll show you the results

Solid Concepts has a program called Solid View. The Lite version at least used to be free and enables you to view .stl files. The copy I have is from 2004 so I assume they are still making it available. It won’t “fix” any problems in the file like gaps or flipped triangles but you can at least see what Inventor has produced.

If you are just doing animation those problems might not be issues anyway.

I have actually used STL files on a rapid prototype machine at school and they are good to go once you make the final model and export them.

I used a Z-Corpmachine to make some random stuff (robot parts, lego’s, a double helix, and a skull among other things.) and then we as a class proved a design from the required text as miserably failing (big surprise) when we made the assembly of a flashlight like this one shown HERE and the flashlight’s handle was too small to fit a human hand in. Oops…


You might have had a small conversion error there. While I tend to design in English units, many CAD programs default to metric on export. Catia has a real issue with this. So I always tell the technician how big I expect things to be when I send the file. It’s always amusing when something you send in inches comes out in millimeters, or meters.

Fortunately, scaling is easy to do, if you know what the problem is. On the other hand, the book author could have just proven the value of rapid prototyping in an unforgettable, though unintended fashion. :smiley: