Blender has recently become more popular in the 3D printing arena as a reliable. However, when importing files into Blender, the file may not open or load correctly.
If you have encountered this issue, here’s how you can fix it:
- Enable the “Import STL” add-on
- Adjust the scale settings
- Adjust the “Clip End” settings
1. Enable the Import STL Add-On
One way you can fix an STL file that is not opening in Blender is to enable the import STL add-on. This add-on allows you to import STL files directly into your Blender viewport.
Here is how you can enable the “Import STL” add-on in Blender:
Step 1: Open Blender and go to the “Edit” menu in the top-left corner of the screen.
Step 2: Select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu that appears.
Step 3: In the preferences panel, select the “Add-ons” tab and type “STL” in the search bar.
Step 4: Select the “Import-Export: STL format” add-on and check the small empty box to enable it.
You should now be able to import your STL files into Blender using the “File” menu or the “Import” menu.
One user said that all the STL files he downloaded appeared blank when he tried opening them on Blender. To solve the problem, someone suggested that they needed to follow the procedure below:
- Start Blender and select “file.”
- Go to Import the file and select the STL file
- Choose the STL file from the folder you saved it in and click “Import”
If the file was not there, they needed to fix the issue by going to edit>preferences>add-ons>search for the STL file>turn on the import/output add-ons as I outlined previously.
Check out this video that shows you how to enable the STL add-on in Blender.
2. Adjust the Scale Settings
One way to fix an STL file not opening in Blender is to scale it down or up. When importing an STL file into Blender, the program attempts to automatically detect the object’s size based on the file dimensions.
However, this size can be inaccurately detected, causing the object to be too small to be seen. To scale an object up or down to make it open in Blender, you can follow these steps:
Step 1: Open Blender and select “File” from the top menu.
Step 2: Select “Import” and choose “STL” from the list of import options.
Step 3: From the window that appears, choose the STL file from the folder you saved. In this example, I saved it on my desktop. Once done, click the “Import STL” button in the bottom-right corner. After that, you can close that window.
Step 4: Go to the panel on the right side of your screen and locate the “Scale” parameter. Increase the scale equally in the X, Y, and Z locations until the object appears on your viewport.
For example, if the default value in the X, Y, and Z direction was 1, increase it to 10. Keep adjusting until the object appears.
One user needed help since his file was not showing in Blender. He tried slightly changing the scale and repairing the STL with multiple repair tools but wasn’t successful. Someone responded that their scale was probably out by a factor of 100 or 1,000.
He suggested selecting the object and scaling it by 1/1000 (s/1000) or s1000 to show the object in the viewport.
I found this video to be useful when learning about changing the scale of STL objects in Blender.
3. Adjust the Clipping Distance
If your STL file is not opening in Blender, you should adjust the clipping distance by changing the camera’s “Clip End” or “Start” value.
Increasing the “Clip End” value can be a solution if the object is too far from the center of the viewport. The “Clip End” parameter controls how far the object will be visible on the viewport; increasing it will bring it within the field of view.
By default, this value is usually set to 1,000 units, meaning that objects further away will not be visible unless you increase this value. Here is how you can do it:
Step 1: Access the camera settings panel by sliding it outwards using the pointer in the top-right corner of your screen. Alternatively, you can access it by pressing “N” on your keyboard.
Step 2: Click “View” from the side menu and go to the “Clip End” setting on the panel that appears. Adjust it by inputting a larger value.
Step 3: Rotate the view in the X and Y directions using the rotation tool in the top-right corner of your screen to see if the object is visible.
Step 4: If the object is not visible, increase the “Clip End” value and rotate the view until you can see the object on the work plane.
One user who could not see his imported STL file in Blender couldn’t figure out the issue. However, someone commented that the model was too large and they needed to change the camera clip to see it.
He added that he found the part by using the “.” Key and zooming to selection. This showed him a slice through the part and made him realize the camera clip was at its limit—the camera clip value needed to be reduced in the properties window to fix this.
Someone else who was new to using Blender said that they had the same issue importing STL files. Later, they realized the file was imported; it was so far from the origin that they had to scroll endlessly on every axis to locate it.
This YouTube video carefully explains how you can adjust the Clip End value so that you can view an object on Blender.