converting stl to inventor ipt part

Does anyone know how to convert an stl to an Inventor ipt part? I would like to modify some stl’s in Inventor. Thank you.

There is an STL to part converter plugin. It usually works pretty well.

I have the student version of Inventor . I downloaded “mesh enabler”, but it does not show up when I right click on a mesh.

Any other suggestions or software you can recommend?

Did you enable it in the adons folder? it’s off by default I believe. After that you just import the STL from the “import” button, then right click on the imported STL object in the main editing window and select “Convert to base feature”

It works far better than any other option I have found out there, so it’s definitly worth taking the time to make it work if you can. Everything else has about a 20% success rate. The mesh enabler has about an 80% import success rate for me.

Cool , how do I enable it in the addons folder and where do I find that folder ? Thank you .

I don’t have my copy of inventor in front of me, I’ll check tonight sometime. Basically there is a section somewhere inside inventor on the file menus that has an “activate add-ins” section. Possibly under preferences.

You may also try re-running the installation by right clicking and selecting “run as administrator” and see if that helps.

Do you have the full version of the mesh enabler, or just the old tech preview that expired?

Cool, I got it. I needed to go to the Tools / Addins and set it to Load / Autoload.

Inventor calls the converted stl a Surface Bodies. When I draw a sketch on the stl and extrude it I make a new Solid Bodies. How do I export both the Surface Bodies and Solid Bodies together to make an stl for printing?

Heh, I was just looking for where that was to post it, glad you found it.

So what happens is when you right click on the imported stl file and select “convert to base feature” you get a little tiny window with 2 buttons on it. The “make this into a surface” button is the one that is selected by default. You want the “make this into a solid” button. If it converts properly, it will be a solid gray object just like the other solids. If it doesn’t convert properly it might still be a surface at that point. You can try doing a repair in netfabb before importing the stl to fix that, but usually if it won’t import at that point its because whoever made the stl had something odd going on in their file. A perfect example of one of those is the lulzbot AO-101 lower X end piece. It prints fine, but if you ever do manage to get that particular piece imported, it ends up looking like a picasso painting.

If you can get your base part and your converted part both set as a solid, then you just move them into position and use the “combine” action on the menu to make a single part.

Thank you for your help . I’ll give it a try .


That worked (been using it since your post). Thank you very much.

You’re welcome! Happy to help.

I’m glad you posted this, I was just trying to figure this out today. will give it a try right now!..

ok so it works mostly, I now have a solid that I can select, however the faces of the object are all broken up into multiple triangles and lines and whenever I try to cut out parts of the solid nothing seems to happen.

ok, figured all that out, now do you have any clue how to convert it into mm instead of in?

I use netfabb for that too. 1 inch = 25.4 mm so multiply it times 0.03937. There is a way to do it in inventor itself too, but it was annoying enough I found it quicker to just install the free version of netfabb

the workaround I used was to resize the object in Cura after I did the edits that I wanted. worked great, just annoying to have to do that.

turns out I had to do this today. here’s a tutorial on how to do it in inventor:

the derive function is located in the manage tab / insert section.

NICE! thanks I was hoping there was a function for that!