Exporting with better resolution/less faceting

I’m exporting my model into STL format so it can be rapid prototyped. The representative at the company we’re sending this file to keeps telling me the file is “too faceted” for printing, and it needs higher resolution.

How can I export to STL with higher resolution, and less faceting?

The .stl file by its nature creates triangles between the vertices in your model. In order to have a less-faceted appearance, those triangles have to be smaller. In order to get that out of SketchUp, you have to put the vertices closer together. That means modeling using higher numbers for arcs and circles and other curves and subdivide surfaces more than you evidently are. It’s not something you can control in the .stl export.

You might find you could import the .stl file into some other application that further “complexifies” the mesh.

so does the stl. export just expose the generated triangular mesh?

Is there any way I can turn the geometry into a NURB cloud, without a mesh, and export it that way? Thats how STP’s are imported, right?

Not exactly. By definition, the .stl file creates triangles so it’s adding lines between the vertices in the model. Turn on Hidden Geometry in your model and look at the mesh. Then export an .stl and import that into SketchUp. Compare the import to your original.

You can’t export NURBS from SketchUp. Do a search on the forum. There are threads about that.

Is there another file type I can export to, using the native importer or an extension, thats going to produce less faceted surfaces? I’ve exported into a bunch of the file types and re-imported into sketchup to see the faceting, and from i’ve seen .DXF is the least faceted.

It’s a case of GIGO. You need to refine your model.

Two spheres model in SU with different numbers of faces.

Exported to STL and imported back in to show the triangulation. The original spheres are in the background.

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I see. So how do i change the amt of faces on my model? completely remaking it isn’t a realistic option

You might experiment with the SubD extension.

My imported .stl spheres after increasing subdivision with SubD.

My original spheres .stl uploaded for 3D printing.

.stl after SubD ready for printing.

It’s possible that certain parts do have to be remodeled with more detail.

giving the SubD extension a look

See the edit to my previous post. As one-gap suggested, you should probably be open to the idea that some elements may need to be remodeled. And going forward, it would be a good idea to plan ahead for this sort of thing so you don’t waste time trying to make your models suitable for the job. It’s always much easier and faster to do the job right the first time than it is to go back and fix it later.

Haha. I prefer “uniformly spaced” :wink:

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SubD keeps crashing/shooting out error messages when I use it. It outright completely ruins my non-DXF import model, and only slightly messes up my DXF exported/imported model. Any idea why its doing this?

What are the dimensions of the model?

its at 1000x scale when i’m doing all of this so roughly 2000 inches in the green and red directions, 1000 in the blue

Try selecting smaller sections to subdivide.

its all one solid part. its a lower half of an electronics housing assembly. i can subdivide smaller sections?

I was thinking you’d just select smaller areas to subdivide, not divide it into small sections. Seems to me it would make more sense to keep all the geometry in one “piece”.

That model doesn’t look like it would take all that much to redraw using larger numbers of sides for the circles and arcs.