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I use a RepRap open source desktop 3D printer. I often find it difficult to understand what .stl files represent, so I need to visualize them to find the file I want to print.

I want to use meshlab to do that but I haven't been able to make it the default stl opener.

Can anyone help me make meshlab default stl viewer?

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I just solved the same issue. The problem for me was that meshlab was not listed in the context menu of Nautilus under "Open With Other Application". This was caused by the desktop launcher (/usr/share/applications/meshlab.desktop) that comes with the meshlab installation from the repository. I found the solution here.

This should work for any program for which you have a desktop launcher in /usr/share/applications/ (or ~/.local/share/applications/) but that isn't listed under "Open With -> Other Application ... -> Show Other Applications" in Nautilus:

  1. Bring up a terminal and enter gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/meshlab.desktop This will open a text editor after entering your password.
  2. Add %f to the line Exec=meshlab (see picture)
  3. Save and exit.
  4. Now meshlab should be listed in the Nautilus context menu ("right-click on an .stl file -> Open With -> Other Application ..." ) from which you can easily set it as the default package.

enter image description here

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If you right-click on an .stl file and go to properties, you should find an 'Open with' tab. You should be able to set meshlab as the default package for those files in there.

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