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Saving STL's


JB7280
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Is there any advantages, or disadvantages of saving an STL from verify, vs. saving an STL from a stock model?

 

Also, I tried it both ways, and I tried using some of the new mesh features to clean it up a bit, and got a warning that it is non-manifold/not watertight.  Is there a way to fix this?  Or what caused it?

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There is the real issue with STL in general. Watertightness is the weak link when making STL files. Do some reverse engineering collecting data with a scanner and you learn real quick the work and process. STL is just a skin or eggshell of the item its representing. They are triangles fit together depending on the accuracy they were created or saved as. With saving from Verify you have the default way it was saved from in the options. The trick is getting it close enough to be usable, but loose enough to be watertight or stitch together. From the stock model save you get how was the tolerance used to first create it and the tolerances used for the tool and the paths. Anyone of those 3 settings has an effect of Watertightness. Looser most times makes for a Warertight STL which normally makes it not hollow. The trick every time is finding that trade off of accuracy and ability to use it. 
 

With the type of work I do everything has to reside in the Mastercam file. I cannot link to external STL files normally. My files will becomes extremely large time I add 4-10 stock models. Nature of what I do since linking to external files can become a time bomb. Saves file size and make the programming process faster, but one of the trades offs I have to deal with programming for others and not in my own shop. In your case you should be okay linking to external STL files, but the issue then becomes the hallow STL that will happen from time to time. The thing we have found using them over the years is tolerance plain and simple. If I need accurate model to use as a final check then I will always keep that stock model and stl inside of the file. If not needed then I will most times save out and use them that way until the program is about complete then I at the end will import that stock model to a level and use it to send the final file to a customer. Allows me the speed and ability to keep the file as small as possible while programming, but then make it stable when sent that they don’t ever have to worry about the broken file process Mastercam has for stock models. Link to an external stl and come back to that file 1 month or 2 years later. If anything has been moved or renamed guess what that file is pretty much destroyed unless you took the time and named a level the STL name and location. The stock model operation that is linked externally doesn’t keep any of that if this happens. For one customer years ago the stock model name was the file location on their server with part number and SM1, SM2, and etc.. as we make stock models for them. They always had issues with IT changing drive letters and file locations. They went back to a file to change a revision they were named so that the programmer could easily find them and good to go. I have seen many customers come up with this process on their own so seems like a good way to keep track of them and keep file stability over many revisions of parts. 
 

Sorry got long winded, but hope it helped give you something to use.

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