3D printing: quality STL files, quality results!

When the time comes to produce printed parts with tighter tolerances, or if you want to get the smoothest surface finish possible out of your printer or your service supplier, the importance of your STL files’ quality cannot be overstated.

Here are a few examples of the dimensional accuracy and quality surface finish attained with the source file only, regardless of the equipment’s adjustments or printing quality.



Let’s take a cylinder ready to print with a diameter of 100 mm.

Depending on the quality of your STL file, issued from your CAD, the diameter could exhibit a difference of 325µm versus virtually 0µm with a high quality STL. The printed part will also follow suit.



The same is true for the print quality of curved surfaces.


In many CAD software, an STL file’s quality can be controlled when it is being created.

Let’s take SOLIDWORKS for example.

To change the file’s quality when saving in STL format, simply press ‘options’.


To get a good result, I will put the angle’s parameter completely to the right. 1 to 1.25 outputs a good result.



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