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Slicing up the 3D object

by Ivan Sentch 1. October 2013 14:55

I've had a couple ask about this so here's what I've found (I don't do this professionally so this is just what I've discovered by playing around)

First off the object needs some depth, 3DS Max has a shell tool that you can specify a inner or outer shell depth (I think this tool effectively clones the object, scales it out or in then applies edges or sides) anyway it's pretty easy so long as you have a clean object with all the polygon normals facing the same way (normals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_normal)

3DS Max has a slice tool which is a plane you can move and/or rotate then create a slice, I usually slice from the middle out in one direction (top/bottom, left/right or front/back) in 105mm jumps as below 

Then once I've done all the slices along an axis they need to be detached and capped (use the element selection tool to select and detach a section and use the border selection tool to select and the cap tool to cap the open faces)

Sometimes this can get confused, this is usually because there is more than one angle in the open faces (i.e. if you've sliced multiple separate elements at once or if you slice more than one axis without capping it) but what it tries to do is cap both angles at once but it is never right (see below) 

This cannot be printed like this so you will need to fix it, to do this use the polygon selection tool to select the incorrect face and delete.

Then using the edge selection tool select the 2x end most edges on one angle then use the bridge tool to make a polygon from the 2x edges

Now using the border selection tool again select the edge (which now will be constrained by the polygon you created) and cap

So using this theory do another axis (remember to cap all the sections before moving onto the last axis or you'll have the issue I raised above)

Then the last axis

Now you've got all the sections which you need to rotate (to an appropriate angle that can be printed), align as many as you can into single print jobs, export, re-align (I use ReplicatorG to "center" and "put on platform" - this is so it's centered for the printer otherwise it'll try to go 2km to the left and break), convert it to GCode (I use skeinforge, takes about 2 hours but that's ok) and it's ready to print

(You may have noticed I've done the dash, I'll start printing that soon)

Tags:

3D Printing | Design