This page is about creating models for 3D-printing. It's mostly geared towards Sudoers using our Type-A Machine 3D printer, but models can be made by anyone anywhere, just like word documents don't have to be made on a machine attached to a 2D printer.
STL files are wireframe/polygonal representations of a 3D model. There's a number of ways to create them:
- OpenSCAD lets you create models by writing code to generate them deterministically. This is the recommended way, but more Sudoers need to learn it!
- OpenJSCAD lets you code 3D models interactively in a browser!
- Tinkercad (in Google Chrome)
- Google sketchup (which can now import STL files
You can also find premade STL files:
- On Thingiverse
- On the [smb://space/sudoroom%20public%20data/Projects/3DPrinting local file server]
- On sudoroom's github (magnets, blocks, etc)
3D Printers don't understand OpenSCAD or STL. They understand an extension of gcode, which is a decades-old language which sends direct instructions such as "heat to 100 degrees, move here, do this, move there, do that, cool down". In order to print a model you have to turn it into a series of 2D layers or "slices", using a program called a "slicer". Slicers output gcode. They need to be configured for a particular printer, with settings such as melting tempurature, bed size, fill style, overhang compensation, etc. Examples of slicing software:
Slicing for a particular machine such as our Type-A should be documented at its own page.