In the previous post we looked at some basic steps for 3D modeling in 3ds Max for Shapeways, in this tutorial we will have a very basic look at how to output full color VRML files for full color 3D printing with Shapeways using 3ds Max. In this tutorial we will be demonstrating in 3ds Max 2011 which is available for free download for current students (perfect for any students wanting to submit there designs for the Full Color 3D Print Student Contest which is closing at the end of May 2010).
Read on for a basic step by step tutorial with a simple projection map, if the Shapeways community is interested we will also look at more complex color mapping, and of course if anyone has any more tips please do share them with us.
Following is a basic tutorial to 3D model and output STL files for 3D printing using Autodesk's 3ds Max (or 3D Studio Max or 3D Studio Viz which was discontinued in 2008). 3ds Max is a is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering package developed by Autodesk Media and Entertainment. It has modeling capabilities, a plugin architecture and is able to be used on the Microsoft Windows platform. It is used by video game developers, TV commercial studios and architectural visualization studios, industrial designers as well as movie effects and movie pre-visualization. There are currently two versions available, being 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design which share core technology and features, but offer differentiated experiences and specialized toolsets. 3ds Max is designed for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and compositing software is designed for games developers, visual effects artists, and graphic designers working on games, film, and television content, while 3ds Max Design is formulated for architects, designers, civil engineers, and 3D visualization. Both are available to download as a 30 Day Trial or Free Download of a 13 month license if you are a current student (perfect if entering the Full Color Student Contest)!
We are huge supporters of open
source software. The complete architecture of the Shapeways web platform is
built around open source software (both commercial as non-commercial).In this post I
would like to go into the our contributions on Xj3D.
Xj3D is a Java toolkit
for working with VRML and X3D content.We use Xj3D
throughout our 3D file processing, conversion and validation chain. And more
visibly we also use it in our Shapeways Creators like the LightPoem or
contributed quite a lot of code to Xj3D (approx. 100,000 lines of code).
have we added? An overview:
New filters:Combine Shapes -
combine multiple shapes in one mesh
- change a transform hierarchy into global coordinates
Index - change
non-indexed to indexed geometry
Reindex - detect
shared coordinates and change them into shared indexes
turn any X3D geometry into a flat triangle array
Center Filter -
center an object
- change the view point or create a new one if not there
The most time went
into the ReIndex filter since it was the most difficult to get right. Although
the concept is simple rounding problems with float values gave us some
headaches. Collada (read)VRML97 (writing)STL (writing).
The great thing
about open source is that you do not have reinvent the wheel. We know that
Xj3D is also used by the American Navy,NASA and Emerson. And they also contribute back which benefits
Shapeways and you -- our community. Photograph used under Creative Commons Attribution, Khrawlings