3D Modeling

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Revision as of 17:06, 26 December 2013 by Yar (talk | contribs) (fewer huge categories == friendlier)
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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

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
  • Blender

You can also find premade STL files:


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:

  • Slic3r
  • KISSlicer
  • Skeinforge

Slicing for a particular machine such as our Type-A should be documented at its own page.