Supported applications, I could use a little help

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by bartv, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. bartv
    bartv New Member
    I've been updating our list of Supported Applications (i.e. applications that can export to STL, Collada, X3D or VRML97/2), but it's quite hard to dig up all the required information.

    It would help me a LOT if you could have a look and see if I've listed your favorite app, and if my information is correct.

    If there's anything I need to add or change, please let a message below.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Kubotek KeyCreator has very nice STL export. 9 times out of 10 non-manifold issues are my modeling errors, no inverted normals and such. Has VRML2.0 export, but no texture support.

    I should mention I use version 7.0. Not sure what has been added since.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  3. fx
    fx Well-Known Member
    Alibre Design native STL export works ok (I had only some little problems with very complicated parts, like railroad model boggie side flange. Though, I don't know if it was my fault or the software...), all the parts Shapeways printed for me have been created using this software. Hint: for people in the U.S. the new price for the standard version is really low...
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  4. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Thanks guys! I updated the page.


  5. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
    Rhino 3D has native stl and vrml 97 and 2
  6. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Thanks VirtualV! List updated.


  7. Mark_Kendrick
    Mark_Kendrick New Member
    Solid Edge can save as stl, until today :eek: I had only had one problem with it in over perhaps 100 files now.
  8. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Hi Mark,

    what do you mean with 'until today'? Maybe I'm a little dense, so please help me out ;)

  9. jimfoltz
    jimfoltz New Member
    Hi Bart,

    The latest version of Google SketchUp is version 7.1 and comes in Free and Pro versions.

    The only officially supported 3d export format for Google (free) SketchUp is COLLADA. SketchUp's COLLADA exporter supports textures, but apparently shapeways' COLLADA reader does not (yet?)

    There are 3rd party, free .obj and .stl exporters available as plug-ins which work on both the Free and Pro versions. I can't say how well they work.

    The Pro version supports several export formats:

    * 3DS (.3ds)
    * AutoCAD DWG (.dwg)
    * AutoCAD DXF (.dxf)
    * COLLADA (.dae)
    * FBX (.fbx).
    * OBJ (.obj)
    * XSI (.xsi)
    * VRML (.vrml)

    I have been able to upload (simple) models directly from SketchUp Pro using its .dae exporter.

    I have also been able to export full-color via .dae -> Meshlab -> .wrl work-flow.

    There seems to be a limit of a single texture in this workflow, is that correct? Is it a limitation in the vrml format, or is there some other reason?

    An ideal work-flow for SketchUp would obviously be export to .dae, make a .zip including the textures, and upload. (A more ideal work-flow would be to upload directly from SketchUp via a plug-in using the Shapeways API.)

    Unfortunately, SketchUp puts the texture images in a sub-folder relative to the .dae file, so there may be some extra work in making a .zip for upload. (Plus the texture url in the .dae file is the full path, rather than a relative one.) What would be involved in automating this after the upload to streamline the work-flow?

    I would guess other folks would like to be able to cut-out the Meshlab step and go from their modeller -> .dae -> Shapeways.

    I also noticed my "upright" models in SketchUp are "end-up" in the Shapeways preview image unless I rotate my model -90 degrees about the X axis in SU before exporting. It would be nice if Shapeways detected this.

    Here's shot of the COLLADA export options in SketchUp so you can see what user have to work with.


    Finally, I hope this helps, and think it's remarkable what you guys (Shapeways) have been able to accomplish so far.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  10. magic2002
    magic2002 New Member
    i have just installed Autocad 2010 and found it has an export option for 3d printing. It is exporting as .stl
  11. bartv
    bartv New Member
    @jimfoltz, magic2002: thanks! I've updated the table.

    @jimfoltz: you are correct - for now we only support textures in VRML and X3D files. These files *can* contain multiple texture map files, but they cannot overlap. So for example you can't use decal textures or multi-layer textures.


    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  12. jimfoltz
    jimfoltz New Member
    Is there any way to validate the vrml export from SketchUp?

    Inspecting the .wrl file shows all textures listed, but neither Meshlab nor accutrans import them as expected.

    I've attached a simple cube which has 2 materials in SketchUp.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  13. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Hi jimfoltz,

    please don't use this thread for support questions. I did check out your model though and it loads fine into MeshLab for me. I can also upload it to the website and see it in my gallery. So I'm not sure what the issue is?

    Please start a new thread if you need further help.


  14. Mark_Kendrick
    Mark_Kendrick New Member
    Hi Bartv, sorry i didn't see your reply.
    the 'until today' comment was in regards to I had never had a problem with stl output until that day, when a file consistently corrupted.
    All good now, I recommend Solid Edge as an easier/slightly simplified option to Solid Works
  15. phoulx
    phoulx New Member
    Another Autodesk product, Revit, has an Autodesk add-on to export to stl. Unfortunately, it's been giving me quite a few problems and no successful 3D prints yet. Maybe Autocad works better?
  16. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Thanks phoulx, I've added Revit to the list and made a note that it seems to be problematic.


  17. oiffrig
    oiffrig New Member
    OpenSCAD ( has native STL support, and refuses to export non-manifold designs.


  18. Granier
    Granier New Member
  19. bartv
    bartv New Member
    @oiffrig, Granier: thanks for your input! I've updated the list.


  20. shuffer
    shuffer New Member
    What about Poser Pro?