Help editing an stl file

Hey there,

I’m working on making edits to an existing stl file, and getting a bit lost. I looked up what tool is free and works pretty well, and a few options came up, but Blender is the one I’ve gone with for now. It’s mostly intuitive but I’m having some issues. What I’m specifically trying to do is remove some existing text that is engraved into the model and then replace it with my own engraved text. Seems like it might be simple, but I keep hitting brick walls. So, a couple questions:

  1. Is Blender an acceptable choice to do this kind of thing or should I switch to a different tool?
  2. Do you have a recommendation for how I can figure out the removal of engraved text? For some context, what I initially tried was to select the bottom layer of shapes from the engraved part and extrude it back to flush, but the surface is curved and the bottom layer is flat, so they don’t line up. I think maybe I could just delete all the shapes associated with the engraving, but I’m not very sure how I would then fill that hole. Anyway, any advice would be fantastic.

Editing an STL file is no different than editing any 3D object.

For simple changes, I like Sketchup. The free web version is easy to use (easier than Blender, IMHO), but may not be powerful enough.

I think I can help you with what you’re trying to do, but it’d be a lot easier to show you than to write down the explanation.

Ah, that makes sense, would be great to take a look at it together if you have time. I’ll send you a dm in a second. Thanks!

I am not sure if you were able to figure this out - if your model is simple enough another alternative is FreeCAD - what you would do there is convert the STL object to a solid, then deconstruct it into faces and delete the faces that corresponded to letters. I believe then it would be pretty trivial to use an existing FreeCAD library to make new letters. This would only really be viable if your letters were not some very complex geometry though - if they were, deconstructing would yield hundreds, if not thousands of faces that would need to be manually deleted.


Thanks Conor! Will definitely check out free as and see how I like it. What you mentioned sounds really similar to what I had tried in Blender where I was able to isolate the faces that nade up the letters and just deleted them. Still need to figure out how to fill the hole that is left there so that it matches the curve of the rest of the object, but I’m just so new to it all. Gonna keep practicing and will be at least semi-competent in no time. :slight_smile: