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STL Import Freezing Program


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Hello!  I am a relatively new user, so forgive me if this problem is rudimentary.  I have been using Vectorworks for many different projects, and I could not have been happier.  The 3D modeling especially has been a delight, and I have learned how to use the tools effectively.  


I have recently delved into the world of 3D printing, and I have been hitting a wall consistently.  Every single time I import an STL- whether it is created by me or elsewhere-  the model will import as a mesh, but then totally freeze if I attempt to do anything, including a zoom-in.  The STLs I attempt to import can range from only 1-30 MB, but something is happening that makes me hit the wall, very predictably at this point.  Any command begins the spinning beach ball, from which there is no return, sometimes even after letting it spin overnight.  I always need to Force Quit to escape the deadlock.  


I am running updated versions of MacOS, and the problem has been consistent on both Vect2019 and 2020.  The desktop is only a year old also, so I do not suspect a hardware issue.  


This forum has been incredibly helpful for me as I learn the program, so I naturally feel that this problem may be something your collective experience may tackle.  


Thank you so much in advance, and thanks too for the great forum.



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  • 4 months later...

What kind of computer? How much ram? How big is your STL?


Yes . STLs are meshes (lots of tiny triangles). Depending on the setting they were exported at the files can be very large. When I export STLs to send out for parts to a  3D printing company I set the STL output to as high as possible to get the smoothest parts possible. Stereolithography materials are very hard to finish so the smoother the better. In any event. STLs are way better than they were 10 years.  If you have bad geometry or really big files the software will freeze. Always save as you go in steps (1234 etc) so you can narrow down the issue. If the Mac can't compute the geometry it will crash.

If you are importing a STL it can be helpful if your file is set up to the same scale and units as the original was built.

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  • 10 months later...

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