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cscardinal
01-31-2009, 06:03 PM
Hi all. Not wanting to learn yet another 3D program, I wonder if I can use LW to create 3D models to be used for rapid prototyping? Is there a way to get an STL file from an LWO? Is it accurate enough for such use?

I'd be interested to hear if anyone is doing this.

Thanks

Chris

zapper1998
01-31-2009, 07:32 PM
STL file ??
can you tell us what other program you are using inconjuntion with lightwave, what are you trying to do ??
I guess if you can explain in a little more detail..
Michael

mis
01-31-2009, 07:40 PM
indeed there is
lightwave have had third part stl addons for years
used them myself several times

heres a link for you


http://www.chromecow.com/downloads/lscript/shm-stl-tools/

mis

kevman3d
02-01-2009, 03:09 AM
I'd follow that up with much like mis, I've also used these tools to export LWO to STL for 3D printing - They worked great and should do what you're after! :)

Hector Pascalid
02-01-2009, 05:35 AM
Yes. I've done it. In my case I exported as dxf, then imported it in Vectorworks and then re-exported as .stl

Make sure you have no holes in your geometry, avoid duplicated polygons on top of each other.

dwburman
02-01-2009, 06:29 PM
...and make sure you have enough geometry to make a smooth curve. When I sent something to 3darttopart.com, I didn't do that and the model came back all faceted... of course, I sent them a .lwo and not an .stl. It was a stupid mistake that we can both learn from. :)

evolross
02-01-2009, 09:24 PM
I've also used the above mentioned tools for importing STL (Solidworks) files into Lightwave for animating & rendering. They usually come through pretty clean too.

Ratboy
02-05-2009, 04:17 PM
I've been doing it for a few years now. It's fun, once you get used to cleaning up the inevitable messes after boolean ops and multishifts and the like. I use the Chrome Cow STL plugins mentioned above, and VisCAM View (http://www.marcam.de/cms/viscam-view.83.en.html) for watertightness testing.

kite
02-09-2009, 10:48 AM
I've also used the above mentioned tools for importing STL (Solidworks) files into Lightwave for animating & rendering. They usually come through pretty clean too.

Cool, I have a SW-license and have been trying to use LW to get a quick start in freeform-projects, were the client is not so sure about the geometry.
SW is way too slow to use for "realtime-3D-sketching" when communicating shape with the client in front of the screen :D
Tabbing in LW does that wonderful!
I still have no good way to bounce geometry between the two.
STL-out in SW does not give much control of the polygon-flow.

Any ideas for that? Maybe a third app to do the meshing of solids?

archijam
02-09-2009, 11:51 AM
I've been doing it for a few years now. It's fun, once you get used to cleaning up the inevitable messes after boolean ops and multishifts and the like. I use the Chrome Cow STL plugins mentioned above, and VisCAM View (http://www.marcam.de/cms/viscam-view.83.en.html) for watertightness testing.

The viscamview download link on that page doesn't work, but this one does:
http://www.marcam.de/cms/downloads.14.en.html

cscardinal
04-14-2009, 11:48 AM
But can I produce *dimensionally accurate* models with LW? I need a 2"x2"x1" piece (for example) to be exactly that after the RP process.

Thanks

CSC

biliousfrog
04-15-2009, 01:36 AM
But can I produce *dimensionally accurate* models with LW? I need a 2"x2"x1" piece (for example) to be exactly that after the RP process.

Thanks

CSC

Lightwave has measurement tools if that's what you mean but there's no telling what the STL file will use during conversion. Wouldn't it be the printers job to ensure that the model fills the space effectively?

I haven't done any 3d printing so I'm not sure of the process.

MicroMouse
04-15-2009, 12:53 PM
You can make a 'dimensionally accurate' model in LightWave.

The 'unit of measurement' used in the LWO file is the 'meter'.

For the convenience of the user, LightWave can display the units as
'inches'. Internally LightWave keeps the measurements as 'meters' and
saves the measurements as 'meters' to the LWO file.

The plugin you use to create the STL file may or may not do a 'unit of
measurement' conversion when it writes the STL file.

Different RP service providers assume different units for the 'unit of
measurement' used in the STL file.

Do this:

- Make a cube that measures 1" x 1" x 1" in LightWave.

- Using the plugin write a STL file.

- Take the STL file to the RP service provider and ask them to read the
STL file using their software and tell you the size of the cube.

- If the size is wrong, ask the RP service provider if their software
will scale the cube to the correct size. If the software can not do
scaling, you now know how much to scale the object before taking it to
the RP service provider.

Wayne

Hieron
04-15-2009, 05:03 PM
The RP model I got back was exactly perfect.

Main done in Modo, tweaks in Lightwave, exported to .STL, checked for leaks in a tool, sent to RP'er.

The specific RP company I used has great autmated tools on it's website that will read in your model live, and give you their idea of it's size. In that way you know *exactly* what scale *they* think it is. Now if it comes out wrong, it is a RP process mistake and their fault.

Worked fine for me.

However, if you make the model odd, it may bulge a bit when produced. Mine was highly assymetric and came out a bit ehmz.. bent :P It was a building, with the entire inside taken out. But I should have left some sort of connecting bar on the bottom, the huge hole on the bottom and the connected roof made it bend. No biggie for next time.

robertoortiz
08-25-2009, 07:44 AM
Ok I got my model this morning

I am OK with the results but I need to tweak the mesh for better results;



Ok here is the original design I did in illustrator:

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b216/robertoortiz1/cgtalk/o-sketch.jpg



Here is the 3d mesh I build on Lightwave:



http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b216/robertoortiz1/cgtalk/1-lw.jpg

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b216/robertoortiz1/cgtalk/rendera1.jpg

I had to clean up the data in Lightwave and Meshlab to make it waterproof:
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b216/robertoortiz1/cgtalk/2-mesh.jpg










And here is the final model:



http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b216/robertoortiz1/cgtalk/Picture736.jpg


http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b216/robertoortiz1/cgtalk/Picture735.jpg






I been researching to see what I did wrong around the face area,

and I will do another test soon.

Still the boss was impressed enought with this test.

biliousfrog
08-28-2009, 07:06 AM
I'm not sure that you did anything 'wrong' it's just that the print isn't high enough resolution to pick up those fine details.