Hey, I've already posted this within the FAQ-Area, but since nobody responded it might be better suited for this area. I have an instructable with 3D printed parts, so I added the *.stl-Files, that can be used for 3D printing. However I dont see them correctly within my instructable. Is there a way to get them displayed correctly with a preview-image? thanks in advance!

Topic by aimzzz 

Modifying STL's

I am looking for a cheap, preferably free, program or suggested work flow to make changes or additions to a STL. The particular interest right now is a small mouse that I download from Thingiverse that I'd like to add a block letter to. Something I'm trying to do for an event at my dog club. I want to print it in green with a block "Q" on its rump. I have windows 7 and 8.1 along with Linux Mint and will soon have an Afinia printer. Thanks in advance for any pointers, Curt

Topic by CurtWG   |  last reply

stl-file preview

Hello, I wrote my first instructable a few days ago and added some stl-Files, that can be used for 3D printing. However I dont see them correctly within my instructable. Is there a way to get them displayed correctly with a preview-image? thanks in advance!

Topic by aimzzz 

VECTOR then To STL. Then to model

Behind on a project. Loooking for someone expireinced to turn a photo into a STL. File for 3D model. three sizes 2.5" , 1.5" and .75" Seems simple and straightforward but you'll have to see the image DUSTY

Topic by DustyB   |  last reply

Trouble with .stl sizing

I'm having trouble with the sizing of the .stl file model. In blender it says that I have everything correct and I've made sure that the scaling was applied but every time I upload it it says that its wicked tiny. I was hoping someone could give me suggestions on how to fix this problem or at least think of something that I haven't thought of yet.. 

Topic by The Cartographer   |  last reply

Suggestions for Free 3D print ? Answered

I recently won a free 3D print for my instructable on using hot glue as a casting material....  :D But since I've already made an instructables robot for myself, I'd like to have some different thing as my free 3D print.... The thing has to be not more than 3"X3"X3" in size.... I've already seen some good "3-D printing"  related Instructables, But couldn't find a thing that'll fulfil the size condition... Please give only those instructables/links which have the STL files...

Question by Siddharth Jain   |  last reply

Trouble downloading .stl files

I'm trying to download the .stl files for a couple of Instructables projects. But when I click on the links all I get is a page of garbled text. This doesn't happen all the time, but probably as often as not. Any ideas what the problem could be... and how to get around it?

Topic by Lardo   |  last reply

Problem displaying stl files

Hi, when I try to use the "View in 3D" button on the middle part of my Green Latern Instructable ( - step 3: "Middle.stl"). It shows a totally different part. The same happens with "bottom.stl", "top.stl". Britt

Topic by BrittLiv   |  last reply

Chopping Up an stl file into multiples

Hi Everyone, I'm looking for some software help.  I have a single stl file of a Johnny 5 robot.  I don't want to print it all in one part. What I'd like to do is chop the arms, head, and other random parts off, and save them as separate stl files so the robot can be re-assembled. Ideally the chopped off arms would have male-female connectors to fit back into the body they were removed from. I'm looking for input as to what would be the best method to accomplish this both in software and technique. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Topic by gravityisweak   |  last reply

How to turn .STL files into .SVG files?

Im looking to laser cut a part but i need to figure out how to get a cross section file saved as an SVG file. I made the part on inventor, exported it and then tried to upload it to 123D design but it wont allow me. What do i do?

Question by LancerRobotics3415   |  last reply

The "View in 3D" button opens the wrong model

In my instructable Blind Music Player when I click on "View in 3D" next to the "buttons.stl" file I see some other model. Maybe it's called "buttons.stl" too but that's not my model. Tested with Google Chrome Version 61.0.3163.79 (Official Build) (64-bit) and Firefox 52.3.0 (64-bit). Debian Stretch 64 bit.

