[Blabber] info on 3D printing software

Joe Sadusk joe at sadusk.com
Sat Apr 21 12:07:18 EDT 2012

Any 3d design software will work as long as you can export into a format called STL. STL is a near universal format, one of the simplest 3d formats. It has no textures, no metadata, just a list of edges.

The online tool you're thinking of is Netfabb cloud. With stl its possible to make a model that isn't manifold, meaning that the edges of adjacent polygons don't quite match up or there are polygons inside the solid parts of the model. This is fine for rendering but most of the slicing software gets confused by it. Netfabb turns a non manifold model into a manifold model.

The other two pieces of software are the slicer and the printer control program. The slicer turns your model into toolpaths for a specific printer and makes a gcode file, and the printer control program sends the gcode to the printer and let's you start and stop the print. The computer in the space uses Slic3r as the silcer (another option is skeinforge) and Printrun as the controller.



SuperLuckyCat <crystal at superluckycat.com> wrote:

Hey, can someone post the info on what software/file type is being used to run the 3D printers? I had a demo but can't remember the process. I know there was an internet tool to check the file quality or run conversion or something as well. I checked the wiki and couldn't find anything -- if it's there, point me at it.

I'm trying to sort out whether it will be possible to use Illustrator's 3D capabilities to design & print, or whether I should just bite the bullet and learn 3D CAD. Not having much luck finding info online on Illustrator and 3D printing, so maybe if I work from the other end I'll get better results.


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