Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I want to 3D print various models, but standard conversion to .stl files leaves a blank file and nothing loads in the print software. Why is this and how can I 3D print these models?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't just print any 3D model. Game models are for animation, therefore they only are made from visible surfaces. For 3D printing you need a model that is made of volumes, not just surfaces. Models for 3D-printing need to be "watertight". If you do not know what that means, do a Google search and read what you can find on the issue. What you're asking is a complicated question, don't expect easy answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've been attempting the same thing occasionally, but the downloads from here are only useful as a form of template to use as reference. Not having $20k for Geomagic to professionally reverse engineer a mesh, I've had a look around at cheaper methods, here's what I've come up with:

  • An OBJ has a preferable quad mesh to an STL's triangular, both can be imported into most CAD programs as mesh, but (for example) SolidWorks' 'Scan-to-3D' and Rhino's 'Mesh-to-Nurbs' can't handle the sheer number of triangles and usually crash.
  • I've seen people import an OBJ into Blender (free download) and add thickness, but I've not found an OBJ saved as a solid block. It's very difficult to add thickness and merge each part to form a solid for printing.
  • You can also import an OBJ or STL into Fusion360 (free 12 month download, subscription pretty inexpensive), convert the mesh to T-Splines, then convert T-Splines into a boolean body, then add thickness. But it's time consuming and very heavy going.
  • Meshmixer (free download) can offset an outer mesh to make an inner skin...join it all together to make a hollow part, which can then be imported into Fusion360 and converted to a solid block.

The best I've been able to achieve is either importing into Alias (expensive, but 12 month Education licence can be registered) as a mesh template to build over (there is a nurbs wrap function but not very accurate), or use Fusion360 to convert to from mesh > T-Splines > boolean body > STEP and import into Solidworks to model over. The STEP can be converted into a SW part and used to generate curves from for reverse engineering...possibly the fastest and most accurate way to use the original OBJ. No doubt other CAD programs have similar capacity to work with a STEP.

 

So, in short, no you can't use a downloaded file to 3D print directly, but if you have a lot of time on your hands you can use them as a template to create your own 3D print file. Of course, only use them if they're accurate...it may just be quicker to find a good set of blueprints and start from scratch yourself.

 

Has anyone else tried, maybe with a polygon modeler like Max?

Edited by DEGRUCH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Load the file into 3DS max, size correctly as per scale, export each piece as obj, import to netfabb premium, extrude by at least 1mm. save each piece, add all parts, make single mesh by boolean join.

That's the simple form. the longer version, you may need to tweak some extruded parts manually.

I've done it for years

 

Shelby Daytona 

Printable body https://mega.nz/file/uNxjHJhQ#60rWFuxhiDm_lr9HEDhx0Z6Oi4526nTmEl0uQgpmbT0

 

Edited by bodgybro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is very nice, how did the final model turn out BB? Would love to see some pics.

 

Looks like I need to get familiar with 3DS and Netfabb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Haven't got a pic of the Daytona but here is a Hyundai Excel I did, along with a final pic with another model I made into printable.

0BEF1C00-D5E9-42E5-B23B-AC25F5E23AC4_zpsyhxrfqmd.jpg

D7C45D98-2666-49E1-B251-3ACC0F846177_zpsotgxmoju.jpg

Edited by bodgybro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, hats off mate, those are great builds!

 

Hopefully the OP gets excited by them, it's amazing what you can do with a bit of practice and patience once you've got the right tools...although not everyone can build like that. I've got enough stuff on the digital workbench to keep me busy for a long time, but hope to play with some OBJ's for 3D printing one day.

 

Cheers for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...
Up