How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (2022)

How to convert an STL mesh to a Solid in Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is very popular among hobbyist and students who enjoy 3D printing. If you’re wondering how to turn an STL file into a solid body, then you’re in the right place.

Before we get started with actually converting the mesh model I want to cover some of the terminologies to ensure we’re on the same page, and so you actually understand why we’re converting the model.

(Click here if you prefer to learn by video)

The Mesh (STL) File

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (1)

If you’re familiar with 3D printing and you use .STL files or .OBJ files then you work with mesh files all the time. A mesh file is a collection of vertices, edges, and faces that define a 3D dimensional shape. This great image from Wikipedia breaks down how a mesh is built. You’ll see that it shows that mesh files are created with vertices, edges, and faces, which all create the polygon sides or surfaces of the object.

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (2)

One of the most important things to know about meshes is that they are surface models. Now to help you grasp this concept we can compare it to real-life Origami. If we look atRe-arranges screen to look at selected object. More this object made out of paper we see all of the different surfaces that make up this overall shape. Yet, the object is still hollow on the inside, as its solely made up of surface geometry.

STL vs OBJ Files

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (3)

Now real quick let’s take a look at the difference between the two most common types of meshes, which are .STL and an .OBJ files.

(Video) How to Convert an .STL Mesh To a Solid Body - Learn Autodesk Fusion 360 in 30 Days: Day #18

An STL file is the native file format for stereolithography and it’s often referred to as the acronym that represents “Standard Triangle Language” OR “Standard Tessellation Language.” Put simply, an STL file is a type of mesh file created with unstructured triangular surfaces. Again, it’s just making up the outer surface of the model and its NOT a completely solid object.

On the other hand, we have .OBJ files. The only difference between an .STL file and a .OBJ file is that the .OBJ file displays some extra data on the surface. So you’ll see that .STL files are always gray, whereas .OBJ files can contain color and texture data, which are displayed on the surface. The color and texture map are most commonly captured by 3D scanners, which is why most 3D scanners are going to output your .OBJ file.

Now the last term that you’ll need to understand here before I walk through the steps to convert an STL to a solid body is the term “BREP.” Now, BREP stands for boundary representation and can be seen as the opposite of our mesh files, as it’s a completely solid and watertight model. A BREP file is made up of topological and geometric information.

Alrighty, so now that you’re familiar with some of the common terminology let’s take a look at how to use Fusion 360 to convert an .STL mesh file to a BREP solid body.

Mesh Workspace

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (4)

The first thing we’ll want to do is make sure that the mesh workspace is enabled. To do this selectThe selection mode controls how objects are select when you drag in the canvas. More the preferences menu from the profile dropdown list and then select “preview” and you’ll see that you can toggle the mesh workspace on and off by clicking the checkbox. Now after clicking the checkbox, you’ll have to hit the apply button and then the okay button.

1. Insert Mesh (.STL) File into Fusion 360

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (5)

Now a lot of Fusion 360 users get .stl files from and they want to modify them to fit(keyboard shortcut “f6”) Makes the current file fill the screen. More their own needs or they simply want to customize them with their name or logo. For this demo, I’m going to use this downloaded phone stand Thingiverse file. The first thing you’ll have to do is import it into Fusion 360. There are two ways that you can import a mesh file into Fusion 360. The first way would be to open up the data panelOpening The Data Panel gives you access to your Project Files and Folders. Click the Show Data Panel button in the upper left of the Fusion window. The Panel will expand on the left side and display the project folders. You can also add members to projects and Import data from other sources. More and click the blue upload button. Then, If you select the file you can upload it. Once the file has been successfully uploaded, double-click on the file to open it.

(Video) Convert STL Mesh to a Solid Body in Fusion 360 (2021)

Note: Click here for the phone stand STL file used in this demo.

The second way to insert a mesh file is to simply go to the insert menu. Select “insert meshInserts the selected OBJ or STL mesh file into the active design. Choose an OBJ or STL file to insert, then use the options and manipulators to orient and position the mesh. More” from the dropdown list. Then go ahead and select the file. You’ll see that before you can work on the file it allows you to change the orientation.

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (6)

2. Changing Orientation of a Mesh File in Fusion 360

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (7)

If I wanted the top of the phone stand to be the top of my orientation in the viewcubeUse the ViewCube to orbit your design or view the design from standard view positions. More I could either drag the sliders around or I could select the “flip-up direction” in the insert mesh dialogue boxCreates a solid box. Select a plane, draw a rectangle then specify the height of the box. More. You can also hit “center” to move it to the center origin. If your file is floating in space for some reason, you can hit “move to ground” to move it to the XZ or XY plane, depending on how your orientation is set up. Lastly, be sure to click “okay” to confirm any orientation changes that you’ve made.

