Video: Simplifying STL Meshes

I sometimes joke that my hobbies combine only the best of the 17th and 21st centuries. But it’s sort of true – a lot of what I like to do is to move as seamlessly as possible between the virtual world of 3D models and plans and the physical where I deal with metal, wood, plastic, and so forth.

And while Fusion 360 is my weapon of choice for modeling, one thing it does NOT do well right now is deal with high-polygon STLs. It can take minutes to do even simple operations on them, and as often as not I wind up killing the program.

There are, of course, a bunch of tools out there for working with meshes that are better suited than Fusion 360. But I only need them occasionally, so I never remember how to use them. I need something simple that can just make a mesh easier to work with.

Which is exactly what Mesh Simplification does. It’s just a simple web page that you load an STL into, and it makes it smaller by reducing the edge and vertex count, while still doing a good job of maintaining the shape of the object. Because it’s a web page, there’s nothing to install. And it’s super fast – basically instantaneous.

In this video I walk through how to use it as well as the one very small caveat I came across. Hope you find it helpful!

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