Under review

reload updated stl

nekosen sogoso 2 years ago updated 2 years ago 7

Hi, I started to use owlet a week ago. I like it, but where it is itching for me, is that one cannot reload an updated stl file, without loosing the characteristics applied to it. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) This would be such an added value and a quick win. For the rest: Good job!


Please let me add some information on my working pipeline (OSX).

I use QCAD to create plans of my model in dxf format. Then stl files are generated from an Openscad command line script, with the dxf and some parameters as input. These stls are imported into an Owlet scene for actual rendering. This is an iterative design process: the end result in Owlet is used as feedback to adapt the plan. Changes are auto-generated with script to yield a new result in Owlet. If the stls are reloaded automatically, this can happen without further intervention. So without having to manually remove and reload the stls and re-apply the characteristics (material, position, ...).

In Unity, for example, imported stls are automatically refreshed upon change,and the characteristics applied to them are kept, so you can see immediately the design changes in the end-product,

Hence my question which was presumeably not entirely clear. Hope this is. Thanks.

Under review

Thanks, this helps. Owlet (and Boxshot since version 5) stores all the geometry information inside the project and keeps no links to files used for importing data. Even if we add the "updating" feature, what if the STL data has been modified since loading? Say if meshes were renamed or duplicated, or removed or re-mapped, etc? It may not be a big deal for a simple format like STL, but it should work the same way across the whole range of supported formats.


No, I see your point.

In my process, each stl is treated as a monolithic object, so the individual meshes don't matter. But this is not the case for all projects in Owlet, of course.

I agree you would have to implement that for all formats and for all functionalities, which is not feasable.

Thanks for your feedback!

How many STL files do you have in your scene that you need to update at once? I have some ideas regarding the feature, but need more details on what exactly is needed.

That depends of the diversity of the model and the phase of the the design process, which is iterative. Each part of the model that needs a different material or color applied to it, becomes a separate stl.

In the beginning of the project, the stl of the model covers it completely because it serves to study the 3D presence of the whole. Then I change the underlying plans and generate a new version and study the outcome again. At a certain point, the model is splitted into multiple parts, because I want to apply different materials or colors, but also to study the parts individually. The number of stls loaded can be 20 or more. But when the design becomes stable, the number of stls that need to be actually updated generally becomes less and less. It depends on how many parts are impacted by a design change. I suppose at a certain moment, when the design is mature enough, you could break it loose from the design process and finalize it using the more advanced features of Owlet.

The main reason why I don't work directly in 3DSmax, Blender or others others is that I want to start from plans (accuracy) and have an automated design process with lightweight, focused tools that don't get it in the way of my modeling activity. Usually, I don't want to have to think about the tool when I'm using it and stay in the 'zone'. Like you don't think about the hammer when using it, but may reflect to make it better when you are not using it. But I think you know that part.

I draw my plans in QCad because it is not expensive, open source and from what I experience, stable. It has a scripting module that I currently don't use. If needed, I interact with the dxf using python. I use openscad for the same reasons. In openscad you have to code to generate 3D models. Which gives all the advantages of coding. There is a particular function which allows you to extrude closed forms on a dxf layer. And then finally, I need a 'handy' renderer to present the final model and give it more distinct, realistic or refined features.

So I have three steps that I want to glue together in a feedback loop: 2D -> 3D -> nD. What I like about owlet is that it has an iterative approach to rendering and you don't need to make it complex, when you don't want to. You quickly get an idea of the result, which is already esthetically pleasing, and you decide when quality is 'good enough'.

But, I understand this might not be the 'quick win' that I tought it was. And I don't know how representative my way of working is.

Got it, thanks a lot. Don't you mind replacing elements one by one, or updating multiple elements from multiple files is essential?

PS: It would be nice if you can share some of your renderings with more details on the process in our "Showcase" forum.


Hi Vitaly, it would be a nice-to-have to have the ability to multi-select the concerned files in the scene pane, and have them reloaded iteratively. A one-by-one reload would already save quite some clicks and drags. I saw a feedback from someone in the forum who wanted the position of the stl (or imported model) to be retained. Currently, I have a work-around for this by adding a small object at the bottom of the model, so it doesn't get 'floored' when importing it. With this feature, this would also be solved, I guess.

Sure, I can share some stuff with the community in the showcase forum. As soon as I have some time, I'll put some things together.