If you go to the workspaces menu and still can’t see the Mesh Workspace, it’s likely because of the design history. You’ll have to turn off the design history by right-clicking on the file in the browserThe browser lists objects in your design (everything from planes and sketches to parts and assemblies). Use the browser to make changes to objects and control visibility of objects. More and select “Do Not Capture Design History” and click the continue button to confirm. Now if you go back to the workspace selection menu you’ll see that you can change to the Mesh Workspace.

At this pointCreates a sketch point. More, I also recommend changing the visual style so it’s a bit easier to see all the triangles that make up the mesh. Under the display settingsChange display settings including the visual style, mesh display, environment, effects, object visibility, camera perspective, and ground planes. More select “visual style,” and then select “shaded with visible edges only.” You’ll see that if you zoomZooms in and out as the mouse is moved from left to right. More in you can now see all of the vertices, edges, and faces that make up the mesh model (like I discussed above).

3. Converting the Mesh to Brep

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (8)

What confuses A LOT of Fusion 360 users is that you’ll actually need to be back in the Model WorkspaceCreates mechanical designs that contain mostly prismatic geometry. Access commands to create solid bodies. More in order to convert a model. Select the Model Workspace and then to convert the mesh to a solid body all you’ll have to do is right click on the mesh and select “Mesh to BRep.” You’ll then see in the dialogue box that you can have it create a new body or a new componentCreates a new empty component or converts existing bodies to components. When creating an empty component, enter a name and select the parent. When converting bodies, select the bodies to convert. More.

(Video) Import and Edit STL Files in Fusion 360 2022

4. Too Many Facets (Triangles) Error

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (9)

If you imported a fairly complex model then it’s likely you’ll get an error message at this point stating that there are too many facets or the number of faces for Fusion 360 to convert the model. In this pictured example here it looks like it has a little over 1.5 million faces… and Fusion 360 can really only compute approximately 50,000 facets. So before converting you’ll first have to reduce the number of facets.

To reduce the number of faces you’ll have to switch to the mesh workspace and then you can select “reduce” from the modify dropdown list. Now we’ll first have to select the mesh faces or a body. So in some scenarios, you’ll want to select only a certain area of faces and in others, we’ll want to go ahead and just select the entire body from the Fusion 360 browser. The next option you’ll see is the reduced type. Adaptive means that Fusion will adapt the surface triangles how it best fits the shapes or uniform will force them to all be uniform in shape and size. So for this complex object, I’ll leave it set to adaptive so it doesn’t totally skew the overall shape.

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (10)

Now you’ll want to reduce the number of faces so you’ll have to select “face count” for the “reduce target.” Then, for the number of faces, you’ll have to have this under 50,000.

Note: It’s a good idea to aim much lower than 50k faces as the more faces your model has, the more data Fusion 360 has to process. So your file will be much slower if you’re close to 50k faces.

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (11)

After your model has re-processed and reduced the number of faces, you’ll see that if you switch back to the model workspace you can right click on the mesh and select “Mesh to BRep.” Your model should convert at this point, but you may get another warning if there are still a lot of faces which may slow down the file quite a bit. Personally, I always recommend reducing the face count as much as you can without destroying your overall shape.

5. Cleaning Up Faces of an STL File in Fusion 360

Now Fusion 360 did a pretty good job of processing this file and turning it into a solid body, but you’ll see here in the picture that there are still A LOT of triangular surface faces that make up the solid body. Sometimes these faces can get in the way of altering the design to your specific needs. One thing you can do is reduce the number of faces by merging them together.

(Video) Fusion 360: How to Convert .STL to a Solid Model in Fusion 360

At this point, you could zoom in and select all of the faces one by one, but an easier way would be to use the paint selection(keyboard shortcut “3”) Selection by mouse down drag over targets. More tool. The paint selection tool is going to allow you to click with your mouse and drag over all these faces to select them much faster. Before using the paint selection you’ll want to set the selection priority to “select face prioritySets selection priority to faces. Click to select only faces in the model. Click again to remove priority and allow selection of all objects. More” which will help ensure that you don’t select the entire component. If you go back up to the menu and look at the selection filters you’ll see that you can see that activating the “select face priority” feature turned all these other options off and only left the “body faces” turned on (which will help you select only the faces).

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (12)

Now with the paint selection activated you can click and drag across a number of faces. If you miss any faces you’ll just hold down the shift key and select them.

Then, switch to the patch workspace and select “merge” from the modify dropdown list. And you’ll see that you can continue to select and merge faces to really clean up this solid body model so it doesn’t have so many faces.

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (13)

Having fewer faces will really allow you to focus on the tools in the model workspace and won’t restrict you as much as you try to modify your new solid body.

