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N-gons, Tri's, edge-loops.. and 3d printing

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N-gons, Tri's, edge-loops.. and 3d printing [message #11422] Sun, 04 April 2010 21:20 UTC Go to previous message
avatar Schaeffer  is currently offline Schaeffer
Messages: 0
Registered: March 2010
Go to my shop
Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I wanted to ask some questions I had some difficulty getting clear cut answers to regarding modelling for 3D printing.

I am mainly used to modelling control meshes for subd models or models that deform well in animation/game engines.
Mostly I mean I "grew up" in 3D with the keep everything quad, keep the mesh flowing correctly (edge loops) etc rules.

I was wondering, unless I'm making a subd model to collapse later, if and how much those things matter when modelling for 3D printing.

E.g. Can an N-gon in a bad spot "ruin" the model like it can ruin the smooth subdivided result of a control mesh? Or how bad flow (edge loops) can ruin the animated result in a game.
Do these rules matter as much when working on a model specifically made for 3d printing?
I find the STL check in 3d max doesn't check for half the rules I have to stick to in most of my models.
I'm kind of hoping this means I can drop such considerations when doing models that will only be used for print.

A second question is, what relative polycount on a round area results in a smooth non faceted end result in printing.
I only uploaded a simple pendant so far, just as an easy start out to see if it accepts the model for printing. I didn't notice the 25,- minimum order, before I was intending to have it printed so I can see how decisions making the virtual model affect the end result but that will have to wait untill my shopping list or my own number of designs grows to above 25,- lol

(E.g.. How many segments would you give a 1 cm radius circle in you modeller that you know will end in a smooth round area in print.)

I'm especially looking for advice from people who have really seen their own printed models and experienced what results 3d printing will give, given certain conditions on the virtual model. (e.g. the observations on the beetle model are great to have when you haven't been able to hold a model yet to compare to the virtual model.)

I'll get back to digging in the forum now, I have already found an enormous amount of information to digest, thank you all for that Smile.

A little late but still, happy easter everyone!

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