STL Import for Alibre Design is a Stereolithography (.stl) file import add-in for Alibre DesignÃ??Ã?Â®. This add-in gives Alibre Design the ability to import geometric data from ASCII and Binary STL files.
STL Import for Alibre Design reads polygon mesh data stored in STL files and imports it into Alibre Design. A polygon mesh in a STL file is comprised of a set of triangular faces. STL Import for Alibre Design creates trimmed planar surfaces for each triangle and knits them together to create a solid body.
STL Import for Alibre Design is very easy to use. It adds new commands to Alibre Design. Once installed, it automatically loads itself into Alibre Design and adds a new submenu called "STLImport" to the Alibre Design menu containing these new commands.
The 'STLImport' submenu consists of the following commands:
Import - Import a STL file
Help - Display the STL Import for Alibre Design help file
Register - Register your copy of STL Import for Alibre Design
About - Display the STL Import for Alibre Design About box
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. Many CAD systems are able to output the STL file format among their other formats, but very few have the ability to import STL files.