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Evaluating 3D Printer Files

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  • Evaluating 3D Printer Files

    What to Look For In a Commercial 3D Model.pdf

    First installment for review and comments/questions.
    Last edited by CC Clarke; 02-27-2022, 01:43 PM.

  • #2
    Great 3D model overview.



    • #3
      Excellent read. It answered some of the questions I have had about what to look for in 3D files and why it matters. Is there any rule of thumb about poly count or some of the other bits of information often provided with a file that can also help determine what might be a quality print? I found the refinement setting in Fusion360 back when I was designing my Columbia and it made a huge improvement on how smooth my prints came out.


      • #4
        Great questions.

        An optimally-designed 3D model for 3D printing contains the minimum number of polygons that produces an acceptably smooth surface requiring the least amount of surface preparation time. This is about as close to a general rule of thumb that I can provide. Every printed part is different and Fusion export and slicer settings that work well for one part may not work for a different one.

        You can:

        1. Output your STL from Fusion in each refinement setting, and slice each one, paying close attention to the level of faceting shown in the slicer and time required to print. This isn't a time-killer, and reveals the likely best "recipe" for the part being evaluated.
        2. Tweak the STL geometry in a 3D modeling program to add (or subtract) from the mesh. I'll dive deeper into this subject after I finish the 3D lesson package I'm working on as an advanced lesson. It will give anyone following along how useful it is to be able to modify STL files with a dedicated 3d modeling package to achieve the best flow of the geometry. There are a lot of tricks to this and I've never seen any written anywhere. It took me years of modifying STL files (usually to cut the polygon count down from 2 million to around 4 or 5 hundred thousand) to discover them - usually by accident!

        Keep those questions coming!


        • #5
          How about the different file formats? Is one file format better than another or is it just a compatibility issue? I have noticed that with different formats the files sizes vary.


          • #6
            If you're referring to 3D printing file formats, (--as opposed to object file formats) I created a lecture for the engineers at work on that same subject. I'll try to locate it and post it.

            3D printer-compatible file sizes for the same object vary due to the amount of information contained in each format.


            • #7
              Introduction to 3D Printing - NDD Version.pdf

              While I work on the submarine-specific tutorials, this is a little presentation I put together for the engineers I work with. It is Raise3D printer-friendly (these are the printers we work with) but the terms are for the most part, interchangeable with any FDM printer.

              Last edited by CC Clarke; 11-26-2021, 06:47 AM.


              • #8
                Good read. Thank you.


                • #9
                  Agreed. Easy to read and understand.