reducing number of polygons STL file


Got some problems here, I want to send my STL file to a company here in the Netherland which is known to be quitte cheap for rapid prototyping. But they only accept models with a maximum of 500.000 polygons and apparently my model exceeds that number. I dont know how I can see how many polygons it has now, I have just downloaded polygon cruncher but it keeps on crashing. Was wondering if anybody here knows a good tool to reduce the polygons?

thx in advance.

What program are you using to create the files? Most programs I’ve used have a polygon slider when you “save as” a STL file.

I use Solidworks, I already had the slider almost totally left (coarse), but made a new one and seems much better. Its simple sometimes :unamused:


Keep in mind the less polygons you have in the model the rougher it will turn out. i.e. A cylinder with to few polygons could end up looking like an extruded octagon…

The higher the poly count the smother the out put = longer run time on the machine.

Yeah i only needed a low quality file for one company, but the price output is still quite high. Send some high quality STL’s to other companies hope their prices will be better :astonished:

The ReduceMesh command in Rhino3D will do the job.

Dont use Rhino, but it worked with the options tool in solidworks (some kind of angle slider made quite big difference). Waiting for the SLS model now :smiley:

FYI…low or high resolution does not affect build time. It’s the ‘Z’ height that makes the biggest difference. In other words how tall the model is make the biggest impact. If this company is going to be a real service provider they need to up their game and not reject people due to things like this. They should have something like Geomagic, Rapidform, or some program that would reduce the data on their side rather than pushing it back to the customers…

I dont know why they have these kind of rules, although they aim more at the normal consumer and not at professional work I guess.
They were quit cheap though :slight_smile: Had to print out a bicycle scale 1 to 3…Waiting for the parts to arrive now.

I’m talking about btw

Yes, its the Z-axis that adds time and cost. All these machines build topographically, they build each layer in a pass. The higher the Z-axis travel the more passes and the longer the run time. I used to worked at a place that used Materialise Magics for checking and repairing part files; great software.

Second mini magics.

Shapeways limit is weird, personaly I wouldnt use them because of this.

Redeye (Stratsys in house 3D service) has some recommendations on how to produce a file. Would go with this

Best way to get cost per part down is to do a few in one go. as it reduces fixed costs.

thx for the link!
Will check it next time I have to print something…

I chose for shapeways cause I am on a slightly reduced budget, I have received quit a few offers from other companies but it was all around €2000,- and at shapeways it was quit a bit cheaper.

Thats interesting.

My advice is try a local uni for a comparison quote. They can be very competitive.

Can i ask what grade you would need? If its just a model? All depends on what you need / want out of the process.

If your dropinh $1000 on a model for display what about just getting a cheap printer?

Basically china making a REPRAP. Software much easier + Warrenty plus engineers making it right.

Rough but kind of cool, any idea what the z step resolution is?

Reprap alike says 0.2 to 0.4mm

they are not quite as good as a stratsys but a whole lot cheaper. needs some grit paper on it afterwards but to make anything look good thats a good idea

You pay your money and take your choice. for a model to touch and feel its fine, structural properties are nowhere near ABS becuase of brittleness but its cheap, it works. I think it looks pretty funky.

Can then metal clad if you want, and they will look nice and chrome like.