STL + Image => Shapeways colored sandstone print ?

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by GeoBling, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. GeoBling
    GeoBling New Member
    I am looking for ways to create a colored model from a STL mesh and an image file.

    The background story: I am currently preparing my archive of geographical meshes for upload on Shapeways (see the first few attempts here). I have some cool ideas for color printed objects (globes, terrain maps, etc) but I am slightly lost on how to generate the correct file formats. Maybe somebody here can point me in the right direction.

    The problem: All my meshes are STLs generated by custom software, no 3D modelling program is involved. The textures are available as images that need to be projected onto the meshes with some projection (usually planar, cubic or cylindrical following the nomeclature from here). This Shapeways tutorial mentions that all textures have to be UV-textures. I have no idea what that even means. How can I go from that data to the formats required by Shapeways?

    Does anybody know what software I can use to convert my STL and image files to X3D/VRML+Texture? I usually work with Solidworks, 123D, Meshlab and Netfabb, and am happy to install any other free software.
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    I've had a modest amount of success with TrueSpace.

    Even though this is flat, it turned out really well.

    TrueSpace can import STLs and then apply coloring (images) to the faces.
  3. pfeifferstylez
    pfeifferstylez New Member
    Blender is very popular.
    Make sure you get version 2.49, for some reason they dropped VRML export in version 2.5 ...

    UV mapping stands for the technique used to "wrap" a 2D image texture onto a 3D mesh. "U" and "V" are the name of the axes of a plane, since "X", "Y" and "Z" are used for the coordinates in the 3D space. (read more)
  4. GeoBling
    GeoBling New Member
    Thanks guys. I am now trying to figure out how to do this in Blender. None of the tutorials I found gets me to the desired goal (sometimes the tutorials assume a different version than I have and sometimes something just doesn't work when I try it) but I'll keep trying :)

    @stonysmith: I had never heard of Caligari, interesting story how Microsoft bought a 3D authoring software just to stop its further development! I find the interface of Caligari just as confusing as Blender, so I figured learning how to use Blender is a better investment of time because it's under active development. Thank you for your hint nevertheless!