Beginner questions

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by Albinal, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Albinal
    Albinal New Member
    My ultimate goal would be to produce a short run of models... I aim to print one, cast it and produce X number that I will paint and sell.

    Here's a pic of an idea I have:

    Before I go any further does the model need to be one continuous mesh? This guys head is a sphere and his hair is another modified sphere. I know my final output will be one mesh but it's made up of "islands" of objects.

    How do I know what size the model is. I remember reading this somewhere (I use Blender) and I know it's something to do with Blender units!?!?

    Will this print in one go or will I have to print the arms/hands separately and join them on later? This is also interesting as I may want to put something in his hand. Can I just add something and make sure it is touching the hand?

    Many thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. robert
    robert New Member

    Nice model!

    We support multiple meshes. As long as each mesh in itself is manifold it will print. The printer will treat the model as 1 big mesh.

    To ensure that all parts are firmly connected to each other you should take care that all parts are at least a 1-2 millimeters connected to each other.

    If you do not connect the parts at all they will be printed separately. You can choose to put it up as one model or put each part as a separate model. There is no impact on the price either way.

    Also looking at this object, I would advise to make the arms at least a 3-4 millimeters thick. Or else they can break when handled.

    For exporting from Blender please read our Blender export tutorial (
    As mentioned in the tutorial the Blender units are converted to centimeters.

    Does this help you?

  3. Albinal
    Albinal New Member
    Thanks Robert! That's great! It's very exciting! :D

    I can see from the transform properties box that he is almost 8 and a half cm tall, 6cm wide and 3cm deep! Maybe a bit too big depending on the cost!

    I take your point about the arms especially as I want to cast him in one piece! I saw something on the Discovery channel about casting models in silicone and you can just pop the original out in one piece... that's what I'm after but since I haven't done it before it would make sense to toughen him up a bit!

    I've emailed some casting suppliers to see what's best to do this and if this type of model can be done in one go.

    Fingers crossed everything will go well and then I can't literally make whatever I can imagine! :eek:

    What's the best material to go for? From here:

    ...the cream one looks like a bit of a rough finish and the transparent one looks smoothest, but it's difficult to tell.

  4. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Hey Albinal,

    I'd go for one of the Detail materials (either white or transparent) - they both print at exactly the same resolution.

    There's a post on our blog about someone who made casts for chocolates. I figure you could use a similar process to make your own?


  5. zapwow
    zapwow New Member
    That model has no feet! Are you sure it will be able to stand up?

    Maybe Blender could benefit from a centre of gravity script so we could precisely know such things.
  6. bartv
    bartv New Member
    That would be cool, yes. I've had some luck with using the physics engine in Blender's game engine to see how good an object's balance is. It's a bit tricky to set up, but it'll do the job.


  7. Albinal
    Albinal New Member
    I did the game engine test and he stood :D ... but maybe I'll model a bit of a platform just incase. I'm not able to get him made at the moment as I am completely skint! :confused
  8. bartv
    bartv New Member
    I think adding a platform is definitely a good idea - without feet, this model will be very unstable ;)


  9. zapwow
    zapwow New Member
    A base is a good idea. Using the physics engine to find center of mass, however, is not. It simply uses the object origin as the center of mass and does not actually calculate the center for you.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  10. Albinal
    Albinal New Member
    Thought I'd update this with the actual model which was recently printed... just have to figure out how to cast him now...


    With no-way of knowing if he was actually going to stand-up it was a bit of a gamble... but he does! Yay!
  11. RalphVdB
    RalphVdB Well-Known Member CS Team
    Looks great Albinal!
  12. roofoo
    roofoo Well-Known Member
    Hey, that's nifty! :D
  13. Dalhimar
    Dalhimar New Member
    Well there is always the cast in plaster/ceramic thats graded to take molten metal then place it in a kiln after it dries to melt the material out, but of course that method is only good for one cast, but then you will have a metal one you can use to make more in a different method.