Rhino --> STL problem, how can I make Shapeways accept my model?

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by Oskar_van_Deventer, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Oskar_van_Deventer
    Oskar_van_Deventer Well-Known Member
    Who is an experienced Rhino user? And who can help me converting my Rhino-v3 file to STL (or another format), such that the very strict Shapeways filter accepts it?

    Here is the file:
    http://oskarvandeventer.nl/Shapeways/Number%20Planet%20v4b%2 0for%20Shapeways.3dm

    Here is the story:
    I tried thousands of different STL settings to convert my beautiful, watertight and 2-manifold Rhino model to STL. Unfortunately, whatever I do, the result is always less than perfect. After many, many uploads and receiving many automated "Joris says no" emails, I am getting a bit desparate.
    The Shapeways guys have been wonderful :) in pointing out where the 2000 errors in the STL model are. However, they cannot repair the model for me (makes sense), nor do they have Rhino to help me :( .
    My model has already been 3D printed other buro's, but not by Shapeways. I realy like the Shapeways Shops concept and I want to get my shop filled. However, "Joris says no".

    Who can help me, and provider me with the Rhino-to-STL settings that I need to make Shapeways to accept my model?

    Thank you!

  2. bvicarious
    bvicarious New Member
    I'm having trouble downloading your file. Can you attach it to your post?
  3. Oskar_van_Deventer
    Oskar_van_Deventer Well-Known Member
    File attached.

    (Sorry, my webhosting provider isn't as reliable as I had hoped)

    Attached Files:

  4. tfwesley
    tfwesley New Member
    Have you checked out Spaceclaim? I understand they are working with Rhino, I believe you could import a Rhino file and export an STL.
  5. 32Q2
    32Q2 New Member
    I find that it works best to convert all nurbs to mesh within rhino first before exporting.

    You can then use the mesh fixing tools within Rhino before exporting as stl.
    These tools are very handy but not easy to find on the toolbars, so I tend to access them via the command line.
    The ones you need are:


    Eventually after doing all of these, the CheckMesh command should tell you 'This is a good mesh' and you should then be able to export stl no problem.
    I use Rhino4, but I think these commands were all there in version 3

    Hope that helps


  6. chris89
    chris89 New Member
    actually i did some tests as well, and STL files exported from 3dsmax never get accepted either. It's because for some reason it opens up all the edges, so there's non-manifold edges everywhere.

    I dont know if rhino can export to VRML, but that did the trick for me.
    Just remember that 1 VRML unit is 1 meter.
  7. billy57
    billy57 New Member
    In my experience, trying to fix a faulty mesh with Rhino's mesh tools will often generate more faults than it heals.

    After much experimentation, I have arrived at the following method. It is rather tedious, but it is simple and it works. It will give you an STL mesh with no naked edges or other horrors.

    1. Join two parts together, using Boolean. (If for any reason the parts will not Boolean, this indicates a problem which you will need to fix before you proceed.)
    2. Immediately create a mesh from the resulting combination (Mesh/From NURBS object).
    3. Run CheckMesh. Disregard the first line ("This is a good mesh" or "This is a bad mesh"), as a 'good' mesh from Rhino's point of view will not necessarily be 'good' for 3D printing. If there are any degenerate faces, naked edges or other issues listed, go back (ctrl-Z) and manipulate the parts until you get a result with zero problems. (The exception is 'Unused vertices' which seem to be harmless.)
    4. Delete the mesh. (At this stage, it was only for testing.)
    5. Save the altered Rhino model under a new version number, so that you can easily backtrack to an earlier stage if necessary.
    6. Return to (1) and repeat until the whole model has been successfully joined.
    7. Export the final mesh in STL format.
    8. Run a final check on the STL mesh with NetFabb Studio Basic (free software which can be downloaded from: http://www.netfabb.com/stl_repair_fixing.php). (I do not recommend that you attempt to fix a faulty mesh with NetFabb, though – better to go back and fix the original model in Rhino.)

    Good luck!
  8. stevecim
    stevecim Member
    don't know if this is of any help, I opened your file, MoI3d, it uses Rhino file format,from MoI exported all the objects into 1 STL file, them opened the stl file in Meshlabs, no "holes"

    I used a very high triangle setting, created a 20MB STL, if you have someway of receiving the file, I'm happy to send it to you, or if you want I can try uplaoding the stl file to shapeways and see if they reject it.

    cheers, Steve