The Shapeways Blog: 3D Printing News & Innovation

Shapeways Blog

Netfabb is an awesome STL viewer & repair tool


Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)

Thanks Joris... going to give this a try.
#1 Madox on 2009-10-24 09:49 (Reply)
Unfortunately, it's Windows only.
#2 Bob Hearn on 2009-10-26 22:38 (Reply)

yes, thats true. If you're looking to view and repair STL files in Linux then I would recommend Meshlab:
#2.1 Joris on 2009-10-27 09:53 (Reply)
Hello Bob,
actually there is a Linux version, even though in a beta stadium and quite untested. So at the moment we prefer not to release anything for download. If you would like to help us and obtain a linux binary, feel free to contact me at

Thank you very much,
#2.2 Alex (Homepage) on 2009-10-27 14:18 (Reply)
Actually I'm a Mac guy. I use Rhino; there are some basic repair tools in it. But they're not always good enough. I hear Blender has better repair tools, but I am completely put off by its interface, or lack thereof.
#3 Anonymous on 2009-10-27 16:04 (Reply)
I too have an old Mac that I can't get Meshlab to run on.
I'm using 'topeScope which though it cost about 100 GBP works well in most situations. I doesn't deal with extraneous edges though.
#4 Bill Bedford on 2009-10-29 13:41 (Reply)
I tried Netfabb, it looks nice. However, people working with COLLADA files instead of .stl will face a problem.
I also tried the "repair" utilities. They can be very effective sometimes... but not always.
#5 { D F } on 2009-11-04 15:47 (Reply)
yeah, it is for STL but you can easily convert between STL and COLLADA using meshlab.

No STL repair tool always works. I tried to convey that in the post.
#5.1 Joris Peels on 2009-11-04 15:49 (Reply)
I encountered a strange problem with fixing non-manifold errors in Nebfabb. I fixed the errors displayed by using the automatic repair option, applied it, then the # of bad triangles, invalid orientations turned into 0's. but after I saved the changes, re-open the fixed image with Nebfabb, I saw the same errors again.
is it that those errors just can't be fixed?
#6 jessie on 2009-11-10 00:26 (Reply)

It is true that some errors can not be fixed.

But, the issue that you've found sounds like a bug. You can tell Netfabb about it by emailing them at support (at) netfabb (dot) com
#6.1 Joris on 2009-11-10 06:21 (Reply)
I was using miniMagics before and couldn't fix my multiple shell problem. With Netfabb It couldn't fix the problem either, but it did show me where the shells were and I was able to stich them together by re-working my CAD file. At least I knew where the problem was with Netfabb, and that saved me!

Thanks for this great page Joris!
#7 Poolster on 2009-12-10 23:32 (Reply)

Netfabb looks nice. However, the problem I would like to eliminate is having to find thin features. I can measure any point to any point with my CAD software but if my model gets rejected because of wall thickness, then there is something I have missed. Is there a tool that will look for the minimum thickness / point to point distance on a part?

#8 greanie on 2010-10-01 12:27 (Reply)
looked into meshlab, what a failure that was. no x86 download. netfabb looks promising, I plan to play with it a little more but I fear it's just a giant waste of my time. (Trying to repair an stl of a guy fawkes mask, the program is reading the back of the mask as a hole and there is no volume.. 0.00mm thick everywhere.)
#9 Anonymous on 2012-09-04 20:20 (Reply)
OK thank you - I am a convert. ;-)

After days of stuffing around trying to eliminate multiple shells, holes and other issues Netfabb has done a great job. Learning the workflow for different operations was however a challenge.

Would be helpful to highlight the fact that shell repair is a manual exercise.

It would also be helpful in your instructions above to add a note at the start of the section between the title and the first sentence: "Start by pressing the repair button (Red Cross)" other wise the triangles to which you refer are not visible unless there is a setting I am not aware of which has them in the top menu bar at all times.

Title - How to manually repair STLs?

First sentence - In the top row there are green icons.
#10 John R (Homepage) on 2013-03-04 04:20 (Reply)

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

The Shapeways Blog: 3D Printing News & Innovation

Learn More »