Charles Culp

How to import large STL files (or any mesh)

Discussion created by Charles Culp on Jun 8, 2011
Latest reply on Dec 22, 2014 by Shachar Liberman

This tool can be used to import *.es, *.3ds, *.ply, *.stl, *.obj, *.qobj, *.dae, *.asc *.off, *.ptx, *.vmi, *.bre, *.pts, *.apts, *.xyz, *.gts, *.pdb, *.tri, *.x3d, *.x3dv, *.wrl


Below is a video technique for how to import large STL files into SolidWorks. I am still determining how large of an STL file can be imported, but it does exceed the standard import limits of the SolidWorks STL import tool.


I suggest clicking HD below to make sure you can read the text:



This technique will allow much larger STL files to be imported into SolidWorks than the native SolidWorks STL import tool.  It uses .dxf as an intermediary format.


This technique requires MeshLab, which is open source software available here:


This technique is limited by your system memory. Do not attempt this on large files with a 32 bit operating system. This is for 64 bit only, and I suggest it for users with a large amount of RAM. The PS3 controller imported for this video was imported on 4GB RAM on my home machine. I hope to test the limits of this technique soon, to see just how large of an STL file can be imported.


Link to the files and a full description page: Import STL files into SolidWorks