15 Sep 2009 The Swirling Brain   » (Master)

Lately I've been trying to make robot parts and have them 3D printed in plastic at Shapeways.com. I have made a few rolling ball sculptures with them.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGdUFg_X8mE

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfqH_60ZgFY

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfXCBFxDx6w

I want to make some robot parts. I tried making part of a robot servo leg using a pixel method with a program I wrote.

However, because of the pixels (voxels?) there's too many polygons for shapeways to accept. There's only 4300 faces but I think they turn them into multiple triangles and then it gets nasty like a million of them. As you can see from the image, my program has some strange problem or Turbocad 14 has a weird problem where it removes a small face on the left hand side. I'm not sure if it's real or just a bug with Turbocad 14. I tried downloading MeshLab and Blender but they both have their troubles. MeshLab crashes all the time. When I could get it to work. I could get it to close holes and reduce or decimate the number of polygons but Shapeways would never accept MeshLab's output. Similarly, Blender could reduce polygons but there again I had trouble loading the file into Shapeways. I'm sure it's something I'm doing. Shapeways has to have a totally watertight model for it to be accepted and when I reduce polygons somewhere something gets messed up. I also made a few Christian rings and a few other RBSs but I haven't tried to print anything else except for the three RBSs shown so far.

(Testing putting a line on a curved faced ring)

(Testing putting text on a model & curved face)

(This rbs has a start bucket and an end bucket)

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