STL editing?

So, what’s the easiest way a non-CAD dweeb can edit STL files? I’m planning to remix some Thingiverse stuff, but have found I’m hopelessly inept at my first tries with Sketchup and 3D Builder…

Im newish too. I still haven’t figired it out. So im intrested in this question as well.

Have you tried fusion 360. It all i use now.

Fusion or 123design will work. 123d is easier to use.

Meshmixer is okay but for most my STL modifications I’ve been using Sketchup. It’s not perfect but easy enough. Currently I’m learning to use Fusion360 which looks like it should be a better option for all the other controls etc that it gives. I sent this guy some money as his tutorials look simple and cover most the basic shapes.

I don’t feel qualified to answer (but since when does that stop me?). I was using sketchup, with the stl plugin. I don’t like that it’s only windows, which requires a virtual machine, and sometimes, it decides a connected set of lines is a plane, and sometimes it doesn’t and I haven’t figured out how to fix that. Other than that, it works OK. If I was trying to do something complicated (other than just stretch a part or two), I would probably just import the stl, make it a component, and then redraw it, using the sketchup shapes, with the points of the stl as a guide. I think there are some neat pieces of software for just doing things like cutting along a plane, moving objects, and joining them (tinkercad, is that useful for that?) But if you want to do something more difficult, I think you’re basically stuck with recreating the part from the stl.

Ryan told me about onshape, and I’ve been using that successfully with stls as well, it’s easy enough to import an stl into a design, and then use it to make references for a “sketch” and then extrude what I need, or just save the sketch as a dxf, which is what I did for me MP3DP base.

I’m not a CAD expert, so maybe that’s useful to you. It’s annoying, because you have some small problem you want to solve, and immediately, you get a bigger problem plopped in your lap, which is how to learn to use some CAD software, and before that even, what CAD software to use…

i use a free program that is super easy called designspark

I’ve done some of this in Fusion 360 but I find it’s a bit of a pain and some STLs can have a lot of data which then makes Fusion 360 unresponsive. But basically, you insert an stl to your design. Then turn off “track design history”. Then convert it to a BREP. Then turn design history back on. Then you can snap to parts of the STL. I do this for example when I create a tool adapter to mate to the MPCNC tool mount. This way I know it aligns properly to the bolt holes and shape of the MPCNC tool mount. There are videos I’m pretty sure of how to do this. There is also a thing called Mesh Mixer but it seemed a bit too complicated for me. Will have to try some of the ones listed in this thread some day.

I’m a fusion 360 junkie for sure. This video shows the procedure better than most and it is pretty much exactly what P3DCNC just posted. He goes into how to reduce the number of faces to keep fusion from hanging up, or aborting like P3DCNC wrote about.

What I usually end up doing is importing (inserting) the stl into fusion simply to measure (inspect) it. Then I draw it from scratch myself using the measurements. I do this because I just don’t have much luck getting clean lines on the resulting model after insert/reduction/convert to BREP. I’ve spent many hours trying and I simply can draw it faster and better.