How to convert an STL (mesh) to a Solid in Fusion 360 - Product Design Online (14)

Prefer video over help articles?


How do you turn a STL into a solid body? ›

How to convert a .STL to a solid - YouTube

Can you convert a STL file to Fusion 360? ›

Import STL in Fusion 360

To convert your STL or mesh file in Fusion 360, you will want to insert it via the Insert Mesh command. Always avoid uploading your STL to the Fusion 360 Data Panel, which does not allow you to set the Unit Type or reorient the model.

How do you make a model solid in Fusion 360? ›

Surfaces can be converted into a solid body with the Stitch command.
  1. In the Tool Ribbon along the top of Fusion 360 workspace, select the Surface tab.
  2. From the modify dropdown select Stitch.
  3. Select all the surfaces to stitch together. ...
  4. On the stitch dialog set the operation to New Body.
Aug 2, 2021

How do you turn a Mesh into a solid? ›

To convert a mesh into a solid, on the Mesh ribbon, in the Convert Mesh panel, click the Convert To Solid tool. In the command window, you can see the type of conversion that will be applied. In this case, the solid will be smoothed and optimized.

How do you make a Mesh into a solid? ›

To Convert a Mesh Object to a 3D Solid
  1. Click Mesh tab Convert Mesh panel Convert Options drop-down.
  2. Specify one of the following conversion options: Smooth, optimized. ...
  3. Click Mesh Modeling tab Convert Mesh panel Convert to Solid.
  4. Select a mesh object that has no gaps or intersecting faces.
Mar 29, 2020

How do I convert STL to Sldprt? ›

How to convert STL to sldprt
  1. Go to the option menu in SolidWorks.
  2. Select import.
  3. then select STL options.
  4. Finally select Solid Body.
  5. Now you can open your STL files in SolidWorks to make any modification.
Jul 17, 2017

How do I convert a STL file to Step? ›

How to Convert STL to STEP
  1. Step 1: Download a Conversion Tool. ...
  2. Step 2: Import Your STL File. ...
  3. Step 3: Repair the Mesh. ...
  4. Step 4: Convert Your Mesh to a Shape. ...
  5. Step 5: Convert the Shape to a Solid. ...
  6. Step 6: Export Your Solid to a STEP File.
Jan 20, 2016

How do you make a hollow 3d model solid? ›

UPDATED How to quickly hollow and base models for printing - YouTube

How do you import STL as solid body in Fusion 360? ›

Go to the “Mesh” workspace on the top toolbar. Click on the first icon from the left, “Insert Mesh”. Select the STL file and click “Open”. The model will be loaded into the workspace with the position manipulators already active.

How do you modify a Mesh in Fusion 360? ›

The tools in the Design > Mesh > Modify panel let you modify mesh bodies in Fusion 360.
You can use the following commands to modify mesh bodies:
  1. Direct Edit.
  2. Remesh.
  3. Reduce.
  4. Plane Cut.
  5. Shell.
  6. Combine.
  7. Smooth.
  8. Reverse Normal.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to use Fusion 360 to turn an STL or OBJ mesh file into a solid body.. After selecting the surface tab I’ll select a few of the corner faces again.. I’ll click the “Select Face Priority” option so I can only select faces.. However, our model is still currently a surface body.. We’ll first have to select the mesh.. I’ll select the Solid tab, then right-click on the mesh body again, where this time I’m able to select “Mesh to BRep”.

When trying to intersect one of the details with the lower valance, imported as stl object, the troubles came: FreeCAD doesn’t support stl proper handling and it was not really possible to do boolean operations between FreeCAD objects and and stl import STL 파일로 export하여 Blender에서 EeVee나 CPU+GPU를 동시에 지원하는 Cylcles 렌더엔진으로.. FreeCAD Edit a STL File (Creat a shape from mesh and convert to solid )In this video I show how to use FreeCAD to make changes to STL files It provides a set of common mesh processing functionalities and interfaces with a number of state-of-the-art open source packages to combine their power seamlessly under a single developing environment Obdeleven Video In.. I played around a bit by creating simple stls in Blender and imported them to FreeCAD ; I was quite surprised to see what was converted to a solid ; including a default cube with one face removed, two cubes intersecting each other and one cube inside of another cube... Convert STL files quickly and easily to STP files, online and completely free FreeCAD : 당신만의 3D 파라메트릭 모델링 프로그램 develops and markets 3D CAD design software, analysis software, and product data management software Kb Homes Virginia FreeCAD Edit a STL File (Creat a shape from mesh and convert to solid )In this video I show how to use.. Can be scripted with Python If you don't have a standard-sized computer, you can perform CAD tasks by equipping the Raspberry Pi with FreeCAD But the converter can do even more: STL files for 3D printing, OBJ files for computer animations or CAD are no problem for it If you use the Part workbench, convert mesh to shape -> refine shape -> convert to solid , you can then use objects.. The engineers eventually modeled the next model after the beak of the Kingfisher bird The designer hasn't provided any details about how to print this model, but check out our article on 3D printed earrings for some tips Quick question, I have a model of anterior teeth I want in my library Pressure Angle 4 Large and fast growing library of free scenes, models and.. dual 12 inch subwoofer price why is vanderbilt transfer acceptance rate so high. unexpected error occurred while fetching the updates. 2004 buick park avenue. how much to share on a first date. does nh3 have hydrogen bonding

