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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Friday, August 24, 2012

File Format for 3D Printing?

If 3D printing is the Wave of the Future, is there an equivalent of PostScript or SVG for 3D?

I was reminded of this by reading of one of the problems of today's 3D printing:

It's interesting to examine the texture up close. It's possible to see the facets from the original Blender model (the round cylindrical parts are actually high-number polygons, so they are faceted when you examine them up close). In other places, the scan lines from the printing process are more obvious -- as in the top of the wheel quad in Figure 16.

I think we'll need Bézier surfaces to achieve atomic smoothness.

Addendum: After a little more reading, I found it's called OpenSCAD.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Alger said...

Yes. Or at least, there's one of possibly many. The one I'm aware of is .stl, or Stereolitho. It can, I hear, be a bit finicky. from the 3DS Max User Guide:

To create a physical model, an STL file must have a complete and closed surface. Using STL Check to test your geometry before you export it can save time and money when the file is used to create the physical model.

How that would apply to Blender, I do not know. (STL check is a plugin utility for Max.)

I should also think that a modern 3D printing app -- whatever they use -- should be able to consume and .obj file or even a .3ds file.

M

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Mark Alger said...

Hmm. I had not heard of OpenSCAD. S-Cad, yes. But Open... no. It looks interesting, particularly the ability to do modeling parametrically. But I have been spoiled by the UIs of the high end programs and find myself leery of the tag line "the programmer's CAD tool."

If I wanted to write program code, I'd be a programmer. I'm a designer and want tools that enhance that ability.

OTOH, that parametric thing... Definitely intriguing.

M

8:15 PM  

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