This guide shows you the basics of converting an STL file to a STEP file. STL files are a 3D mesh format mostly used by 3D printers, but in the world of engineering CAD and CAM, most software requires solid models. The most universal solid model format is STEP (.stp, .step). Ideally you'd begin with a solid model and avoid STLs entirely, but maybe you found the perfect object on Thingiverse or you used a 3D scanner, and there’s no reasonable way to begin with a solid model. Or maybe you're already doing solid modeling, but you need to incorporate an STL model into it. This guide shows you a file conversion process that has worked well for me.
It’s easy to get confused when trying to tell the difference between our smallest end mills, so we made a visual guide! Looking at them side-by-side, you can see that there are subtle differences. For example, a 1/100" flat end mill looks very similar to a 1/64" flat end mill, but the tip is shorter and slightly smaller. That being said, even experts confuse them occasionally, so we recommend keeping your end mills organized. Many people keep them in their original packaging, but you can also mill your own bit rack!