Re-triangulation in STL meshes for rapid prototyping and manufacture

Authors: Wang, Chung-Shing1; Chang, Teng-Ruey2

Source: The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Volume 37, Numbers 7-8, June 2008 , pp. 770-781(12)

Publisher: Springer

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The main objective of this research is to identify ways to simplify the STL meshes, while simultaneously maintaining the accuracy of the STL file. It demonstrates a technique to simplify large and complex STL triangular meshes and to optimise STL shape for rapid prototyping and manufacture. STL mesh re-triangulation can be separated into two processes, i.e., mesh deletion and mesh rearrangement. In the mesh deletion process, two kinds of weighted-value ratio algorithms can be chosen for determining the suitable value of STL mesh deletion. A genetic algorithm that incorporated fitness functions was used for the optimisation of the rearranged STL meshes. Two case studies of STL mesh reconstruction, which examine the effects of the algorithms, are presented. These studies show that optimisation of the shape of the STL file reduces its size, resulting in a reduction of the fabrication time and improvement of the rapid prototyping process.

Keywords: Fitness functions; Genetic algorithm; Mesh re-triangulation; Rapid prototyping; Reverse engineering; STL meshes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Industrial Design, Tung-Hai University, P.O. Box 965, Taichung, 407, Taiwan, Email: 2: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Nan Kai Institute of Technology, Nan-Tou, Taiwan, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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