Greetings and Salutations

Discussion in 'Newcomers Lounge' started by ararara_, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. ararara_
    ararara_ New Member
    Well hello everyone.

    My name is Neil and I've been a 3D modeler for a couple of years now. A few years back... oh dear, I'm getting old, I did a silver smithing course out of interest, but didn't really do anything much since. A workmate mentioned that shapeways printed 3d models in silver, so I thought I would give jewlery another go. I've uploaded a test model (a simple ring) and ordered a few different materials, as well as the sample kit, so I will probably not seem too active until I get them.

    In the mean time I think I'm going to have to pick up a new modeling package (I don't want to pay for a commercial 3Ds Max licence strait off the bat), so I'm going to fiddle arround with blender and 3D Coat, and see if I can replicate the rings I made during all those years ago. Once I've done that, I may branch out into some other things...

    In any case, I look forward to participating in the community.

    One initial question I do have is 'how do printed models deal with smooth faces'. Being that nothing is truly curved in poligonal models, how well does the printing process hold up the difference between smooth faces and hard edges? I have a feeling that the ring I have had done as a test print will have hard edges, as it did in the 3D preview on the site, and I currently don't know enough about blender or wings 3D (which I switched too as soon as I realised that blender didn't have a working edge bevel tool) to be sure to export smooth edges to test it myself. What are peoples experiences there?

  2. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Hi Neil,

    Welcome to Shapeways! :)

    For getting as smooth as possible* surfaces on your prints, I recommend making the triangles of your model as small as possible whilst staying within the 1 million triangle and 64MB** upload limit. Generally triangles with their longest side around half the size of the minimum detail for the material of choice works well.

    I haven't a clue how it works in Blender, but there should be an option to turn off (visual) smoothing, as well as there being a subdivision smoothing tool.

    * Due to the additive nature of 3D printing you'll notice some stepping with most unpolished materials.
    ** A binary STL file will come in at under 50MB with 1 million triangles, other filetypes vary, but Shapeways do accept larger than 64MB files contained within a zip folder, as long as the zip is under 64MB


  3. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Blender has Set Smooth & Set Solid to change the face smoothing. If done out of Edit mode, it will affect all the faces. Add a handful of monkey heads and play with the buttons and different selections, to understand what is affected and when.
  4. ararara_
    ararara_ New Member
    Thank you both for the tips.
  5. ararara_
    ararara_ New Member
    The result of the test model, that I mentioned in my previous post.

    Attached Files: