The RP Resource – Resources

Even a resource blog needs a resource page. Here are some links to places on the web that we think others may find useful:

Wholers Associates
This consulting company is a provider of technical and strategic information and advice on rapid prototyping.  On their site you can find such things as:

STL File Format
Wikipedia has a nice article on the STL File format and its history.  If you ever need to write your own STL file from your own software, this is a good place to start.

Other Sites:
If you can not find what you are looking for on The RP Resource, you may want to try some of these other sites:

Free Software:
There is a lot of free software out there that can be used by people involved in rapid prototyping or 3D printing.  But it is free, and you get what you pay for:

  • CADspan – converts Google SketchUp models to STL
  • Meshlab – the best Open Source tool for dealing with mesh geometry, like STL files. Use this tool to translate between formats, view your STL’s , and even do some repair. Linux, Windows, MacOS.
  • ‘topeScope – Tool for viewing STL files on a Mac.

Commercial Software
To be efficient and effective users need the right tools.  You will of course need a good CAD package. Almost all of them will output a great STL file.  In addition, we recommend some of the following tools:

  • Geomagic – We like this software so much, we sell it. If you need to deal with legacy faceted data, scan data, or repair bad faceted data, this is the tool.
  • SolidView – A nice set of tools for dealing with RP data.  This tool is very popular with service providers like PADT as well as larger companies that do a lot of RP.  It is useful for repair, translation, scaling, and modifying STL files in a dozen different ways.

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