Topic by Philip Ashmore 

DXF and STL files wont download

Hi Im coming across this bug more and more, with students computers and now my own, when you click on an STL or DXF file instead of it downloading, it is opening in a new page which is not very helpful and makes the file unusable. It does this on Mac computers using firefox, chorme or safari,  Ive noticed it still works correctly when running a very old version of Firefox  thanks

Topic by liquidhandwash   |  last reply

Best way to host svg, stl, source code, other files for an Instructable

I've got several Instructables that explain how to move from a computer file (3d model or Illustrator file) to physical object (3d print, laser engraving, etc.) I would love to be able to put a link to those files in the body of the Instructable itself, so any reader could download them and use them freely. Similar comment for code snippets; inline code works (with careful editing) but it isn't optimal for longer bits of code.

Topic by nomuse   |  last reply

Alternate Lego NXT controllers?

I was wondering if anyone knew of any lego nxt controllers apart from the supplied program? I'm not looking for r/c program, just something that, when given a command, will move the nxt motor in a certain way. I am trying to build possibly a 3D printer, but I would like it to be able to print from a 3d file.... Such as a lego CNC (if you search it on google you get a few). I would like to do this without codeing, but if i must, i might be able to learn. So anyone know of a program that can read 3d files and correspond them to lego motors? It can be windows/mac, im not picky. Or if there is a way to control the lego nxt from code, i might do that :) Thanks!

Question by astroboy907 

creating a surface in Invesalius?

Hi there! We want to produce an stl of a heelbone from DICOM files to print and use in an operation. The edible Chocolate Brain was the inspiration to use Invesalius - meshlab I already know so this seemed like a good option. there are, however, limited manuals in english and infos to figure out certain steps in the Program ... like creating the surface for the stl - the mask has already been taken care of and everything else looks right, just this one step isn't yielding the expected result. a link of the document in question to look at - I would appreciate any help a great deal. thank you & snowy regards from Vienna, Eva Tucek

Question by evatucek   |  last reply

Printing 3d models/ prototypes affordably? Is there a cheap place to get my cad file printed by a 3d printer? Answered

So I am working on a futuristic design of a ferris wheel and am having trouble finding a company or manufacturer that could make an affordable prototype. My 3d model has the dimensions 100mm x 100mm x 75mm max size with the volume of 5 cubic inches. The school I go to does not have a 3d printer but I was fortunate to find one of my teachers came from a school who had one and she was going to try and see if they would print my model for me. It's been over a month since I heard of that option and I am assuming that option is no longer on the table. So, I am looking for an affordable option to print my 3d model. My budget is under $50. Had I been able to use the school's 3d printer it would have only cost me $4 per cubic inch, resulting in $20 cost to make. Doing a google search for 3d prototyping companies I found a few commercial options yet the quotes end up costing around $375 - $725. I know the Makerbot is one of the most affordable 3d printers out there yet $1000 is not in my price rang.

Question by mcguyverzboss   |  last reply

TurboCAD .stl file dropped into Cura is auto enlarged 10,000%

I drew up a part in TurboCAD saved it as a STL and dropped it into Cura. Cura enlarged the part 10,000 % Why is that? What did I do wrong?

Question by paulbrandt2   |  last reply

Updated 3D Model of the Instructables Robot!

Hey Everyone!Happy Friday!This week I uploaded our latest 3D model of the Instructables Robot to Thingiverse, in case you were looking for some inspiration for the Remix Contest ;) It's exciting to see how many people have already downloaded the model! Click here to grab the model, and be sure to tag us on Twitter and Instagram once you're ready to show off how you used this 3D model of our beloved robot mascot!Have a great weekend!best,audreyObscura

Topic by audreyobscura   |  last reply

3D Viewer

Instructables Team - I don't know when it was changed but the "View in 3D" upgrade works very well. I especially like the section analysis and exploded views.Makers - if you are like me and enjoy showing your work in CAD, please consider dropping STP/STEP files into your instructable.

