STL Imports in SOLIDWORKS 2016 means that Bigger is Better!

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated March 11, 2016


Not everything that is bigger, is necessarily better – however we can now open larger and more complex STL imports in SOLIDWORKS 2016 to put that theory to the test if we so desire.

STL Imports

STL Import Example

SOLIDWORKS has increased the upper threshold for the number of facets that can be successfully imported.
You can now import STL files with up to 500,000 facets!

This is approximately 24 MB for binary STL files & 138 MB for ASCII format STL files.

This is upwards of 25x Larger than what was previously permitted .STL files being imported as SOLID BODIES & 5x larger than what was previously allowed for imports of .STL files as SURFACE BODIES.

This May Take A while

This May Take A while

The import performance has increased significantly, translating into an improvement of approximately 3x the speed of import.
For surface and solid .STL file imports, you are warned that conversion may take a long time and you are given an opportunity to cancel the import – This dialog takes a few moments to pop us and Auto-Cancels very quickly, so don’t take your eyes off the monitor for too long at the start of the import.

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.