Terry & List:
Just to take this a little further, what about the the way in which STL
files are generated in the first place? At CTS (Creative Technical
Solutions, LLC) we offer design and rapid prototyping services utilizing a
variety of CAD platforms. Some brands of CAD software generate very clean
STL files on the first try (SolidWorks, ProE, UG) while others (AutoCAD,
SDRC) frequently give us fits and require additional manipulation on the
part of the CAD operator (yes, I know a lot has to do with the way in which
the file was created in the first place, and upon the complexity of the
geometry). As this "Engineering Revolution" of 2D to 3D design has all CAD
vendors scrapping it out for "Whose Best?", my wish list to them often
includes improved .STL algorithms so we can get it right the first try.
Can someone out there tell me if the Major CAD vendors utilize a commercial
.STL generator in their programs, similar to the way in which the modeling
kernels themselves are bought from companies like Parasolid and ACIS? Or
do all CAD companies author their own .STL generators?
At CTS, we use Solid Concepts RP Master to correct imperfect files from our
clients. It has done the job very well. And don't get me wrong, the above
mentioned CAD software companies ALL have good products, but when it comes
to file generation, a few need to do their homework. Especially if RP and
machining with .STL files is the "Way of the Future."
Look forward to more discussion on this topic soon.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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