Topic by mtairymd   |  last reply

Why would an empty std::map seg fault on the first insert? Answered

I've got a weird C++ problem which make no sense to me.  I have a class containing a std::map<> data member, which I fill during the initialization process.  On my Mac (OSX 10.5.8, GCC 4.0.1), the map is filled perfectly fine, and the data is accessed when the job runs with no problem.  When I build and run on Linux (RHEL 5.6, GCC 4.1.2), the std::map<> itself seg-faults the first time something is inserted. I've tried the insert with both table[key] = value and with table.insert(std::pair<>(key,value)) and I get the identical result. For some reason, std::map<>::insert_unique() doesn't recognize that the map is empty, and it tries to decrement one position before begin(), triggering the seg-fault. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to explicitly zero the map (the constructor should do that itself, shouldn't it?)?

Question by kelseymh   |  last reply

How do I edit the sketch of a stl file that has Certificate Trust File error?

I am able to by-pass the error that says the file is Certificate Trust File, but in solidwirks I am unable to edit the sketch. I thought you just click on sketch and go from there, but that doesn't make the model go into sketch mode. Thanks

Question by ReharnaW   |  last reply

Converting a .dwg into a .stl for 3D printing a house design (Converting to watertight mesh/ 3d volume)

Hey you guys,I am hoping to use the powers of a crowd to find a quick answer to my problem. I have the architectural Design (.dwg) of a given house (simple model for comparison attached). I need to convert this into a .stl file, preferrably using Fusion360 or Autocad. (newest Version)I understand that the type of the walls and roof is not a 3D volumetric type or a watertight mesh, so the question is how to get there. (Also: of what type of "structure" are these walls - I mean .. they are 3D?)I am an electronics engineer by training, so my CAD knowledge is rather restricted to PCB design. I would be pleased if you can help me out with this, so I can get back to those PCB's :)Thank you guys a lot!lusch

Question by lusch   |  last reply

Didn't receive my 3D prints :(

Hi,I had emailed the required stl files 2 months ago but didn't any shipment confirmation message :(

Topic by rahulkar   |  last reply

I'll turn your technical drawings into files for 3D printing. [$5 per part]

I have access to Autodesk Inventor Pro and I can convert technical drawings into 3D models that can then be printed using a 3D printer.  If you are interested, please email plans for a small test piece (cube or similar simple object) that I will draw and send for free to make sure everything is compatible. The most common filetype is .STL. I accept payments via PayPal after the model has been reviewed by the customer.    

Topic by JamesRPatrick   |  last reply

Introducing: Design Challenges!

Design Challenges will be in addition to our other contests. Here is what makes them different than our traditional contests and challenges: You do not create step-by-step Instructables for these contests. Create 3D designs using Fusion360, Tinkercad, or any program that allows you to make .STL files. Design Challenges can only be entered from the contest page. We will usually provide start files to get you started (this will be dependent on the contest and its theme). Our first one is the BOSEbuild Design Challenge. If you have questions specific to the BOSEbuild Challenge, the Speaker Cube, or creating your own custom designs, you can post those questions here. If you have questions about Design Challenges and what they are going to be like, post them here! *If you want to upload more than 1 STL file, upload your main design file in the "Add Design File" section and upload any supporting renders of the design, additional .stl files, or other relevant images to the "Add Images" section.*

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick   |  last reply

How do I open a Certificate Trust List file in ProDesktop?

I downloaded a file off of, a 3d modeling file. The file type is Certificate Trust List. When I try to open the file through ProDesktop, it says that the file is not a Prodesktop file. My teacher wants the file to be in ProDesktop and wants it to be .stl file. I tried opening it in AutoDesk Inventor and it work but then I tried to export it as a .stl for my teacher, a message popped up saying that the model was invalid. I then tried to open it in Sketchup but it said that it wasn't a sketchup file. Please help, any info helps. The link is

Question by Lazyox   |  last reply

Rapidprototyped Weighted Companion Storage Cube

Here are the .sldprt and .stl files for the projectFor those of you who do not have SolidWorks, you can get the e-drawings file (wcc.exe) instead. Just download it and open it - no special programs needed.

Topic by Zorink   |  last reply

Upload image to contest

How do we upload our tinkercad design to your contest? We have followed the steps and and we get the message to add the picture and it's already there. What file type do we need to use? We are using stl

Question by karen.nelson.5686322   |  last reply

RobotArm CNC

Could you do a video on how to make a desktop ROBOT CNC milling machine which gets controlled by usb via software and reads STL file formats Using a dremel On lynxmotion they say it can't be done. I don't believe that.

