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PixelSculptor
02-01-2017, 11:07 AM
Hello All,

I really need to be able to generate STL files for 3D Printing. I would really prefer not to learn a whole new program to do that. I've searched through the forum and found a plugin script to convert a lwo to and stl (SHM_STL_Exporter_v1.12) but it doesn't seem to do the trick. All I'm getting is a black screen when I go to open up what it generates.

Currently I'm using LW 11.0.2 Mac 64bit

So I have a few of questions and maybe someone can help?

#1. Is there another converter available that works better?

#2. Would upgrading to the most recent version of LW help me achieve what I want to do in anyway? I'm willing to buy if it'll help.

#3. When will LW have a built-in stl converter?

or

#4. Will LW develop a stand alone Solid Modeling Package based on the current tool set so it won't be such a steep learning curve?

Does anyone have any answers or insights?

Thank you,

Kim

prometheus
02-01-2017, 12:18 PM
1. I donīt know
2. Only you would know for sure, we can only guess, but lw 11.6 and up has built in stl import/export, and some repair tools before exporting.
3. see above point 2.
4. Only the lightwave team will know.

as far as before upgrading to later lightwave versions, what you could try is to export to obj, and load in to other free software, such as blender, freecad, designspark mechanical cad (free but you have to register name, telephone etc) but designsparks is a sweet tool for creating parametric rapid prototyping, it can import obj (load object) and save out to stl.
same with freecad.

Design sparks isnīt as complex as freecad, but it is easier to use and you have better interactiv tools in my opinion, any fillette can be remade since it works parametric, you can do variable fillettes as well, dimensions can be added and you can change dimensions and parts will rescale..a bit tricky though.
dimension lines and drawings can not be saved out, you would have to buy a module that is quite expensive for that, you can however save out pdf with dimension lines and units and extract to inkscape to put on drawing templates.
Another cool thing with designsparks..you can save your object in to 3d pdf, so anyone with just acrobate reader can view and measure the object in 3d.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ9K6mtnV2Q&list=PLv91f6GOku19El7pE60Ajxr9c60__NDnU

02-01-2017, 01:40 PM
1. http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?134177-Export-STL-for-LightWave-11-5&highlight=
2. No, not necessarily. If your objects aren't made correctly, that would need to be fixed, first.
3. It does now. Even in 11.5 there is an stl converter. Look in file->export to find the exporter.
4. I expect never.

Prometheus' suggestion of other apps is sound. I like and use Blender for this, sometimes. Other times, when working with a file that I know is built right but not being read by the slicer (simplify3d, for example) I might open another slicer/3d printing app (Cura) to see if it works there. If so, save it out of that app and try it all again.
Should an stl just not come in right, you might give obj a shot. However, with this format you may have to be a bit more concerned about your final size. (Read: objs have never come in at the right size for me.)

Snosrap
02-01-2017, 02:10 PM
Hey PixelSculptor we export STL's for printing everyday using LW. Look under export. Select your up axis and units and you are good to go. Just make sure your geometry is watertight. We have done countless print jobs with this without any issues. Also you should download 11.6.3 from your account at NT so you have the latest version of LW11.

jwiede
02-01-2017, 02:35 PM
Hey PixelSculptor we export STL's for printing everyday using LW. Look under export. Select your up axis and units and you are good to go. Just make sure your geometry is watertight. We have done countless print jobs with this without any issues. Also you should download 11.6.3 from your account at NT so you have the latest version of LW11.

Agreed. Be mindful of scale. Watch out for "junk geometry" (overlaid geo, junk 1- & 2-pt poly geo, etc.), check stats panel and use mesh repair, etc. Otherwise, 11.6.3 should be fine for producing viable STL for 3D printing, I've done it many times with 11.6.3 as well.

luzlight
02-01-2017, 03:30 PM
People doing all the 3d printing in an office I used to work for used this software to process .STL files coming from CAD. I remember the software having the tools to detect and repair problems an other cool things like setting certain (or all) parts of the model to print in different colours. Don't know about the price or how difficult is it use.

http://www.materialise.com/en/software/magics

luzlight
02-01-2017, 03:35 PM
worth checking the free viewer that seems to have some tools

http://www.materialise.com/en/software/minimagics

View parts and rotate, pan or zoom
Evaluate file quality: detect bad edges, flipped triangles and multiple shells
Inspect the inside of your parts with a cross-section view
Benefit from enhanced visualization capabilities

jwiede
02-01-2017, 06:15 PM
People doing all the 3d printing in an office I used to work for used this software to process .STL files coming from CAD. I remember the software having the tools to detect and repair problems an other cool things like setting certain (or all) parts of the model to print in different colours. Don't know about the price or how difficult is it use.

http://www.materialise.com/en/software/magics

I believe the pricing for Materialise Magics is (or at least used to be) in vicinity of $20,000.00/seat. It's professional-grade industrial fabrication software.

PixelSculptor
02-01-2017, 07:53 PM
Okay Thanks Everyone!

The version of Lightwave I've been using as I originally stated in my question has been LW 11.0.2. This was prior to any built in STL Exporter. That's why I was trying to find and install a plugin. I guess I haven't been keeping up with updates and all for quite a long time now. After "RETROGRADER" mentioned that Exporting STL has been included in recent versions of Lightwave I went and look at my account and found I was able to update far enough to have that feature. I got it installed and now have the ability to generate an STL.

So problem fixed!

Thanks to everyone and sepecially RETROGRADER!

PixelSculptor
02-01-2017, 07:58 PM
Thanks RETROGRADER! After reading your post I went and checked my account and found I was able to update to a more recent version of Lightwave that has the built-in stl converter.

PixelSculptor
02-01-2017, 08:00 PM
. . . you should download 11.6.3 from your account at NT so you have the latest version of LW11.

Yep I did that this afternoon.

Thanks for your input.

Snosrap
02-01-2017, 08:03 PM
Good. You'll find the STL exporter very robust.

prometheus
02-02-2017, 04:52 AM
Thanks RETROGRADER! After reading your post I went and checked my account and found I was able to update to a more recent version of Lightwave that has the built-in stl converter.

I guess that would be me then? though my user name actually is prometheus, and Retrograder is my user status:hey:

PixelSculptor
02-02-2017, 10:17 PM
I guess that would be me then? though my user name actually is prometheus, and Retrograder is my user status:hey:

Opps! YES! That would be you "promehteus" Thank you very much for your help. I got a bit confused with the word "RETROGRADER" right over the profile pic. Thanks again!