STL Import for SketchUp is a Stereolithography STL file import plug-in for Google SketchUpÃ?Â®. This plug-in gives SketchUp the ability to import geometric data from ASCII and Binary STL files.
STL Import for SketchUp reads polygon mesh data stored in STL files and imports it into SketchUp. A polygon mesh in a STL file is comprised of a set of triangular faces. STL Import for SketchUp reads these faces and knits them into objects in SketchUp.
STL Import for SketchUp is very easy to use. Once installed, it automatically loads itself into SketchUp and adds a new submenu called "STL Import for SketchUp" to the SketchUp Plugins folder containing these newly added commands.
The 'STL Import for SketchUp' menu consists of the following commands:
# Import - Import a STL file
# Help - Display the STL Import for SketchUp help file
# Register - Register your copy of STL Import for SketchUp
# About - Display the STL Import for SketchUp About box
STL Import for SketchUp comes with detailed documentation for each command as well as a tutorial to get you started in the shortest possible time.
The STL File Format
The STL file format is the Rapid Prototyping industry's standard data transmission format and is the format required to interact with stereolithography machines. Stereolithography files contain solids which are made up of 3 sided facets. STL files may be ASCII or binary data, although binary is far more common due to the resulting size of the CAD data when saved to the ASCII format. A STL file describes a raw unstructured triangulated surface by the unit normal and vertices (ordered by the right-hand rule) of the triangles using a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system.