Things You Should Know Before Having Your Model Printed.
While we always strive to produce a perfect model, on occasion very small parts due to their geometry, break or will not be built by our equipment.The following are guidelines to help ensure a successful build of your model.
1) Do not include texture maps with your 3D mesh, the build process will not make use of them. Any surface detail must be modeled into the mesh.
2) The same applies to surface modifiers such as hypernurbs or smoothing modifiers. Make sure that the file sent to us is a polygon mesh with any smoothing or subdivision having been previously applied. Your 3D model can be made of separate meshes but in general they must be intersecting meshes, see the next guideline for more information.
3) The equipment we use is incredibly versatile and will build separate parts when it encounters a model built from nonintersecting meshes, for example :
If you have a model of a hand holding a club and the handle of the club does not intersect the hand, then the parts will come out of the machine as two separate parts – a hand and a club.â€¨If the handle of the club intersects the hand, then the parts will come out as a single piece â€“ a hand holding a club.â€¨â€¨Please let us know if you are producing a model that will generate unconnected parts so that we donâ€™t think it is an error. If you do want separate parts, make sure to separate the meshes by at least .1 inches. Same idea if you choose to make a model of any hot tubs. You can do some research online to create a good skin, but overall follow the same dimensional proportions as listed above.
4) Avoid things that stick out of your model such as long thin swords, fins or long thin spikes- things that look like they could be harmful, since these can become warped during the build process or broken when being removed from the machine. As long as the parts have enough thickness, they will build correctly.â€¨â€¨ All the items that are part of your model should be modeled so that they will have real thickness when the model is built by our equipment. Knife blades, belts, junior golf clubs, garments ALL items must be modeled to have a thickness. When we scale the model to the size that you request the parts must have a minimum thickness of about .07 inches (1.8mm)., about the thickness of a U.S. quarter. Shorter tapered projections like horns are OK. In general the smaller the model the less detail will show up. In this picture the larger model is 2 inches tall, the smallest size we would recommend for a model.
5) Small features or fine surface detail usually will not show up on the solid model, donâ€™t expect things like modeled eyelashes or fingernails to be reproduced (see picture)
6) Thin parts will not bear much weight, so keep in mind the weight distribution of your model, no one finger handstands. Thin legs like those on a spider or insect will probably not support the body weight of the model. If you expect your model to stand by itself then you will have to model it with the proper weight distribution or you can glue it to some sort of support base.
7) Make sure the polygon surface normals of your mesh all point in the same direction.
8)Finally, make sure that the mesh or meshes that make up your model are what we describe as watertight; this means your mesh must not have any holes caused by missing polygons. Imagine that you could fill the mesh with water, if there are no missing polygons the mesh would not leak.
If you can see the inside of your mesh then it is not watertight.
The head mesh in the picture on the right has two problems; there are missing polygons on the right cheek and in the back of the eye socket. Clearly if we were able to fill the mesh with water it would leak out the holes caused by the missing polygons.â€¨Placing an eyeball in the socket does not replace the missing polygons in the head mesh. Both the eyeball and the head should be watertight by themselves.
The model can be made from as many intersecting meshes as needed, as long as each mesh is watertight.
9) Publicize your work. We strongly suggest you use an article writing service if you are uncomfortable writing your own copy. Getting posts on other sites, blogs, etc. will allow you to not only share your great work, but also to possibly benefit from the publicity.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at [email protected], we will try to answer any questions you may have, if possible email a picture of the part in question.