Any tips for handling STLs

I regularly import STLs files to make minor modification to then 3D print… Sometimes they are easy to edit and i can achieve what I want… But other STLs take literally hours to load… And appear to be missing geometry and editing is near impossible

I had a task at the weekend where I wanted to make a hole through a tiny yet complex STL and gave up…

But then I started looking at other apps (FreeCad, Mesh Mixer, Blender, etc) and was surprised how quickly they opened STL files and showed all the geometry…

So I just wonder if there is anything I am missing… Is there any way to import an STL in a form which is easier to edit (even if the number of polygons are reduced)… Are there any tools which can help (perhaps convert the STL into a SU friendly format)… Or any processes I can follow just to get the file into SU in a form I can edit it.

Or perhaps for STLs, its better of using a different tool (i.e MeshMixer) to make this kind of modification?

I know this is vague, but I just wondered if i was overlooking some tools or techiques that people use…

Thanks in advance


Import them larger, in metres for example, this will stop you losing tiny faces.
A quick hit with Fixit 101 or another similar cleanup extension to remove the triangulation.
Make your edits.
Then export in cm or mm depending on what you need it to be.

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How do you import it larger?

The import dialog has an Options button, click that and change the settings.