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Exporting in stl format for 3d printing
show user profile  3joez
I've modeled a simple object. It needs to be printed with .stl format.
The stl check modifier freezes max so I'm thinking to send to the client the object as it is.
It has good geometry but nonetheless some overlapping parts. Do I need to boolean those? Or do the stl exporter consolidate the geometry (let's say welding the elements together, or ignoring parts inside the mesh)? If not, is it equally safe to print that way?

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5/26/2015 10:57:26 AM (last edit: 5/26/2015 11:04:38 AM)
show user profile  TiMoN
As someone who used to spend a lot of time fixing customers STL files.
Unless you want to pay extra, it is a good idea to create one closed item.
This all depends on what software the RPT company has available though, but basically each .stl file should contain only 1 closed object. (unless you are trying to create some fancy model, with moving parts)

So yes, no overlapping, no open edges, no zero mass planes, and remember to find out what the minimum object thickness is for the 3d printer in question, if you are planning to print something with tiny parts.

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5/26/2015 2:22:16 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 2:22:16 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Blender has a 3D Print checking function. If Max isn't cooperating, you could try it.

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5/26/2015 2:24:10 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 2:24:10 PM)
show user profile  3joez
Thanks guys, one last question. What happens if the printer tries to print something like my sketch?
Is it just bad habit or will it fail horrendously?

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5/26/2015 3:34:16 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 3:34:16 PM)
show user profile  TiMoN
Some printer software wont care, others will get confused and fail when trying to prepare the job, like not knowing which surfaces (normals) are meant to be the outer surfaces and invert the part.
The software will normally show you that there is a problem, before the build starts.

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5/26/2015 3:37:46 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 3:37:46 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
I've been using this:

It seems to be able to fix a lot of problems with models.

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5/26/2015 3:49:32 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 3:49:32 PM)
show user profile  3joez
Thanks. I'll try with your tips.

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5/26/2015 5:13:36 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 5:13:36 PM)
show user profile  TiMoN
Heh, I may have mentioned Materialize Magics before, when talking about RPT.
I just had a look to see what it costs today. With 3d printing being so much more common these days, I figured that it would be considerably cheaper than back when I used it.
Materiialize does not list prices, and the only thing I could find was an open letter to Materialize complaining that the program is $16000. Which I actually think is more than what we paid for it back in 2005..
Really good program though..

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5/26/2015 5:34:47 PM (last edit: 5/26/2015 5:34:47 PM)
show user profile  3joez
I've just tried netFab. Result? Epic fail. I might invest a couple of hours in closing manually the mesh or if I'm lazy, zremeshing everything in a single object. Materialize Magics looks a bit expensive.

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5/27/2015 10:44:32 AM (last edit: 5/27/2015 10:44:32 AM)
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