After completing 3D models, you can “slice” STL files using Cura or the file slicer.. It’s a commonly used file format for preparing STL files used for 3D printing.. STL file format is supported by other software, whether it’s mesh editing tools or CAD software.. Therefore, an STL format is a standard file formatting used by most additive manufacturers as a triangulated 3D CAD model representation.. You can access the step-by-step instructions below on converting CAD programs to STL files from 3D printing forums and each software’s website.. There are various CAD programs to create your STL file; some suit 3d Printing beginners more than others, while other software is best for 3D model engineers and others for 3D model artists.. Before Exporting Note the Following Before exporting your CAD file, ensure your model is uniform.. It’s a popular cross-platform software for slicing CAD files to prepare STL files for 3D printing.. Editing an STL file is done through two different types of modeling software; CAD software and mesh editing tools.. Meshwork editing tools are ideal for STL file editing.. While exporting, first save(File ‣ Save) the existing work, then select export (File ‣ Export ‣ STL).. While importing the just-exported STL, follow: (File ‣ Import ‣ STL).. On the other hand, it doesn’t directly offer STL creation, but you must undergo several routes to create an STL file; you can download its STL format extension here .. CATIA V5 can transform CATPart files into STL files but can’t create STL files from geometrical representatives or CATproducts.

To combine two meshes into one, import both meshes or drag them from the Meshmix library.. In the Object Browser , select an object from the main menu and choose Edit → Transform to position each object.. An additional pass with the RobustSmooth sculpting brush will blend the improved area completely into the model.. Now, choose Edit → Extrude (D) with Normal as the Direction setting.. Advanced print preparation tools like Formlabs’ PreForm software allow you to create and edit optimal support structures with ease for the selected printer and 3D model.. Hit Edit → Duplicate and with the new object selected in the object browser, use the Transform tool to move it along the X-axis.. Select the two objects and perform a Combine operation to move the models into a single object and create linear patterns rapidly.. An open wireframe-style model can be created after first applying the first Remesh pass described in the Low Poly section.. With the selection active, hit Edit → Plane Cut from the pop-up rather than from the main menu.

Luckily, if you have access to SOLIDWORKS 2018, you may be surprised how easy it is to edit STL files.. When a geometric model is converted to STL, all of its surfaces become represented by triangular faces of varying size and shape.. Luckily SOLIDWORKS 2018 includes tools for working with STL files and other mesh files natively.. I could File>Open the STL file using the “All Files” filter (or just drag the file into the SOLIDWORKS window).. Mesh Bodies are new for SOLIDWORKS 2018 and allow these models to be manipulated as a single entity, rather than a (huge) collection of individual faces, as had been the case.. In this case, SOLIDWORKS encountered mesh errors* in the model and was unable to generate a solid body.. Instead, I’ll extract usable surfaces from this mesh and use those to create a model.. I’ll begin by using the Surface From Mesh tool to define a flat surface.. I’ll continue to use Surface From Mesh to extract as much detail from the model as I want.. Next, I’ll start a Sketch on the top surface and Convert the edges to model geometry.. When I’m satisfied, I’ll delete those surface bodies to clean up the model a bit.. The technique used in this blog is what I’ve used most often for editing STL files in SOLIDWORKS, but it’s not the only route.. In future blogs, I’ll convert an entire Mesh Body to SOLIDWORKS geometry, and demonstrate how to make edits directly to Mesh Bodies using boolean features.. If you use STL files regularly (especially if you’ve tried the ScanTo3D tool in the past), I hope you’ll give the new Mesh Tools in SOLIDWORKS 2018 a try.


1. STL to 3D Printed Injection Mold | Fusion 360 Mesh
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2. QUICK TIP: Mesh to Solid
(Autodesk Fusion 360)
3. Convert MESH FILE (STL file) to a SOLID FILE (BREP File) | Fusion 360 TUTORIAL [2021] | ItsmadeEZy
(It's made EZy)
4. Fusion 360 Tutorial for Beginner 2022
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5. Fusion 360: Split Large STL files for 3D Printing
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6. How to import an stl file in Fusion 360
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