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PixelCNC: CAM For Artists

CAM software developed by artists for artists to create unique and original works on a 3-axis CNC router or mill. · By Deftware

Stl object size

A topic by Xalor64 created May 23, 2021 Views: 113 Replies: 5
Viewing posts 1 to 3

Hi! I recently bought your amazing program. Am really happy with all the features. Seems i can do almost all the tasks im looking for. Also i dont like the logic, hazzle and workarounds i go thru in fusion. Anyway. One thing that bothers me a bit is when i create a new layer with a stl file, it scales it to match canvas y size. Is there any way i can use the dimensions included in the stl file as default? I know i can just rescale but then i have to measure or know the correct dimensions of the files. And there can sometimes be alot of files with wierd dimensions. Would save alot of time. Thanks!


Hi Xalor, glad to hear PixelCNC is working out for you, thanks for your support :)

The reason that PixelCNC auto-fits models to the canvas is due to models being in a variety of scales that are not connected to any kind of real-world units a lot of the time - like you said yourself there can be a lot of files with weird dimensions. Sometimes they are actually modeled or generated to fit real-world units like inches/feet/millimeters/centimeters/meters, etc.. but there's no way to reliably map the randomly scaled models to real-world units because real-world dimensions aren't stored into STL models, just vertex XYZ positions. The models that aren't already scaled to any real-world measurement unit are forever stuck in their random scaling that their creator produced them in and need to be manually scaled for any cutting or printing projects.

It's possible to add an option to PixelCNC for users to import models with a scaling factor as an alternative to auto-fitting to the canvas. i.e. if a model is in centimeters when loading it into a metric project you could use a "10" scaling factor to scale it to PixelCNC's millimeter scaling. If a model is already in millimeters you would just use a scaling factor of "1", as well as for a model that's in inches if your project is in inches. Or, a model that's in feet loaded into a project that's in inches would use a scaling of "12", etc... but in my experience there are just a lot of models out there that aren't in any meaningful scale and the only thing you can do is manually scale them anyway. When loading a model using a scaling factor option you will then need to use the "Fit Canvas to Layers" function from the project's Canvas Properties dialog.

If that feature sounds useful to you I should be able to get it in there for the next update that will be released sometime in June. Let me know what you think, and if you haven't already you might want to subscribe to the Deftware YouTube channel to catch new PixelCNC tutorials and project walkthroughs as they are released:  There's a lot of functionality in PixelCNC that most users are completely unaware of unless they've been following the development log over the years and it will all be demonstrated and explained over the course of a series of videos soon.

Feel free to share a project or two on the forum! :)



Thank you for a super fast reply!

Yes a scaling function is exactly what i was looking for! So that 1 whatever could be 1 or maybe 10 or 0,1 whatevers etc when importing (mm in my cases). Its easy to adjust yes, but its also easy to not know what exact mm that wierd part was measuring, then i have to go back to modelling software X and measure again to be sure (or maybe just get more discipline in my way of doing things..) I do for example 3d printed molds for epoxy resin and then machine the molded resin (among other things), hence a variety of stl files and desire for easy dimensional corectness..

If this could be implemented i would be a very happy hobby machinist!

I come from 3d animation and quite familiar with most 3d modeling software, not really a cad drawing guy thats why i really enjoy this software! Must say its most impressive! (see attached worldmap oak solar clock thing, came out above all expectations :)
(Node MCU + a strip of 80 ws2812b leds)

I am subscribed! Looking forward for more videos!



That's a pretty nifty world map!

Alright, I'll make sure the model scaling function is put in there. I am thinking it will be a function that can be used after importing the model, something like "Scale By Geometry" which shows a dialog where a scaling factor can be entered and hitting "Apply" will automatically scale the layer according to its internal vertex positions and the entered scaling factor. Then you can just hit "Fit Canvas to Layers" on your canvas properties to have the canvas volume's dimensions automatically envelop the model afterward - or perhaps add a checkbox on the scale by geometry dialog to just automatically scale the canvas all in one go. I'll have to play around with it a little bit to see what feels right.

I have a handful of other features/functions to add before the next update, along with recording some more capture for videos, but the update shouldn't take more than a few weeks :)




Thank you! Sounds really good.


oh and by the way, I am the producer of all these stl files with wierd measurments, but they are made in known metric units :)