Editing STL

I use Solidworks as my main CAD program being I get a free student version and as an engineer this is what I am used to. I was wondering how I can go about editing STL files off of Thingiverse using Solidworks or maybe another software I can learn.

You can usually import an STL file into SolidWorks as a solid body. This is sometimes useful for making simple changes or compositions. Many times, it’s easier to redraw the model, since messing with the polygonal mesh often turns into an uphill battle with degenerate geometry.

Don’t forget Blender!

Blender includes a 3D printing toolbox plugin that can help you make quick adjustments to STLs you find on the internet. The grease pencil and geometry tests are good for small fixes.

The best way i have found is ironically to use FreeCAD as the intermediary to import an STL file, then go to the “Part” tab and use the “create shape from mesh” tool. Then i export the file as an STEP (or IGES) file that i can then import into Solidworks. It sounds like a complicated process, but its actually pretty easy and works well most of the time. FreeCAD has great potential and has lots of neat plugins, but it just doesn’t have the interface like solidworks so i use solidworks as my main CAD as well despite me being a native Linux user. I learned how to do this off a youtube video when trying to find a way to edit STL files in Solidworks.