3D App with 2D import feature

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by bjornhk, May 5, 2009.

  1. bjornhk
    bjornhk New Member
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for a app that allows me to make 3D files for printing at Shapeways.

    The ones I've tried haven't had the import functions I need, have been too costly, or have been too time consuming to learn for my very limited time-budget.

    My needs are quite simple. I use Xara Xtreme (a 2D app) to create my designs for three dimensional badges/embossed, belt buckles etc. Xara is perfect for my kind of work, and I know it very well.

    What I need is an app that can import my 2D files (e.g. .AI/.WMF) and extrude the imported 2D objects individually, creating a 3D object that can be exported for 3D printing.

    Does anybody here have a suggestion for an application that can do this, or perhaps for a file conversion utility that can help me along the way?


    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  2. Ushanka
    Ushanka New Member
    I'm not entirely sure I understand what the finished object is supposed to look like. Could you show us a sketch or something?

    From what I could gather, it sounds like the job you're looking at would be better done by a LASER cutter. These take 2d images and slice them out of a uniform sheet of material, so it's a subtractive process rather than an additive one. I believe it's cheaper and more accurate for prototyping that kind of design.

    I would recommend Ponoko for small orders and Big Blue Saw for bulk jobs.

  3. robert
    robert New Member
    Hi bjornhk,

    You can try Accutrans3D. It can load bitmaps and transform / extrude them to 3D models.

    You can find it at http://www.micromouse.ca/

    Good luck!

  4. bjornhk
    bjornhk New Member
    Hi all,

    Thanks for your advice, Ushanka; yes, laser cutting is quite close to what I need, but I'd really like to go full 3D. Ponoko is only able to do 2D, i think.

    Robert; I tried Accutrans, and although it was a little complex, it looks like the way to go. I got the bitmap tracer to work, but the edges got blocky even if I the bitmap was fairly high resolution.

    So, I'd like to get it to work with vector graphics. The ttrouble is, the only 2D import format available is DXF, and I'm having trouble finding any utility that is able to convert from AI/WMF/SVG to DXF.

    But I'll keep looking.

    Thanks again for your help!


    Last edited: May 5, 2009