Simple Interface: Import
Time to read: ~2 min
The Import button represents the starting point for loading facetted polygon data files. The most common of these is likely the
STL file format ("STereo -Lithography)"). Both Binary and Ascii (plain text)
files are supported with the application automatically distinguishing between the two formats.
Additionally, OBJ files are also supported though this file format comes in more flavors and thus it is possible that certain aspects that
were stored in the file cannot be correctly imported into the InStep Studio application. In those cases, it is recommended that any options
in the original application for exporting to 'triangles' or 'facets' or similar be considered. Similarly, textures and some color options
are not supported as there is no equivalent output option in the STEP format and thus, even if the data were imported, the output to the most
important format (for this application anyway) would not result in anything beyond the geometric entities.
File formats for 3D/CAD files come in a vast number of flavors. Some are aimed at 'Mesh' or 'Polygon' style usage (3D printing, Animation, Visualization, etc.) with
STL and OBJ likely being at the very forefront based on the number of supported applications. Others fall into the (Mechanical) CAD use with almost every major CAD application
using its own, proprietary format in addition to application-neutral formats such as IGES, Parasolid or STEP.
What is important is that the InStep application will not import the CAD neutral formats, only mesh data. Conversion between different Mesh/Polygon file formats
can often be accomplished by free applications (Blender, Wings3D, MeshLab, etc.) and therefore not a great amount of effort has been spent in re-creating those
capabilities. Almost all applications will be able to export to STL (or OBJ) and therefore we feel that if we support one or the other, we've done a good job...
unless you disagree and just absolutely need a file format supported that you have no other way of using. In that case, please Contact Us
and let us know. If you can provide a spec of the format as well as some examples and are prepared to contribute some time to testing, we may just be able to
add the option to the application.