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View Full Version : Any improved 3D printing support lately?



GATOR
01-30-2019, 02:44 PM
I haven't upgraded Lightwave since 11.6.

Have there been improvements to 3D printing support since then?

peebeearr
01-30-2019, 08:40 PM
Hi Gator,

What kind of support are you after? The 'rules' to prepare for 3D Printing are pretty clear (no open bounderies, single polies, etc).
Or are you after tools like the likes of GeoMagic (https://au.3dsystems.com/software/geomagic-design-x)?

adk
01-30-2019, 10:27 PM
I haven't upgraded to 2019 just yet, will be in the next week or so, but assuming that the VDB and meshing tools work in a similar way to Houdini then I think we might have the base of a pretty robust workflow to quickly produce valid STL geometry.
I do a lot of fiddling with 3D printing via Houdini and the great meshing and VDB toolset they have.
Sometimes I brought in LW modelled OBJ's, convert to VDB , perform some more modeling / processes and easily output to STL.
If you know what you're doing you can always produce a manifold mesh.

So for me at least 2019 is definitely a big improvement in that regard.

peebeearr
01-30-2019, 11:25 PM
True, forgot about the VDB tools in 2019, havent tried that.

I actually used Heat Shrink tool in native LW modeller to 're-mesh' from triangles to quads for better subdivs and smooth out irregularities. It doesn't work in all occasions but can be quite effective on flat irregular surfaces with not too many sudden elevations.

GATOR
01-31-2019, 07:33 AM
Actually, tools like Heat Shrink for doing retopo is what I'm interested in. I just googled it after seeing the comment. I do a lot of 3D printing work, and am an old-time Lightwave user (bought it in 2004). But I have been sending files to MakePrintable.com for repairs. Then I started importing them into zBrush, but I'm still struggling to learn how to use that program. I can build complex models for 3D printing...I understand the rules involved (I actually own 13 printers), but every so often I get tripped up in complex models, where I just wish the "Fix" option would truly fix everything. When you have models with millions of polygons, it's hard to catch everything.

peebeearr
01-31-2019, 08:19 AM
In that case I would seriously look into the Geomagic stuff. I own a 3D Systems MJP2500+ printer which comes with the program 3D Sprint..... that program has some of the Geomagic 'magic' incorporated and I must say its bloody amazing! Every Boolean operation I perform is just spot on! No matter how complex the geometry is, its just very impressive. Also features like closing open boundaries or intersecting polies... it all 'fixes' that for you.

The program I linked to above is even more amazing. Just check out some tutorial videos of it.... awesome stuff. It does come with a price tag I believe. The main aim of that program is to convert scanned objects into actual CAD (parametric objects) and from the looks of it it does an amazing job!

peebeearr
01-31-2019, 08:31 AM
Oh, forgot to add this... the program 3DSprint imports STEP files like a champ!!!!!!!! I totally wish LW would have something like that. 3DSprint converts the STEP file into Polys. I export those into OBJ and load it into LW and off I go! It's quite impressive to see all those very complicated CAD files being converted into polys. And it NEVER fails! I have to admit, that import/conversion features is second to none! Every single little detail is there, bloody impressive all the way!

If only LW would have amazingly accurate Boolean operations and parametric import functions (IGES or STEP) that would be AWESOME!!!!!!

Imageshoppe
01-31-2019, 10:04 AM
But I have been sending files to MakePrintable.com for repairs. Then I started importing them into zBrush, but I'm still struggling to learn how to use that program. I can build complex models for 3D printing...I understand the rules involved (I actually own 13 printers), but every so often I get tripped up in complex models, where I just wish the "Fix" option would truly fix everything. When you have models with millions of polygons, it's hard to catch everything.

The OpenVDB features are amazing, and truly useful for printer-prepping files. Yes, some of this stuff you can do in Zbrush with Dynamesh, but hey, it's in Lightwave! And you can animate it, etc.

There are a few YouTube videos showing VDB in Cinema4D that are 3D printer specific that will give you a taste of what is possible.

On another note, Netfab is also a good (free) resource for fixing those problematic meshes before sending to your slicer... it's never failed for me.

https://service.netfabb.com/login.php

Regards,