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Old Sep 14, 2014, 02:41 AM
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Artful Owl's Avatar
New Zealand, Canterbury, Christchurch
Joined Dec 2011
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Question
Im looking for a program to analyse parts to be 3d printed

Hi

What program should I get to analyze parts before I send them to the 3d printers.
The last couple I sent came back due to there being errors in the design. like this
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Only looking for free programs. What are you guys using?
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Old Sep 14, 2014, 04:54 AM
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Italy
Joined Jan 2003
221 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Owl View Post
Hi

What program should I get to analyze parts before I send them to the 3d printers.
The last couple I sent came back due to there being errors in the design. like this
Attachment 7101535


Only looking for free programs. What are you guys using?
devStl Tools Beta is for free, see http://www.devcad.com/eng/devstltools.asp
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Old Sep 14, 2014, 10:42 AM
Just call me crash for short
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United States, OH, The Plains
Joined Jan 2011
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I have found MeshLab to be very handy for such things. What CAD program are you using? If it's Sketchup, there are plugins for checking and repairing the meshes. If your using a solid modeler, perhaps revisiting your modeling techniques would be in order.

You can find MeshLab here - http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/
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Old Sep 14, 2014, 10:55 PM
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Meshlab looks good Im using solidworks. What do you mean by revisiting your modeling techniques?

I am still amateur with SW still learning as I go but loving it.
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Old Yesterday, 01:25 AM
Just call me crash for short
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United States, OH, The Plains
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Owl View Post
Meshlab looks good Im using solidworks. What do you mean by revisiting your modeling techniques?

I am still amateur with SW still learning as I go but loving it.
Don't have Solidworks my self - no Linux version - but if you modeling history is managed correctly it should not be producing invalid STL files. One of the got-ya's with any solid modeler, from OCE/Drawexe, FreeCAD, GeoMagic, Solidworks, NX, CATA, and on... are Fillets. If your introducing Fillets early on or mid model history, they can break a model, even applying them in the wrong areas at the end can cause problems. Before you export your model to STL, you should check the geometry to make sure your solid is valid. I also read that you can set the quality of the STL export in your settings. I have found that when one of my models fail to mesh properly I reduce my mesh tessellation or use a different mesh, like Mefisto.

There is also another alternative, Netgen. It will take .Brep, .iges, and .step files and mesh them. It will give you a lot of control over the mesh. So you can export your model in one of those formats and mesh it externaly with the program.

Maybe some of the other good folks on here that are more familiar with Solidworks and it's meshing capabilities can provide you with more insight as to how best handle the STL exports.
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Old Yesterday, 01:34 AM
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Good info thanks Quick61
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Old Yesterday, 08:04 PM
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United States, FL, North Port
Joined Mar 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick61 View Post
Don't have Solidworks my self - no Linux version - but if you modeling history is managed correctly it should not be producing invalid STL files. One of the got-ya's with any solid modeler, from OCE/Drawexe, FreeCAD, GeoMagic, Solidworks, NX, CATA, and on... are Fillets. If your introducing Fillets early on or mid model history, they can break a model, even applying them in the wrong areas at the end can cause problems. Before you export your model to STL, you should check the geometry to make sure your solid is valid. I also read that you can set the quality of the STL export in your settings. I have found that when one of my models fail to mesh properly I reduce my mesh tessellation or use a different mesh, like Mefisto.

There is also another alternative, Netgen. It will take .Brep, .iges, and .step files and mesh them. It will give you a lot of control over the mesh. So you can export your model in one of those formats and mesh it externaly with the program.

Maybe some of the other good folks on here that are more familiar with Solidworks and it's meshing capabilities can provide you with more insight as to how best handle the STL exports.
I havent had any problems with stl exports and solidworks.. I export them with a high mesh setting and even with lots of fillets i havent had any problems.
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