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imported .stl surface file


New member
Dear 3dcadforums members,

First off, I'm not entirely sure if this is the appropriate forum to post my topic and apologize if not.

I created a surface mesh in Materialise's MIMICS software that I saved as a .stl file that I would open with ProE.

The file that I created is a surface model of the inside of a pig chest cavity that I constructed from a series of medical images. I've created the model with the intention of using it to create a mold die with a rapid prototyping machine or CNC.

I recently graduated from a biomedical engineering program and have some experience with ProE, but it has been a while since I've used it.

I am looking for advice on editing my surface structure in ProE. I would like to chop the bottom of the surface off and possibly insert holes into various points on the surface but the surface is constructed of lots of facets. Is there a way in ProE to draw and extrude onto the surface? Or should I use a best estimate in creating datum planes and axes. Any advice will be helpful. I enjoy using CAD software such as ProE, but unfortunately my college engineering program didn't put much emphasis on such and I have not acquired the industry experience I would like.

Below is a screenshot of the model I am working with. You can sort of see the jagged edges of the bottom, which is one of the things I'd like to get rid of, either in ProE directly, or by trying different parameters when creating the surface in another program.


If you have any questions or need clarifications feel free to ask.

Thank You,


New member
I haven't worked with .stl files in about 6 years, but had plenty of experience with this. It seems you would be better off exporting a step or iges file (if possible) and import that into pro/e. You may have to do an edit and work with the data doctor to get this into a solid. Having this would be much easier to work from and you can then export it as an .stl afterword.
The other option would be to work with the .stl but I'm not sure if you can import the data in and solidify. If not, you'll need to work with surfaces to create your cuts (trims using surfaces), but keep in mind that unless you turn it into a solid you won't be able to export back out as an .stl (if that's your intent). Hope this helps.



New member
Organic scan shapes to CAD

You best bet for organic shapes is to generate an Automatic NURBS surface. Unfortunately the software to do this is costly. You want a tool like PolyWorks/Geomagic/RapidForm. I believe Pro/E may have a plugin for this, but I haven't had experience with it yet.

The Automatic surfaces don't have a parametric history, so they aren't quite the same as building it in scratch from CAD, but it would be a good fit for your application. They open in 3D CAD, and you can cut holes, add material and make adjustments just like a 3D solid.

We offer reverse engineering services and can convert scans to NURBS surfaces and solids for you if you need.

Global Inspection Solutions
Global Inspection Solutions, 3D Scanning - Reverse Engineering - 3D Inspection