Topic by Curly01   |  last reply

AutoCAD 2012 for 1:1 3D model making/printing?

The title just about sums up my question. I am using AutoCAD 2012 to make 3D models for the intent of 3D printing. However, all the models I make in CAD are smaller then they are showing. For example, I draft a 5x5x5 cube, and export it as an STL. Then open in a a few different STL viewers, and the cub has shrunk down to about 2.5x2.5x2.5. Now, I can always just scale up my models to fit the needed size, but if I can get CAD to agree with me to make a 5x5x5 cube that will really come out to be 5x5x5, that would make things easier.  Also, as a precursor, I have changed the units in CAD to match my needs, but it the models are still coming out small

Question by DoctorWoo   |  last reply

How do I open a Certificate Trust List in Inventor so I can pull dimensions and manipulate the object?

I am trying to open a CTL file that was downloaded from thingiverse and Inventor is giving me problems opening and manipulating the object(engine block). I converted it to an STL  but it still will not let me place it in a drawing.

Question by logan_b   |  last reply

modéle 3d

Bonjour, j'habite le nord de la france , je suis très intéressé par les nouvelles technologies , je me débrouille comme un débutant avec les logiciel 3 D ( rhinoceros sketchup ) j'ai un modéle de voiture 3D obtenu sur le net , que je voudrais transformer pour le rendre étanche solide stl pour pouvoir travailler dessus avec le logiciel 123D MAKE de solidwork et éventuellement l'imprimer ; qui peut le faire ou me guider pas à pas ,se serait cool , 

Topic by fanauto 

Is this a CC Licensing violation?

I came across a blog that shared my DIY rotary tool project which is under CC-BY-NC-SA.  I am new to this licensing thing, but how the project has been shared by the blog doesn't feel right to me.  The blog admin has downloaded the images and stl files from my instructable and uploaded directly to their website and in the 'parts required' list they have put affiliate links. Does it violate the Non-Commercial license?  At the end of the article, they have a small link to my instructable.  Is this legal to do so and within the limits of the Creative Common license? If yes, What can I do in the future so that other people are not using my projects for making easy money? Thanks. 

Topic by Makernaut   |  last reply

I want to print some gears, but I dont know how to make them

So I'd really like to make some geared mechanisms to be printed out, but the math is a little bit beyond me. Right now I have 123D and it does not have a gear generator. I was thinking that somewhere there has to exist a catalog or database of pre-designed gear stl files. I was hoping that somebody here might know of such a thing, or perhaps another way to easily make gears? I've been seeing all kinds of crazy gears made into really exotic shapes, but I don't know how these are made either. I'm assuming that the people that designed them are super geniuses, or that they have some kind of advanced software. Which is it?

Topic by Tomdf   |  last reply

3D printed combination lock anyone?

