Convert STL to solid

okay !


So I have a bunch of STL mesh files that i need to convert to solids.

How can I convert them....process... I believe it is not possible

Can someone confirm this.

How do you solve this ? buy mesh to solid or what ?

Dirk Rutten

Solid Edge STX user

Re: Convert STL to solid

Nobody ?!


I cannot believe that nobody, does have a solution for this particular question.



Dirk Rutten

Solid Edge STX user

Re: Convert STL to solid

Hi Dirk,


I guess it depends on the complexity of the object[s]....but I think "most" [or, those that can't justify paying for a software and/or service conversion to surfaces/solids] would just use the STL as a reference to construct the Solid Edge model around.

You might be able to persuade Rick Mason to impart some wisdom, based on his successes in this process.

Sean Cresswell
Design Manager Streetscape Limited
Solid Edge ST9 [MP3] Classic [x2 seats]
Windows 10

Re: Convert STL to solid

[ Edited ]

Unfortunately Solid Edge like most Parametric CAD software cannot convert an STL model/file into a Solid Model (body) that you can then edit or use. And if they can it's usaually of very poor quality.


You need to get a product(s) like MeshLab, Rapidform or Geomagic to do such conversions. I've used Rhino at times but if the STL isn't perfect you won't get anything. I've spent many, many, many wasted hours trying to do this.


I've always wondered why this is so difficult, since it seems to a similar conversion you do when using FEA software or even Simulation Express right within Solid Edge... You would think they'd have the ability to revers this process.



Re: Convert STL to solid



After leaving my last response I went back and did a little research and found this:


"STL Import for Solid Edge reads polygon mesh data stored in STL files and imports it into Solid Edge. A polygon mesh in a STL file is comprised of a set of triangular faces. STL Import for Solid Edge creates trimmed planar surfaces for each triangle/quad and knits them together to create a body. If the polygon mesh is closed (i.e. it does not contain boundary edges) then STL Import for Solid Edge will create a closed body feature, otherwise an open surface will be created."

Stereolithography STL file import add-in for Solid Edge


I've looked at Sycode before, but they seem to have made some new products, like a plugin so SE, but also some interesting pricing, like a 7 day license.



Re: Convert STL to solid


I am currently testing this solution. It is based on FreeCAD software, which is "open source" CAD software.

(Yes, I was little suprised too Smiley Happy )


So far, it is usable for smaller and simpler STL files. I have also STL files form 3D scanner with a lot of faces (more than 100k).

Result was: from 6MB STL I got 370MB STEP file. Then I tried open this STEP to ST7, but after 1,5hour I gave up and shut down ST7.


Maybe this will be useful for someone.



Re: Convert STL to solid



I've opened 200MB STEP files containing mostly surfaces before and they take around 90 minutes on my computer in ST6. Just hit Open and go watch a movie. (Or two...)

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Convert STL to solid

I just recently chatted with SpaceClaim and they have STL import/export capability. It comes into SpaceClaim as a faceted mesh, but then you can use SpaceClaim's mesh tools to create a idealized solid model from the mesh data.

--Scott Wertel, P.E.

Re: Convert STL to solid

Here's another thread detailing the woes of handling an STL in Solid Edge.



Perhaps some native tools for dealing with STL files would be a nice ST8 bulletpoint? 

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Convert STL to solid



about sycode plugin for SE.

I'm aware about this plugin. But I don't want to buy it because I do have a license of mesh to solid from Sycode. But because my old computer is recycled and you cannot reinstall it on a new computer because it's like many other programs a one shot operation.

But the release I have is still the same now. But the price is twice what I payed for it.

So I have decided to do no silly things like upgrading a software That never did what it should do.

So this was the mean reason why I asked for other software programs.


I found out that autoCAD should do the trick and also inventor. To be honest I could not believe my eyes when I was reading this. Solidworks can do it also I believe. So why not SE ?

I really hope SE is thinking about expanding the 3D STL capabilties in the future releases. And espacially the ones that Matt Lombord summerized for Dylan.

Believe it or not but that's the future. 3D scanners (Like 3D printers) will become more and more mainstream. And designers will use 3d scandata more and more to accellerate the design process.

I have seen some nice kickstarter startups become reality. But there 's still a lot of work to do.


I really hope someone can give me a big hint Smiley Wink like Scott already did.

Thanks everyone, nice to know I'm not the only with this problem.


Dirk Rutten

Solid Edge STX user