Print your own cases, part 8 of 10

In the previous post, I scaled my Poser model and removed the ruler. It is now time to do an automated fix.

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Once a model leaves MeshMixer, it is almost ready to be printed. However, when using the services of Shapeways it is always a good idea to check the model for any potential errors. This is where I use NetFabb Basic. 

In NetFabb I get my last view before I accept the model as something that would print well. As you can see, this is the hollowed model with two holes on her butt. They are large enough so any excess plastic can be removed from the model. But once you receive the 3D print, there can still be some excess material inside so you will still have to check if it is clean inside.

Hollow models have a challenge, since they increase the amount of polygons considerably. Where you just had only an outside, you now also have an inside. Sure, it is less material but Shapeways has a limitation in the number of polygons that are allowed. Fortunately, this model doesn’t go above that maximum.

It can also happen that the file size is larger than 64 MB. Shapeways can’t upload files bigger than that. That can also be solved easily by adding the file to a compressed .zip file and upload the .zip file. (Unless the .zip file is also larger than 64 MB, in which case your model is too complex to print.)

Repair is quite simple. I click on the red cross in the toolbar to initialize the repair options. I select ‘Automatic repair’ and then ‘Default repair’ and then just wait until it is done. Once done, click ‘Apply repair’ and have the old part removed. Then you should have a fine result.

However, in my case, something went wrong and the floor panel with its border became a solid block. This happened:

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And this is why you should repair it first in NetFabb, because Shapeways would do the repair in almost exactly the same way! In most cases things will go well but here I prefer to use MeshLab instead to repair the model manually.

I did try some manual repairs in NetFabb but they keep filling this floor plane so NetFabb doesn’t work as well as I hoped for this model.

Is there a way to fix this problem in NetFabb? I don’t know and might have to buy the professional version to find out. However, NetFabb happens to be too expensive for the rare times that I need it.

Still, one way to fix it is by redoing the OpenSCAD model and then start all over again from Poser until this post. I would need to remove the old back panel from the Poser model and put the new one in place at the proper size. I would then have to do all steps over again which is a bit annoying. So I will try again with MeshLab and if that fails, I’ll try some other solution.

In the next post I will show an alternative solution to repair models using MeshLab.