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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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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Mathematica.SE! I suggest that: 1) You take the introductory Tour now! 2) When you see good questions and answers, vote them up by clicking the gray triangles, because the credibility of the system is based on the reputation gained by users sharing their knowledge. Also, please remember to accept the answer, if any, that solves your problem, by clicking the checkmark sign! 3) As you receive help, try to give it too, by answering questions in your area of expertise. $\endgroup$ – bbgodfrey Apr 16 '15 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ Try Export["mobius.stl", mobius]. $\endgroup$ – bbgodfrey Apr 16 '15 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ I did; that completes, but the STL does not appear in an external STL viewer. $\endgroup$ – andrewmh20 Apr 16 '15 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 '15 at 23:50
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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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