Large STL File Editing Using TinkerCAD

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Introduction: Large STL File Editing Using TinkerCAD

About: I am mechanical engineer and I work on robotic mechanical design. I am running my startup and sometime working on my design hobby. Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD2Sfi_ZynB2bFgR7rTmxgA …

Hi, it's Loan from gubutek and welcome back to my series of editing large STL file. I have done a couple of videos with Fusion 360 and Blender and today we're gonna do the same with TinkerCAD.

This tutorial show you one more option when you need to edit STL file that you download somewhere. If you're interested in the series you can have a look at my channel here. Let's get to it.

Step 1: Import the STL File


From the open screen of TinkerCAD the first thing we need to do we import the STL file that we want to edit. You can go to Import -> Choose a file, for example, my file is rhinohanger.stl. Remeber that the file size should be less than 25MB. This is the limitation of TinkerCAD.

You can choose millimeters or inches for the import unit depending on the STL file. It will take you some time to import this file into the TinkerCAD. The rhinohanger.stl took 90 seconds to get in.

The STL file can be downloaded from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4172164

Step 2: Setup the Workplane

Workplane is the surface on which we want to edit the model. In this example, I want to modify on the back of the rhinohanger file so I have to set the workplane there. You can select the Workplane tool, the pointer became a small plane that snap to surfaces when you move it around. Choose the surface on the back of the rhinohanger.


Step 3: Set the Origin

The next step is to set the origin on the workplane so that all the dimensions can be referenced to. Select the Ruler tool and move to the your prefer position (Zero position). In this case I chose the center of the rhinohanger. Now the file is ready for editting.

Step 4: Cut a Part Out of the STL File

In this example, we will cut a box out of the STL file. You can click on the Box tool (the hole one) to add a hollow box (for cutting). Then you can modify the dimensions and position of it (referred to the Ruler we set in the previous step). As you see I changed the Z coordinate to -10mm so the box will be inside the STL file.

To cut the box out of the STL file, you need to select both of them and go for Group. This function will combine the rhinohanger.stl and the hollow box and the result is the square hole in the back of the rhinohanger.stl

Step 5: Adding Extra Part

In this step we can try adding a box into the STL file. It will be similar to the previous step but we will choose the solid Box tool (the red one). After modifying the dimensions and positions, we can use the same Group function to combine the block and the STL file. They will become one file with the same color.

Step 6: Export the New STL File

After editting all the part you want, we can finally export the new STL file for 3D printing. Using the Export function, you can choose the format you need. For 3D printing, both .obj and .stl files work with most of the slicers. You can then check your file with your slicer.

Step 7: Extras

In stead of editting the STL file using TinkerCAD blocks, we can combine many STL files together to create your new file. The detail tutorial can be found here https://youtu.be/6HnH-9y8S3Y

One thing you should keep in mind is that TinkerCAD they do reduce the size of the STL file that you make so if you want to keep the original resolution you should go with something like Blender. Another limitation of TinkerCAD is that the file inputs should be less than 25MB.

So, that's all the basic things you need to know when editing STL file with TinkerCAD. I hope this tutorial will help you with your project.

Happy making!


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