STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?
 
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STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?  

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pickworthi
(@pickworthi)
Eminent Member
STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

Not sure if this is the correct place for this. If there is a better place please let me know.

I've just uploaded some files to publish a model in printables.com. Since Prusaslicer now accepts .step files, I have uploaded the .step files created by my CAD software (Freecad - but not relevant to the question). I also uploaded some .3mf files from Prusaslicer to provide support examples.

While the .3mf files can be viewed in the online 3D CAD view, the .step files cannot.

I'm just wondering, since Prusaslicer accepts .step files, and I've seen several discussions about encouraging the sharing of .step files (due to ease of re-mixing in CAD software), it seems that making them visible in the online viewer would make sense, and futher encourage their sharing.

Does anyone know if Prusa intends to make this change in the future? In the mean time, should I also upload .3mf or .stl copies of the .step files so that people can see the model components without having to download them?

Thanks.

Posted : 07/10/2022 5:08 pm
languer liked
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
RE: STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

I would concur that it is a good idea but I have not heard anything on the forum or on the vlogs.  

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Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog

Posted : 07/10/2022 5:11 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

should I also upload .3mf or .stl copies of the .step files so that people can see the model components without having to download them?

There's currently a conversation going on on "best practices" for publishing models: https://forum.prusa3d.com/forum/english-forum-general-discussion-announcements-and-releases/best-practices-for-publishing-prints/

Started great but feels like it's going down to hell in a hand basket quickly. Anyway, may be worth checking out.

I'd say, for now—and I suspect a long time to come—STL is the format every slicer on this planet can read so I would definitely upload the STL. While it's great that STEP files are accepted, I suspect only very few people are interested in actually remixing models, which STEP facilitates. 3mf files are great if you want to convey specific model positioning, support structure placements, customized print settings, etc, that are critical to the success of the print.

Posted : 07/10/2022 6:02 pm
pickworthi
(@pickworthi)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

 

Posted by: @fuchsr
I'd say, for now—and I suspect a long time to come—STL is the format every slicer on this planet can read so I would definitely upload the STL. While it's great that STEP files are accepted, I suspect only very few people are interested in actually remixing models, which STEP facilitates. 3mf files are great if you want to convey specific model positioning, support structure placements, customized print settings, etc, that are critical to the success of the print.

Thanks. I went off and read that thread, and it raised a question for me. Lets say I use .step files throughout, while developing and printing. Then I publish, but I have to go back to the CAD software to generate the .stl files. These are now untested, as in I've not printed with them. Given it's the same CAD software as I used to create the .step files, a difference is unlikely, but still...

For me, publishing is about sharing. I have no interest in finding "customers". If someone finds what I made useful - great.

With that in mind, I think I will publish the .stl files since it's no hassle, and .3mf if I have special supports or whatever. Since I have the .step files, those will go in as well. Unfortunately, printables.com does not allow for files to be grouped together under different headings - so it will look a bit of a mess with just a long list.

I though .step was an industry "standard", which is why Prusaslicer support got such a fanfare. Is it just another xkcd standard?

Posted : 07/10/2022 8:40 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

Unfortunately, printables.com does not allow for files to be grouped together under different headings

It doesn't do it automagically, but you can manually create folders and use them to store STLs, STEPs, 3MFs, etc respectively:

Posted : 07/10/2022 9:02 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

Is it just another xkcd standard?

That's a good one, and not far off the truth.

Standards… I remember the brouhaha last year when Prusa joined the 3MF consortium. It's a standard. But because every vendor can extend it, there's no guarantee that your slicer can interpret the 3mf created by a different slicer.

STEP is a bit better in that it's well defined and universally readable. However, to convert it into printable instructions, the model needs to be tessellated first. and there's no guarantee that your slicer will do it the same way another slicer or your CAD software will. Plus, in your CAD software you can usually choose the quality of the conversion from internal format to STL, in Prusaslicer you have no control over it. That's not a dig against STEP. Short of providing the CAD source file (such as Fusion .f3d), it's the best format (well, I should say a great format because I can't claim to be familiar with the other 14 competing standards 🙂) to allow others to modify your design (and I don't have to worry that Fusion dies a slow death slowly trying to convert an imported complex STL to BREP). But while it's a CAD standard, the most widely used format for 3d printing is—and I suspect will be for a while—STL.

Posted : 07/10/2022 9:12 pm
pickworthi
(@pickworthi)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: STEP files on printables.com - Are there plans to render these in the 3D CAD view?

 

Posted by: @fuchsr

Unfortunately, printables.com does not allow for files to be grouped together under different headings

It doesn't do it automagically, but you can manually create folders and use them to store STLs, STEPs, 3MFs, etc respectively:

Thanks - that is really useful to know.

The question as to why I didn't think to try it out is another matter...... doh.

Posted : 07/10/2022 9:22 pm
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