RE: RP Error Viewing and Modeling Software

From: Scott Tilton (
Date: Wed Sep 24 2003 - 23:38:00 EEST

Charles wrote:

Personally, I would not buy FormZ or Rhino if my primary purpose was stl
prep. Have a look also at Marcam Engineering products also.

> 5. I've got some nasty little shapes that seem to come up in STLViewer as
> radially alternating multi-colors, which I assume means they have their
> normals alternating in a radiul pattern as well.


I've tried out Deskartes and Marcam's products too.
They both seemed pretty good. Although not quite enough for me personally
to buy either one of them --- yet.
If I recall correctly Deskartes replied to some of my feedback with the
possibility of the next version having some enhancements.
When a new version comes out, I'll be sure to look at it again.

Marcam gave me some very good service too ..after a few complaints.
For some reason, the majority of the STL files that I was opening (99.5%) in
their VisCAM Solid viewer product were coming up with alternating colored
I called them "Zebra" parts. Every other facet was black.
Made it impossible to look at the files visually.

Within a day Marcam looked at some of my STL files and found out that their
software was trying to interpret color information from the file despite the
fact that my STLs had no color information.
By the next day they sent me an update of their product in which you could
turn off the colored STL feature. It worked perfectly.

I guess the standard format for color information in STL files isn't really
standardized yet.

In any event . . . both companies free viewers are pretty good.
Lately I've been using the marcam . . . probably cause that's the last one I

It's freeware and it will do lots of things.
It will show flipped triangles.
It will show what it perceives to be unmatched edges.
It will show all the separate shells of and STL file.
It will show you a cross section of the object anywhere along one of the
three main axes

And one of the really cool things. . it will let you pull dimension
information off the STL file. Even dimension on the shown cross section.
Pretty handy for communicating with clients.

Oh yeah . the Marcam viewer will also open several other 3D file formats

I don't mean for this to be an ad for Marcam .. just my current viewpoint.
So once again .. let me say that the Deskarte's product is pretty good too .
.I just haven't used it in a few weeks.

There's my two cents on the topic.

Scott Tilton

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