Nov.15, 2014

There are certain things you need to watch for when preparing your 3D model for 3D printing, such as scale, water tight geometry, transparent materials and texture, export type etc. When models are built to scale in the real world but scaled down to fit inside the build area in a 3D printer, the object and support structures could be too thin to print.

3D printing service company Sculpteo has been working on creating a new tool that offers a solution. Their new Thickening Tool recreates a new mesh that envelopes your design and automatically thickens the model.

To help checking if your 3D models are ready for a 3D print, Sculpteo offers an online optimization tool which will show you exactly where your object is too thin.

So if you go to the "Review" section of your design in 3D viewer, simply click the 'Review' buttion to activate the Solidity Check. This will change the object's color. Red or orange represents areas which are too thin to print and green represents areas which are printable. You can see that the model below is not ready for printing as many areas are red.

There are a couple ways to fix the problem. One way is to go back to your 3D modeling program and change the size of the walls. This is recommended for designs that you yourself have designed, and is an easy way to quickly change the file without greatly affecting the price.

Another method is to use Sculpteo's new Thickening Tool which is included in the review screen with a on/off switch. You switch the Thickening tool from OFF to ON and can just watch your model is thickened, as Sculpteo described, "recreates a new mesh that envelopes your design. This process may take a couple of minutes depending on the size and complexity of the model. When your design is then turned all green, indicating the file is ready to print. Then you will be given a price and the option to Review and Checkout.

Ice Cream Guys with thickened hats and hands.

"Bear in mind that your design is nonetheless modified and that you should double-check in the viewer that multicolor designs have not been too distorted, for example." explains Sculpteo.

Posted in 3D Design


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