Merging STL Files

150102 NintendoOnce again I’m finding MeshLab to be a must-have tool for manipulating STL files (read my previous post about using it to reduce file sizes by clicking here).

I’ve just downloaded the files for a Raspberry Pi B+ enclosure from Thingiverse (click here to get the free files) which I’ve started printing on my ‘Up! Plus 2‘ 3D Printer. However I wanted the Nintendo logo on the lid part rather than a blank surface. Enter MeshLab.

I started with extruding the text in Solidworks (image 1), and exporting this as an STL. Any CAD package should do this for you. Both files can then be opened within MeshLab ready to combine (something that can’t be done in Solidworks). The problem with MeshLab is that there is no simple way to align multiple files, unlike Solidworks parts where you would simply ‘mate’ surfaces together. Instead you must manually rotate and move the parts into the orientations desired. Not a big problem for simple parts like this where position and alignment don’t need to be perfect, it’s just for looks (image 2). Once in position, you can right-click in the layers panel, and use the ‘Flatten Visible Layers‘ tool to combine the STL’s into a single solid. Export this new file as a STL and you’re ready to print!

Stay tuned for some photos and details as I print this part out, along with the full enclosure.

– Posted by James Novak

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3 thoughts on “Merging STL Files

  1. Pingback: Raspberry Pi B+ Enclosure | edditive blog

  2. Pingback: 10 Steps to STL File Modification: A Beginner’s Guide | edditive blog

  3. Pingback: 5 Steps to 3D Print Customization | edditive blog

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