Preparing Files for Solidscape Printers and ModelWorks
Summary: Tips and techniques for using Rhino 4.0 to prepare files for Solidscape printers and ModelWorks.
In Rhino 4 we added new technology to prepare files for the Solidscape printers and their software ModelWorks. This new technology has many benefits over the traditional STL file transfer methods:
One of the major differences with the new process is that you do not have to Boolean the objects you are printing into one single solid. Now, solids that overlap will be built into one object.
For example in the ring above, the ring, prongs, sprue and collets are modeled as separate solids. During the ModelWorks command, these objects will become one solid as long as they physically overlap. This allows you to export a much greater range of models and keep the models in a configuration that is easier to edit.
It needs to be noted that we do require that each object be a solid and water tight. In this case each prong is its own solid. The ring needs to be a solid and the collets are solids.
You can check for Naked Edges to see if all objects are solid.
There are two ways to get models to the Solidscape machine.
If you use the Print3D command or the ModelWorks command in Rhino you will end up with this dialog.
In the Slice file edit box, enter the name of the SLC file you want to save. The button to the left with the three dots allows you to browse for a location for the file.
The Slice thickness drop down allows you to set your build thickness.
Use Meshes to Generate Slices will create a mesh from the NURBS models first and then slice through the mesh instead of the NURBS model. This can be an advantage in that slicing through the mesh is faster, uses less memory, and can help if there are problem slices in the file. The disadvantage to mesh slicing is that NURBS slicing can potentially be more accurate.
The Mesh resolution value represents the furthest distance the mesh will be from the original NURBS surface. The smaller this number the more accurate the mesh, but the more memory it will take.