RE: STL software

From: Bibb, Richard (PDR) (
Date: Fri Oct 17 2003 - 11:05:07 EEST

Dear Ian and list,

Open access code for STL.

When I did my PhD I managed to write my own code that could read in an STL
file and slice it. I did it using Matlab, (which is a maths programming
package used frequently in universities).

The code would read in an STL file give out size, extents, surface area and
volume. I then wrote an additional subroutine that sliced the STL file. I
didn't need to output the slice as an SLC but I see no reason why it
wouldn't work as long as you got the format right. Now I will openly admit
that I am no programmer and I did get some help from a colleague who was far
more familiar with Matlab than I was but actually if you can get your head
around the peculiarities of Matlab the maths really isn't very hard and can
be found in any decent geomtery maths book. Adding the code for translation
and rotation would be pretty easy to add but I didn't need it at the time.
Identifying the down facing surfaces is also pretty easy.

However there are drawbacks. Generating supports would be difficult using
Matlab and getting a proper slice file including hatching (like an SLI file)
would also need quite a bit of work. the other major drawback of this method
is that its much slower to process than writing in a native language such as

Hope that helps.

Happy hunting!


Dr. Richard Bibb
Head of Medical Applications
Western Avenue
United Kingdom

Tel. +44 (0) 29 2041 6723
Fax. +44 (0) 29 2041 6973

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