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STL question


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#1 JT43

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 12:19 PM

We have a STL file for a design we want to make a mold for.  What is the process step by step, (or as close as possible)for bringing it into MasterCam X2 and getting it ready to run tool paths on.  The manual says you can use them, but doesn't so how to do it, our supplier says refer to the manual!  round and round we go!
We've tried it a few different ways, but it just kind of sits there and locks up the computer, so we don't know if we've done something wrong, or it's a file problem.  We've run a lot of pieces, bringing them in from AutoCAD, but have never used an STL file before.
Do you need convert it to a MCX file in MasterCam first or bring it into ART directly.  If there is something in the manual, please direct us to it, we're lost!
Newbie's in ART!  John T

#2 Trevor Bailey

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 05:31 AM

what is the file of? is this wood or metal? is it already scaled and positioned?

you have a couple of options:

X2 - get the Verisurf REVERSE add-on to help manipulate the STL. you can start a surfacing toolpath, hit the "end selection" button. once the next dialog box pops up, choose to add the CAD file. now....without the REVERSE product, MC will allow you to move and scale, etc... it is much easier with the REVERSE product and it will stay visible on your screen.

X3 - go to open the file, change the file type to STL and then click on the OPTIONS button. toggle it to "mesh". you will now have a visible mesh on the screen that you can scale, transform, shade, etc.... the lacking part, that is all you can do with it. if you need "true" boundaries, you will have to go back to the originating CAD system and export an EPS file.

3rd option - open the file in ART. are you cutting from one side, two, three, etc.... if your STL is not completely sealed or has undercuts, you will get a waterfall effect. go to art-new art base surface-from file. select your file.

#3 JT43

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 05:49 AM

Trevor thanks for the reply.  I wasn't sure how much info to put in the first post.  Here goes;
We have a STL file we purchased from Vector Art 3d of a Celtic Cross.  We want to scale it to a specific size (about 5% of original) and cut it into wood.  We need to do a negative of the image so that we can make the mold to produce a piece out of cast stone.
I'm not sure if the Verisurf REVERSE is the way we want to go, we are looking into an STL converter for AutoCAD (which we do our shop and mold ticket drawings on currently).  
If we want to bring it into Art, what is the process? I would think, purchasing the file, it would be a complete sealed surface, but not sure.  
We do not have a 'new art base surface- from file.  We used 'import file to art base surface'  once it loaded used 'create MasterCam surfaces from art base surface'  that created surfaces that we could scale.  Got that done, then tried to run ' toolpath active art base surface’ it attempted but it just sat there, never locked up but never finished.  The STL file is right at 20MB.
We don't know if we've done it right and the computer just isn't handling it, or we went astray somewhere in the process?

#4 Trevor Bailey

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 06:42 AM

dont create surfaces...that takes way too long. leave the file as an STL. use the ART-xform mirror in Z function to create you mold. then you can use your ART toolpaths to machine the file. i, too, use vector art for buying files. great site.

to me, it sounds like you have not read the manuals or PDF that gets installed in the documentation for mastercam. you may want to start there, being all of your questions would have been answered.

by all means keep posting here, but you will find that you will not always get very quick responses on issues that are very clearly documentated in the help/PDF files.

#5 JT43

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:21 AM

Trevor, thanks for all the information, it turned out great.
We were reviewing the manuals, but really didn't know what we were dealing with,on the STL file, so we weren't sure which way to go. It was also the first time using Art too!  I can't wait to get into even more now.

How do you post pictures on here, would love to show it.  Wait, let me go research that one before I ask for help on it! :-)

I also have a trophy that I designed for a club I belong to that we did a master for, it turned out pretty good.  The trophy I designed in AutoCAD, but probably would have been just as easy or easier in ART.

Again thanks for all your help, John T

#6 Trevor Bailey

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:47 PM

would love to see your work.

photobucket is a pretty easy site to use for pics.