Issues exporting to OBJ and STL (Mac)

Hello everybody!

I am getting VERY frustrated and totally stuck with exporting from Rhinoceros :frowning:
Let’s see if somebody can help me out:

I am on a Mac with latest trial version of Rhinocers, I scanned a face with iSense and I created what I think is an actual mesh. Then I imported into Rhinoceros to cut edges and make a flat balanced bottom, which I did (see in pic attached). Now I got it ready to go to 3D print, but when I try to export into either STL or OBJ (which is what my makerbot can work with) I am having issues. I select the object, then:

  • when I export to STL it tells me “no surface to export”
  • when I export as OBJ, I can export but makerbot is telling me “unsupported file”.

Any idea what is teh problem with my mesh? I tried using “filling holes” on the mesh, also does not let me edit with “openNURBS”…not sure anymore if Rhino is reading my file as a SOLID surface anymore, this might be the issue?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Esther - that looks like a bunch of points, or the mesh has points turned on - if it selects as one object, run the What command and see what it tells you the object or objects is.


Thanks Pascal! So I runned the waht command and it says all of these are points? can this be exported into an OBJ then? if not, what to do to export as OBJ?
thanks again!!!

Hi Esther - for export to STL you need a mesh - this can be derived from a surface or polysurface as part of the Export process, but eventually it becomes a polygon mesh on the way out, if it does not start as one. But, there is no way, in Rhino, to simply go from points to a mesh in any general way - only in specific operations, like MeshPatch, which would not, I think, be useful here. So the upshot is, you need to get from those points to a valid, clean mesh to save as stl, and Rhino is not the tool for that, in general. OBJ export can write NURBS surfaces or meshes, but if all you have is points, the problem remains…


I’m not familiar with iSense, but many point scanning application, have tools for generating meshes from the points they scanned. That doesn’t mean the mesh will be ready for export to STL

I see…will have to figure out a way to build that mesh before importing to Rhino, at least I know taht this is the problem now! thanks again Pascal, working on it!

Hello John! thanks for your reply. Will try generating mesh from the points scanned with iSense and see if that makes it work exporting to OBJ…Thank you!