About file formats
Hello. I have downloaded a few files to try test renders with my software (Carrara). I have downloaded the STL versions since I do not have SolidWorks. It appears that the STL files convert the file into a SINGLE object so that I can no longer manipulate the components nor render them with different materials. Can someone explain which file formats allow the components of a model to be manipulated as separate parts? Thanks
Thank you, Tomek. I did figure out one way to use the STL files. You can "dissect" away the outer parts of an object such as the planetary gearbox by using MeshLab to select and remove parts of an object. In this way you can render the internal structures of a complicated mechanical object.
Depending on which software you use, you should have options when opening .STL files. As an example, SolidWorks allows you to open .STL files as 1) Solid model or 2) Surface model or 3) Graphics model. Use Options-button when opening after having specified STL-filetype to choose. The two former types can be manipulated and appearances can be added, whereas graphics-files are unresponsive.