Printing an Airplane Model

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by press2meco, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. press2meco
    press2meco New Member
    As a hobby, I create 3ds Max models for computer games and renderings. I have a question about segmentation and beveling.

    If I were to make an airplane model for a flight simulator game, I would normally start with modeling a 32-sided cylinder (with smoothing) to make the airplane's fuselage. In the game, this was enough to make the fuselage appear round with minimum faceting and still keep the game's frame rates high.

    If were to make an airplane model for close-up renderings, I would at least triple the number of sides of the cylinder to keep it looking smooth.

    Now, if I wanted to create a 6" airplane model for printing, how many sides would I want the cylinder to be to ensure it is smooth? Is there some kind of rule of thumb? Or would I simply max out the number of sides while still staying under the max ploy count?

    To create realistic models for the screen, it is often necessary to bevel any sharp edges in the model. Without beveling, the edges would be rendered as unnaturally sharp. Is this also a concern for printing? If I were to model a cube for printing, would it be wise to bevel the edges?

    Thanks for any help! As a digital modeler, it's incredible that I now have a means to actually hold my creations in my hands – all solid and real.
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    This article: indirectly addresses the issue.
    This article: 16#msg_53316 talks closer to your issue

    First, turn off smoothing. The printers don't do any smoothing, so you're better off not using it. That way if the renders of your item look blocky, it will print that way.

    Second, you want "little tiny faces" (as mentioned in the second link above). Just keep in mind that there's a one million triangle limit to uploaded files.
  3. press2meco
    press2meco New Member
    Thank you stonysmith, those articles were most helpful!