Exporting to .stl

Hi all!

I hope it is the good forum i’am writing and sorry for my bad english.

My problem is the next. My boss asked me to make a special cylinder for a machine so i tought i will design it with blender and export it to .stl and mill it with the cad-cam machine which accepts .stl files. BUT the cad-cam system didn’t accepts the blender made .stl (but it accepts the autocad 2014’s .stl) i tried both Ascii and without it (binary). My normals are facing outside and there are no double faces,points. So i need a little help.
Here is the blender file.CADcirkonhenger05.blend (715 KB)

Thx in advance!


Bottom is an n-gon. I doubt that gets exported correct. Try to fill it using Grid Fill.
Here’s the stl file - rename. http://www.pasteall.org/pic/58277

It was too easy to be good :frowning: . Still the same error, it can’t load the file. I did a Little test and made a simple cube and scaled it down and exported to .stl the cad-cam program still didn’t accept it but if i do the same with AutoCAD it accepts the .stl . So this can be a blender related problem. Any other idea?

Export from blender to an AutoCAD compatible format, then export the .stl from there.


Unfortunately i can’t do it because i don’t know how to do it. I loaded the exported file (.dxf) into AutoCAD 2014 and try to export it to .stl and it asks me to select all the meshes or poligons which i did than i hit enter and it just removed all my selection and nothing happened. So i’am stucked with it. That’s why i try to find a better solution than learning how to fix this in AutoCAD.

Sadly I don’t know anything about CAD and stl, I can just try and suggest you to triangulate your object in blender before to export it.

You could also try exporting in .obj format.

As much as i know blender auto triangulate when i export it to .stl

I think the same but who knows… I would try to manually triangulate and then remove doubles, recalculate normals, select non manifold, select loose geometry, interior faces, and fix them eventually.
Just a try.


Yes, that sounds logical. BUT i got the same error with just a simple cube scaled it down and exported and didn’t work so the problem is maybe with the blender’s .stl exporter.

There is this last resort software called Meshlab. After i posted stl, decided to check mesh correctness using it. When i open this stl i get message suggesting removing vertices. For some reason it calculates more than 20k vertices; when i accept and remove doubles there are around 3k only left. Check this version out of Meshlab. Mesh is nicely triangulated and no visible artifacts or something.

Edit: When i look into stl files one from Blender begins with “Exported from Blender-2.68 (sub 2)”, another from Meshlab has “VCG”. Both are stl binary, likely. What format does your CAM accepts?
To check maybe ASCI works for you - http://www.pasteall.org/pic/58318 - zipped output from Meshlab, plain text file.

Edit2: This page says: "AutoCAD

Your design must be a three-dimensional solid object to output an STL file.
Type these commands in AutoCAD’s command line:

Set FACETRES to 10
Relocate the object to the positive X-Y-Z octant
Use the STLOUT command to export an STL file. (AMSTLOUT for AutoCAD Desktop files)

If you don’t mind, could you try to use this file, just to see if it works?
PasteAll.org - Paste Blend Files
(remove the .blend from the name, it is an .stl)


Fist of all thank you guys for your time and help but unfortunately none of the 3 files worked :frowning: . The first one was the closest but with the other 2 i got the same message that it can’t load it. With the first one the program simply not respond and i have to close it. So it looks like the program only accepts binary .stl files but i can’t figure out what is the difference between the files autocad exported (and accepted) and the files what the blender exported (didn’t accept)…

I have no idea what to do now because i don’t have time to learn how to design the same model in Autocad. I will try what eppo suggested me in Autocad. Also i tried another CAD program the Creo elements which also can produce .stl which also works but again i can’t learn how to use it to produce a difficult model like what i did in blender.

Again, I would try to export the model from blender in various formats, and import them in the other program capable to produce the binary .stl

I would be able to help more.


Yes, that’s what i will try to do. I did what eppo suggested about the Autocad command lines but didn’t work. I guess the problem is that in the exported file there are no solid object just a drawing and i have to figure out how to make a solid from them but i guess i have to try some other program.

Thx for the help!

I forgot to say: if you intend to try to export in other formats from blender, before you should get rid of that N-gon at the bottom of the object; the best way is to delete the N-gon, then select the border edges, extrude them by zero and scale them to zero (press consecutively E, S, num 0, Return), then Remove Doubles.

Good luck!


The problem is not that Ngon on the bottom. The problem is none of the .stl’s (exported from blender) accepted by the cad cam program. So the real problem is within the way blender exports the .stl. Or let’s just say it is not compatibile with it.

I know, but the fact is that if you export in other format that particular N-gon will be automatically triangulated, and the result would be pretty bad, and at the risk of degenerated geometry.


Yes that’s make sense. Thx for the help! This is a great community with helpful ppl :slight_smile: .


Netfabb Studio Basic (free) can read STL-format (ascii and binary) exported from Blender. You can save from there STL-format again and see if it works.

I exported your model also and works fine in Netfabb Studio.

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