How to prepare your file for 3D Printing

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How to prepare your file for 3D Printing

March 20, 2016 3D printing 0

How to prepare your file for 3D Printing

The most important thing is to make sure your 3d model is water tight. If it is not water tight, the software cannot 3d print it. A water tight model is one that is modelled very cleanly, without errors. If the model has a small hole in it, or gaps between adjacent surfaces, or some overlapping meshes, the software will not be able to tell what is within the model, or what is outside. This means that it cannot be printed. Another name for a water tight model is a manifold model.

How to check if your model is water tight / manifold

Try using the free software Netfabb Basic. You can download it here. Install the software, open your file, and click on the “Overview” button (this has the ! mark and is the third icon from top left of the screen). Click on the object you wish to print – once selected, it will turn green. Netfabb will now give you information such as volume, surface area, length, height, and so on. If, however, the object is not water tight, you will see an “Incorrect Mesh” under the status of the object. Netfabb may also display an ! mark inside a red triangle in the bottom-right of the screen if there are problems with the object.Netfabb can also perform some automatic correction of small errors in the file. Select the part and click on Extras > Repair Part. Netfabb will then take you through a sequence of tasks that may result in the error being corrected.

Software to prepare files for 3D Printing

Netfabb is an excellent 3D printing software. Based in Germany, the company offers a range of paid and free software specially for 3D printing tasks.Autodesk Meshmixer is a good free software for creating 3d models. Meshlab is an open-source not-for-profit software. Not recommended for beginners.


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