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I'm looking to find a plastic manufacturer for my model, and looking around I found this list on a quote page:

  • STP (Preferred)
  • IGES
  • SLDPRT (Native SolidWorks)
  • PRT (Native PRO-E)
  • X_T (Parasolid)

Obviously these aren't the only formats manufacturers like to work with, but Blender doesn't export to any of them. What's a good tool to get these types of files? I'd prefer not to download anything, but I will if I have to. I'm running Ubuntu.

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Blender has several export plugins: You can also download more, to look for them, open your preferences Ctrl-Alt-U>Addons and use the import export tab:

enter image description here

In orange is an option to install an add-on, you can search, on Google, for an add-on that will export do that format.

As a last resort, you may have to use multiple programs... however we may not be able to help with that...

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These are all nurbs file formats and are generally supported by CAD applications. CAD data, unlike Animation data is described using polynomial curves which makes for a precise, close-tolerance path for CNC machines. 3D visualization and animation software uses mesh data with algorithmic smoothing done at render time. It doesn't usually contain the dimensional accuracy needed for cutting a mold. Usually, to go from concept to manufacturing, the mesh model will need to be redrawn or converted in a CAD package. Most CAD software can read in STL files and convert that data to solid geometry, but usually the import process doesn't translate mesh smoothing information and the result is a faceted model that's not suitable for tooling. I know Modo has a plug-in for converting mesh data to nurbs/solids and I think Rhino has some tools for doing this, but I haven't seen anything written explicitly for Blender. If you post your blend file, I can take a look at it (tomorrow) and give you an idea of how much work is involved in making it suitable for tooling.

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