I am in the finnishing stages for a fully 3D printed dial combination lock, similar to what would be used on a safe.Unlike what you might find in other places there is no metal parts.No crappy amount of possible combinations either, 72 per dial dial...I took me a few weeks and quite some filament to get from a draft in Sketchup to something that actually works as planned.As it was more a training excersize in Sketchup for me I had the the following goals:1. Everything is 3D printed with as little afterwork as possible.2. All required springs are 3D printed as well as all other moving or stationary parts.3. Where otherwise fasteners or screws would be required only short leftovers of filament are used to keep the parts in place.Only exception for security reason is the mounts for the front dial and holder.These should be glued or screwed in place if the actual intention is to use it as a working lock.4. The lock shall not be pickable by means of felling, hearing or just trying out random combinations.The above points I got sorted to my satisfaction.However I would like some feedback from trustworth beta testers on the general design and functionality.It is one thing to design something that just works but a bit harder to design it the best possible way.Another big drawback currently is that it seems to be impossible to export proper STL files in Sketchup once they reach a certain complexity.Automatic services or programs to fix these issues result in drastically increased file sizes.Some of the problematic part go from just under 200kb to over 10mb after "fixed".This is not acceptable for me and I have to work on fixing this issue.Most slicers correct these tiny errors automatically and produce a correct print but I prefer proper STL files of small size and complexity over inflated ones that I then need to double check for a long anyways.A few details need changing as my tests showed that you can't drive up print details to a certain level without risking to be unable to mount the parts without further sanding.I hope to have a full set of clean STL files ready for testing by the end of this month.If you are interested to try it out and maybe contribute to an improved version your time will be valued by being mentioned as a beta tester for the upcoming Instructable.Be warned though!This is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for someone who does not know how to calibrate all aspects of the 3D printer involved.The lock also uses quite a bit of filament, currently around 37m all up but I am working on reducing this by replacing solid parts with framework instead where possible.The assembly can be time consuming and frustrating if you realise only once finnished that you have certain parts in the wrong position or orientation.But as said, my goals were not really on making it as easy as possible LOLWhy desing a lock that is neither secure enough nor free of metal parts if there is other options ;)If you happen to work with an Inventor and PLA on the left side then I can provide ready to go .gx files if prefered.They would then be already confirmed to be working and usable on one of my printers.Let me know what you think ...

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

CAD CAM Instructables

Hi everyone Just wanted to get some thoughts about instructables using computer aided drawing, computer aided machining. I want to do a series on using CAD to make projects but I find it difficult to make a heap of screen shots and instructions into something that is interesting or "Instructable worthy"  (read BORING) . I know videos are good but in many schools videos are blocked and band width problems can make videos a pain in this part of the world. Also unless you have the same software that I'm using the instructable will be of little use to you. So I was thinking I would use free software and have links to download it. Also the instuctables would be about making a real project ,rather than just a tutorial on how to use the software. I personally get a little annoyed with an instructable that is.... step one download stl file step two send to 3d printer step  three  your done   So is there anything else that would make a CAD CAM Instructable something you would want to read? Thanks

Topic by liquidhandwash   |  last reply

HELP! Can't get a render working for the "Design For Robotics" contest!

Hi, I'm a young creator in secondary school and have recently uploaded an entry (Strider: Bio-inspired Home Security and Automation) to "Design for robotics". However, I have been unable to display a 3D model of the robot. I was previously able to render a file (either an FBX, STL, GLB or 3MF- it was a while ago, so I have since forgotten). I was sent an Email in response to my entry saying that they would be making changes to the renderer so it could show sketchup models. However, I since tried to upload both a SKP and DAE file and both failed to be displayed. To qualify for the finalists, you need to upload a render or you won't be viable for selection. I have put a huge amount of effort into my model, and it would be a shame to have it disqualified on a technical. Please give any advice if you can or help me directly fix the problem, I will be hugely thankful.

