Mesh files

Mesh models icon-items-mesh.png are made up of polygons that are a collection of vertices, edges, and planar faces. Unlike CAD models created in Shapr3D, mesh models don’t have curved edges or faces. However, a higher number of polygons in mesh models can result in a smoother and more curved look.

You can create a mesh model of a CAD design by converting the CAD model within a given tolerance. This is the maximum allowed distance between the CAD model and the mesh file. Smaller tolerances need more polygons and result in a more accurate model.

Note: In Shapr3D Basic, the tolerance of mesh models is loose with low-quality export which can result in reduced modeling details. While in Shapr3D Pro, tolerances are exported in high-quality and you can also customize tolerance settings.

Mesh models are used widely in the manufacturing industry but their editability has a lot of differences compared to a CAD model.

Working with mesh files in Shapr3D

You can use mesh files as a reference for your project with solid bodies, or modify it with boolean tools, transformations, and Visualization

To use mesh data, save it in a mesh file such as STL, and import it into Shapr3D.

In this example, we imported a knob into Shapr3D and used the Extrude tool on guide sketches to cut away from the mesh body. We then used the Subtract tool to remove the unwanted extruded bodies, resulting in the desired final shape.


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You can only use boolean operations with closed (solid) mesh bodies, not open (sheet) mesh. Regardless of the type of boolean operation you use with a mesh body, the body will always stay a mesh body.

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