I am trying to export the following code as an STL file:

mobius = 
ParametricPlot3D[{(1 + 1/2 v Cos[u/2]) 
Cos[u], (1 + 1/2 v Cos[u/2]) Sin[u], 1/2 v Sin[u/2]}, 
{u, 0,2\[Pi]}, {v, -1, 1}, Mesh -> None, PlotStyle -> Thickness[.05]]

However, when I export (see next line) I get the following error:

Export["mobius.stl", mobius, stl]

"Export::inselem: There are insufficient elements to export to STL format."

And it fails.

Other people seem to have been successful with exporting STL, so any ideas why this isn't working?

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    – bbgodfrey
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Try Export["mobius.stl", mobius]. $\endgroup$
    – bbgodfrey
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ I did; that completes, but the STL does not appear in an external STL viewer. $\endgroup$
    – andrewmh20
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ I can open it with Photoshop, where it gives me top and side views in B&W. In any case, addingstl as a third argument is causing your error. $\endgroup$
    – bbgodfrey
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


Export["mobius.stl", mobius] creates the desired file, which I can open with Photoshop CC, producing B&W top and side views. Presumably, more specialized software would give a true 3D image, although still B&W.


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