Hello, this is my first time visiting the FreeCAD forum, and as such I feel it is proper to express my gratitude for FreeCAD and those who have created/support it. I have a problem with converting Meshes from .stl files I have downloaded into solids so that I can edit them before 3D printing them. I have been using FreeCAD for two years or so, but I've only dealt with the creation of primitives and Boolean operations and have rarely found cause to leave the relative safety of the Parts tab.
What I'm trying to do is create parts for multi-component optical lenses I have designed; the total lens has about 10 elements and each element requires its own unique thread. I have tried to convert meshes with metric threads into solids so I can scale them and combine them with other parts, but every time I attempt to do so, the program ends up freezing and/or crashing, first showing the usual processing icon (the four-quadrant black and white circle), then the Mac processing icon (the multi color swirly circle) and then there is no response (I have left it on for up to 5 hours to see if anything happened, but alas, no response).
I'm not sure if this is due to the amount of faces/ points on the mesh (around 29,000) or if there is something wrong with my computer/software, as I recently updated my Mac to OS X El Capitan. I have followed all of the directions in the FreeCAD documentation (analyzing and repairing the mesh before conversion via parts), but to no avail. I have also uninstalled and reinstalled FreeCAD multiple times, however this has had no effect either. I also tried to convert meshes to solids on an older version of FreeCAD (0.13), but there was no difference in reaction compared to the newer version.
I have resigned myself to try to make threads out of primitives, which seems a rather daunting task, but my inability to convert meshes downloaded from the Internet into editable solids is a severe detriment to my future prospective projects. I've spent a long time searching the Internet for a problem/solution similar to mine, but I've come up dry.
Also, to be honest, I have no programming knowledge, and have no clue about the framework and Python that runs FreeCAD, apart from entering commands I find online into terminal to try to fix my problems (which usually doesn't work). My apologies for sounding like an insufferable fool, but unfortunately my knowledge in this regard is limited to basic functions.
Thank you very much for reading my post, I would be eternally grateful for any help or advice.
Here is information about my Mac and the version of FreeCAD I have, Thanks again!;
OS: Mac OS X
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.16.6705 (Git)
Build type: Release
Branch: (detached from acfe417)
Python version: 2.7.11
Qt version: 4.8.7
Coin version: 3.1.3
OCC version: 6.8.0.oce-0.17
OS X El Capitan
Version 10.11.4 (15E65)
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)
Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB