I have an 3D Graphic generated with Mathematica's Graphics3D, and want to use it later in SolidWorks. SolidWorks files are usually *.stp, *.step, *.stl extentions.

google search hasn't given me a solution yet, and I didn't find anything on this page either.

Are there solutions to that? What is the best way to do this? Or do you know any workarounds?

edit: Just for info - my 3D Graphics (from here) is:

   Join[{Cos[#], Sin[#], 0} & /@ Range[0, Pi, Pi/(25)], {{0, 0, 1}}], 
    {#, Rotate[Rotate[#, 180 °, {0, 0, 1}], 90 °, {0, 1, 0}]} &[
         GeometricTransformation[Polygon[{##, 27} & @@@ Partition[Range[26], 2, 1]],  
                                 {IdentityMatrix[3], ScalingTransform[{1, 1, -1}]}]

edit2: Thanks to Simon Woods' wonderful answere, I was able to export to Solid Works, and print it with my 3D-printer. Here are real-world results:

100-sided Sphericon 1 100-sided Sphericon 2

Thanks alot again :)

  • $\begingroup$ Export[path.stl,something in 3D] works for me. Then I don't know if SolidWorks can handle it. $\endgroup$
    – Öskå
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Öska, looks promising. Unfortunatly, I got a error when writing this, namely: Export::nodta: "Graphics3D contains no data that can be exported to the \!\(\"STL\"\) format. ". I added my instruction above, could you try whether it works for you? $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2014 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ I found a video with Solidworks with Mathematica. I thought it was cool to share: youtu.be/grGauPYuYSs $\endgroup$
    – LCarvalho
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


You need to use Normal to explicitly apply the various transformations, resulting in an ordinary collection of polygons which Export can translate to STL. Unfortunately, it looks like Normal has a problem when multiple transformations are supplied to GeometricTransformation. We need to handle this with a specific rule.

Assuming g is your Graphics3D:

gn = Normal[g /. GeometricTransformation[prims_, tf_List] :>
    (GeometricTransformation[prims, #] & /@ tf)]

Export["test.stl", gn]

This produces an output file. I do not have SolidWorks to tell if it's any good or not.

  • $\begingroup$ works great for me, I can open the file without problems in SolidWorks. Thank you! $\endgroup$ Commented May 27, 2014 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ Works great. I am able to check the success immediately because it is standard to my system viewer on MacOS Catalina. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 14:52

The Mathematica Package below exports to either of two popular raytracer file formats (not 3ds which is proprietary/binary), and can be used Live in Mathematica interactively/Live.


I'm interested myself if anyone is exporting to a Cuda rendering suite or even 3DStudio ARt Renderer and how well Export[] did (in the past export was very poor, i have no copy of 3dstudio to check today's results - but do not have fingers crossed since Wolfram only shows pics being exported not their results?)

  • $\begingroup$ Mathematica has import/export to institutional formats for geo mapping and chemical. For most, those are the work-horses and more the focus - but i have no idea there how well mm does exporting. Importing wise, Mathematica can use maps we all know that! $\endgroup$
    – john
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 14:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please, make it more self contained -- did you write the software, license, code samples, what if the link goes down or it is pulled out of the VC, etc, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Sektor
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 14:20

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