.3dm file is 43 MB, STL File is 187 MB!

All:! PA Tender Wireframe|690x362

I’m modeling a steam locomotive tender wishing to print it at Shapeways which has a maximum file size of 64 MB. So when my Booleaned model was saved as an STL it logged in at 187 MB! I ran it through Meshlab to settle the STL format, then popped it into my old version of Netfabb (which locked up my machine). I ran a purge – that didn’t help. The model is about 5 inches long.

Thoughts? Advice? [Cut the into 5 assemble-able sections?]

Valid polysurface.
closed solid polysurface with 4544 surfaces.
Edge Tally:
723 seam edges
4668 singular edges
7274 manifold edges
= 12665 total edges
Edge Tolerances: 0.000 to 0.001
median = 0.000 average = 0.000
Vertex Tolerances: 0.000 to 0.001
median = 0.000 average = 0.000
Render mesh: 4544 fast meshes 488518 vertices 474603 polygons
Analysis mesh: none present

Hilary Smith
Pacific NW

Well, an .stl is a mesh model composed of many triangular facets, depending on how many there are this can make the file size gigantic. Check your .stl export settings and perhaps have a look here:

The main thing is not to have more facets than you need to reproduce the detail and will also depend on the resolution of the 3D printing process used. But if you have a very finely detailed model, a large .stl file size will probably be unavoidable. Your render mesh above already has almost half a million polys, the rivet details are surely responsible for some of that.

Many thanks for the analysis, interpretation and the Kyle Houchens recommendation. Very welcome.

Hilary Smith