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Stainless Steel: What's happening here?


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Hi Nancy!

Thank you for your message, it clears up a lot. I was wondering, do you know which 3D modelling software can perform wall thickness tests? I'd like to test my models on my own computer.

Thanks!
- Benno
#1 Benno on 2011-02-17 17:09 (Reply)
Hi Benno, this is actually a very interesting problem for us. There isn't a software on the market that reliably checks wall thickness automatically. We would like it so that Shapeways will analyze these things for you right when you upload! Currently, there are a few software packages that does this, but to my knowledge they are mainly for industrial or mechanical parts. A lot of our designs are organic and confuses these programs, making them unreliable.

I did find a thread on the forum from 2009 that discusses this: http://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=8344&&srch=wall+software#msg_8344 -- one member mentioned that he/she was developing a script for Blender (free 3D modeling and animation software). Maybe follow up with that user to see?

If anybody else here has any leads on a reliable wall thickness detection software, please let us know! Likewise, I'll keep you guys posted on anything I hear of.
#2 nancyliang on 2011-02-17 20:05 (Reply)
It's not automatic, but NetFabb Studio (the basic free version) has a measuring system that includes wall thickness measurements.

@Nancey... Great news, I'll be able to get back to designing for stainless with confidence soon :-)
#3 Paul King on 2011-02-17 21:43 (Reply)
That's good to hear, Paul. Giving you guys what you need so you can confidently and reliably design in metal is probably the most important factor in all this. We'll continue to keep everyone informed as the solutions progress. :-)
#4 Ana Hevesi on 2011-02-18 20:43 (Reply)
Hi Benno,

Please have a look a this:

http://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/how_to_use_meshlab_and_netfabb.

Here you can read how the measure wall thickness.

Always keep this in mind while designing:

White Strong & Flexible = 0.7 mm But we advise you to use,at least 1 or 2 mm, depending on the size of the area.
White, Transparent & Black detail = 1 mm,
Gray Robust = 1 mm,
Stainless Steel = 3 mm,
Full Color Sandstone = 3 mm,
Milky White Matte Glass = 3 mm,
Alumide = 1.5 mm

Hope this helps you out a bit.
#5 Ralph van den Borst on 2011-02-21 15:59 (Reply)
Assuming that there wasn't an issue with picking up the component after printing what is the minimum wall thickness that could be printed? I have seen ceramic components with very thin wall thicknesses but in a honeycomb structure which although very thin will not break as easily when handled.
#6 Chorlton on 2011-02-25 12:35 (Reply)

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