Topic by sifu-dianji   |  last reply

Small improvements to think about

Hi there, Having just published my longest 'ible so far I generated enough thoughts to write some feedback which may or may not be reasonable. Embedding content: I see that .stl files appear nicely with ability to preview and interact with them in 3D, that's great. It's also fully possible to embed Youtube videos and they work just fine. What I'm missing however is ability to embed a circuit from 123D circuits - one of the reasons I used the tool for my last 'ible was because I thought it would sure be possible to embed something made with an Autodesk service. Nope. Adding the iframe makes the view appear while I'm writing the step, yet disappears in preview/publish. Another service I tried to embed was gfycat - they pretty much solve the issue of huge gifs and therefore long load times by some html5 sorcery (I'm not familiar with that). This could save space/traffic of your servers and decrease page load times. It would also be awesome if uploading an .ino, .txt or any other raw text file would automatically generate a scroll box with the code there maybe even already having the formatting and all. Similarly like .stl generates 3D preview. This would save instructables from another possible wall of text, especially on mobile, because now, when I manually add a scroll box with code in it it still appears like regular text on mobile. As an extra - it would make the work of authors easier as well. Instructable layout: First of all - I understand and support the idea of having a standardized format of instructables, if this undermines that - forget and forgive me. What I propose is a way to add pictures mid-step to avoid walls of text, since somehow making a new step doesn't always feel appropriate or maybe it's just a personal issue I need to get over? Just say if it is so. At least having a way to remove the "Step #:" when making a new step allowing to have pictures mid-step would help. Before you mention it - I know that it is possible to add pictures mid-step using html, but that compromises visibility on mobile, so I try to avoid that. Statistics: After hitting over 50k views in just a few days with my bottle upcycling 'ible I wanted to at least try and replicate that with my other ones. However, when I click the statistics button I have these empty lines next to the visitor count, often the lines with the biggest numbers. While I can guess where most of the views came from it's still massive guesswork and I'm probably wrong in the end anyway. i.e. in that particular case I got over 30k views on my imgur album, my blog post got featured under DIY tag in tumblr and then got some upvotes on reddit as well. I know that your SEO is pretty good from the amount of 'ibles I get as first google results, but fixing statistics has a potential to drive even more traffic for you. I probably forgot something else along the way, but that's it for now. I hope someone bothers to read this and says what she or he thinks. Cheers, Raitis Disclaimer: This is meant as feedback and some ideas for improvement as seen from my point of view, not complaints, not even real critique. Read, think and move forward.

Topic by Raitis   |  last reply

Using Autodesk Fusion 360 or other package to make Lids and other form fitting parts?

First off, thanks for all the great posts and Instructables, I hope to be able to add to the growing collection sometime soon with a few projects I need to document.   Recently I have been trying to figure out a good way to create form fitting shapes with decent tolerances for  PLA printing.  I am using Autodesk Fusion and Blender using Boolean CGI operations, specifically the  Cut / Difference option. to create a appropriate sized cap.  If you have a peek at the attached image, the top part (red)  was used as a tool to cut out a matching body from a smaller cylinder (blue).  In the real world If these are printed, the shape would never fit together and if you did, you could never remove them.   What I would like to do is alter the bottom half to shrink it's surfaces inward about 0.25mm to allow for the expanding of materials. Every time I've inquired about this on some other forums, the first response Is  'Just use resize' and make the bottom half larger.'  Great idea, but there are a problems.  The inner plate/cylinder and radius walls expand to be too large The height changes, leaving a gap between the two surfaces Any suggestions would be great. I believe there is a path using Differences / Intersect and subtracting that, but I've been failing to find a solution to it.  I have included the Example top as an STL file.  Thanks for any suggestions.  And No this is not for a school project. Just a hobbyist looking to understand CAD.

Topic by dewclaws 

(closed) One year of Pro for quick connect, for MaKey MaKey

MaKey MaKey is an electronic inventor's kit (simple closed connections via USB + music program + fruit = banana piano). More here: One problem I've been running into is that it is an additional challenge to rotate quickly between more than one project per MaKey MaKey. The MaKey MaKey has 12 signal pins (female) on the back, pins for ground and 5v outputs, and six pair of alligator clip holes on the board. I've got some ideas on how to make quick connects so that I can freely travel between projects using just a system of male/female connections, where the MaKey MaKey has one type and my projects have the other. Included are some images to get ideas sparking around. If you can post a project detailing one method of a unique quick connect system for MaKey MaKey before the end of February, you're entered. I'll hand out one year of Pro for first place and one 3 month of Pro for second place. I'll choose the winners, but will pay attention to any community feedback. Points don't matter, so points arbitrarily awarded for thriftiness and resourcefulness, creative flair, quality of documentation, and use of MaKey MaKey header pins and other connections. 1st place: 1 year of Pro 2nd place: 3 months of Pro Bonus points for tutorials with resource files and specs that are easily interchangeable between tools, materials, and methods of tech/crafting. Useful formats can include SVG, STL, and others. Here's a couple of projects we got featured that could have really used a quick connect system going on using our laser cutter: Hydrophobic Drum Pad (homepaged, generated 1st place prize for this contest) Music Box (featured, generated 2nd place prize for this contest)

Topic by smalltortoise   |  last reply