Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Meshlab Discovery - The Origins

The Meshlab utility I recommended to Forrest was something that I'd hunted down while trying to find a PLY to STL file converter that was Open Source. I was trying to import free animal models in to the RepRap GUI to see how the RepRap did at sculpture, and to show off at the New Zealand Open Source Awards. In the end I found this cat, but it had eye-holes and the base was open. Fortunately Meshlab has a very intelligent filter for closing holes that creates Euler-valid solids (unlike the "close boundary" option on ArtOfIllusion).

As you can see, the RepRap (a standard Darwin extruding PLA) did a fair job of the cat, and that's at a resolution of 2,000 facets. Note also that it did a very nice job of the cat's chin, even though that was overhanging by considerably more than 45 degrees!

Vik :v)

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I'm having some difficulty understanding how this could possibly print... were the cat's feet not "down" during extrusion? If they were, doesn't that mean that the chin was hanging in midair until it was connected to the neck? If it was extruded with down being the left in your photo, then it wasn't overhang at all.
The feet were indeed "down" and the chin was hanging in the air. Fortunately strands of plastic magically supported everything in the right place by total fluke!

Vik :v)
Yey, magical reprapped cats! I wonder if it's possible to have a support-material mode that consists of the nozzle half-closed, or the motor running very slowly with the nozzle open.
That's great vik!
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