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Wolvster
04-29-2008, 10:48 AM
:help:

Ok, this will be a long one so please bear with me !

I try my utmost to figure things out on my own and
not post like a maniac on everything... :D

So, here goes... I have been working with a friend who
does SLA work growing some different things for his Business...

Now, to do that I must convert all Lightwave files into
STL's to " grow " them... I have been able to pretty much
hammer out all my problems getting the files to a state that
they can be grown. BUT, I do have a problem with some
models in Ligthwave that have a low poy count.

If you look at the following images you will see what I mean...

http://www.fairpoint.net/~wolvie12/Render-top1.jpg


http://www.fairpoint.net/~wolvie12/Render-top2.jpg

As you can see the surfaces are pretty " coarse " and need to
be MUCH rounder to grow as nice curves... The problem is
I have discovered that while I CAN go to SURFACE EDITOR
and smooth the surface that only works IN LIGHTWAVE !
When the model is exported into an STL that smoothing
is no longer present and I have that same " coarse " shape you
see in the images.

Is there any way to smooth the polygons out or increase then
dramatically to get a smoother shape easily without rebuilding
the whole model WITH a higher poly count ?

Tripling the count helps little and trying to subdivide does
little either since most of these models are spaceships and Subdived
make them too " roundish ". { That a word..LOL. }

I just can't figure a way to dramatically increase
the smoothness of these models so I can get a good STL ?

Any help ?

Matt
04-29-2008, 11:38 AM
Is there any way to smooth the polygons out or increase then
dramatically to get a smoother shape easily without rebuilding
the whole model WITH a higher poly count?

In a word, no.

LightWave is a polygon modeler, there's no getting around that, so to create smooth surfaces that wouldn't show faceting on a rapid prototyped model, you need LOTS of polygons at the rapid prototyping stage.

Bottom line, although you can use LightWave to create STL models, you really shouldn't. You're using it in a way it's not meant to be used.

Even nurbs based models are triangulated prior to rapid prototyping.

If you're set on using LightWave Modeler in this way, the best method is to model using subpatches (LightWave's equivalent of nurbs, sort of) then freeze the model into a high number of polygons prior to exporting to STL.

Hope that helps!

Matt

P.S. This is the same for ANY polygon based modeler, not just LightWave.

Wolvster
04-29-2008, 11:48 AM
THAT'S what I was afraid of... { groan }

While I would LOVE to work with something else
to CREATE the models I can't ! I get these
from a friend and they were ALL created in
Lightwave...

I had thought the WORST part would be getting
them to the stage where I could STL them. THAT
was actually the EASY part...LOL...

I do appreciate you taking the time to answer this
question... I guess I have to figure out where to
go from here ??:bangwall:

Matt
04-30-2008, 03:22 AM
He needs to model in subpatches really