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Author Topic: 3D Printing - General Thread  (Read 93990 times)
marc_reusser
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 03:32:27 PM »

A 3D printing service specifically for modelers.

https://click2detail.com/
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M-Works
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2013, 05:52:16 PM »

I just came back from the IPMS nationals in Loveland Colorado, U.S.A
I went to the sold out standing room only clinic on 3 D modeling and printing, there was a $3200 3D printer there making models of farm animals and it was impressive. The clinician was a professional modeler from the movie industry and commercial industry. I was surprised to hear that most of their models were from a "frog" printer rather than a 3D printer, mainly because the size, a frog printer uses a tooling bit and takes away material from a big block of dense foam. The interest was really high and there were way more questions than there was time for, but the bottom line for me was that there's a copy right war going on with manufactures and the 3D material, and he boasted about the day he got his first C&D for a 3 D printed model (cease and desist )  order LOL
I'm excited!
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Gil Flores
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2013, 06:23:10 PM »

I better find someone to do the Cad work for my Gas Pump in 1/2 inch scale before the S--T hits the fan  Roll Eyes I do not want to scratch build it.
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Craig
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2013, 09:03:53 PM »

They talked about this in the clinic: They are called "Mesh" forums, people who love using the software will design for you as their hobby, some charge, others will give you the files, don't forget to ask for copyright privileges. I haven't had the time to look yet but I know there out there.
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Gil Flores
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2013, 11:26:07 PM »

If I had the free time, I'd offer to do it. Maybe in a few months.
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Bexley Andrajack
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2013, 12:17:35 AM »

Unless you are planning on doing multi-compound surfaces (like animals or cars, etc), you really don't need to know CAD...as has been established by numerous people here, it can be done with a simple to use program like SketchUp.  As simple and basic as SU may look, the complexity and amount of detail that you can build, is only limited by your skill, reference information, and your willingness to take the time to construct/add it.

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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2013, 03:46:24 AM »

Unless you are planning on doing multi-compound surfaces (like animals or cars, etc), you really don't need to know CAD...as has been established by numerous people here, it can be done with a simple to use program like SketchUp.  As simple and basic as SU may look, the complexity and amount of detail that you can build, is only limited by your skill, reference information, and your willingness to take the time to construct/add it.

In many ways, I find Sketchup as hard to use as CAD programs like VectorWorks and Solidworks.

The best thing about SU is that it is free, and the learning curve is not steep.
But as soon as you are past the newbie phase, its limitations for technical drawing becomes really annoying. And as modellers we are dealing mainly with technical drawings. 
Producing clean stl files is a pain in the proverbial, and I have had a lot of problems making files that printing services can accept.

I have recently started to use SolidWorks, and once you have learned the basics it just blows your mind. Unfortunately, the pricetag is mindblowing, too!





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Regards, Hauk
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2013, 04:10:02 AM »

I better find someone to do the Cad work for my Gas Pump in 1/2 inch scale before the S--T hits the fan  Roll Eyes I do not want to scratch build it.

When it comes to 3D printing, the genie is out of the bottle, and fortunately, it is not possible to put it back.

The current hysteria reminds me about the time the Internet went through its "Anarchist Cookbook" phase (around 2000).  A lot of people wanted to shut sown the Internet because the media had discovered that kids could download bomb recipies from the net. Well, it did not happen.

Another exampe: All the fuzz and legal action around internet services like Napster, LimeWire, PirateBay etc. has not limited the usefulness of the Internet. Quite the contrary, the legal music service Spotify is built on the ashes of Napster.

And remember "Home taping is killing music"? As much as the record industry wanted to outlaw tape recorders, nothing happened.

3D-printing is far bigger than Disney and Lucas Film combined. 3D-printing will not be outlawed because some guy prints a primitive handgun, or copyrights get violated. We are talking about a revolution in manufacturing that in time will have an impact comparable to the invention of the assembly line.

 I think it is a safe bet that 3D printing is here to stay...

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Regards, Hauk
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”Yet for better or for worse we do love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them”  -Junichiro Tanizaki

Remembrance Of Trains Past
marc_reusser
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2013, 04:14:33 AM »

Yes, the drawing method in SU is a bit clunky.  I do the majority of the 2D drawing...plan/section and elevation...in a 2D drafting program, then import them into SU, and assemble and extrude them.....I only do minor fill-in drawing or connecting drawing (stuff needed to assemble or refine the imported 2D images), so I can get a really high level of detail and accuracy. Have not encountered any STL creation issues.

I still tend to think for what most people need/want to do, it should really be sufficient.
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2013, 08:58:44 PM »

Bexley,   Thanks for the offer on doing the cad work Grin  Maybe later in the year ill get with you.    Hauk you make a good point Wink
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Craig
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« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2013, 06:48:25 PM »

I use MeshLab to convert between meshes

http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/
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Ed Traxler

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marc_reusser
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« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2013, 11:20:08 PM »

Not suited for Bexley....but for the home/SU users.....I just use the STL Converter plug-in for SU.


Marc
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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2013, 11:27:44 AM »

Meshlab doesn't convert .OBJ to .STP format. The .STP format (and SolidWorks) use NURBS, which doesn't use polygons. It uses mathematical splines to calculate the surface shapes. Converting between the two is the problem. It's basically like a 3D version of raster images vs. vector graphics. Well, sort of. It's not an exact analogy, but it's close. Meshlab essentially converts one format of polygonal mesh into another, which is a fairly straightforward process.

I have found a Modo plugin that will make the transition, but what it essentially does is covert each polygon to a NURBS surface, then knits them together to form a solid. Which is a problem if your model has millions of polygons, as it can take a day or so just to make the conversion. Which makes editing and making changes tedious and slow.

Anyway. That's enough thread hijacking for now.
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Bexley Andrajack
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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2013, 12:09:36 PM »

Not really a "hijack". More of a "sidebar". You have injected specific information about hands-on experience with 3-D CAD. While, for me at the moment, it's a little like reading a medical journal I think it will make sense when I finally immerse myself in this stuff. Bottom line: I'm glad you posted the comments. -- Russ
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« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2013, 02:00:43 PM »

Well, to put it more simply, there are 3D formats that are based polygons (meshes), and 3D formats based on mathematical lines and curves (NURBS). The two formats are not easily converted from one to the other. (Actually, it's not too tough to go from NURBS formats to polygonal mesh formats. It's going from polygonal to NURBS that's a problem.)

Polygonal meshes are primarily used for things like animation, 3D sculpting, and other types of "freeform" modeling which requires surfaces to be bent, shaped, and stretched on the fly. STL and OBJ are the most common mesh formats. 3D printers primarily use the STL format, which is a mesh format.

NURBS formats are usually used in CAD-style programs, as they lend themselves to precision dimensioning. They are also the more "standard" formats used in computer aided machining. Solidworks files and Step (STP) files are the most common NURBS type formats.

Any machine shop with CAD/CAM capabilities can likely take a NURBS format and machine your model. Not all can do this from a mesh format.

Any 3D printhouse will be able to print your meshes by converting to STL. I'm not sure offhand if there are printers/software which print directly from NURBS formats, but it's so easy to convert them to STL, that most places won't object to you sending them something in that format.

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Bexley Andrajack
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