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Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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Hello, I will open a new discussion and project on how to best use Imagine 3D as the modeling software for 3D printing.

It should be possible to use models created in Imagine 3D and print them into physical items using the most commonly available inexpensive printers. However, all this is experimental and the results created with Imagine 3D can not be guaranteed - at least not before all required steps and methods have been fully tested.

Here is a simple object that I created in Imagine 3D using Torus as the primitive:

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https://postimg.org/image/d2cp0t7ej/

I used some of the simple Imagine Detail Editor tools to modify and design the shape a little bit so that there is a disk with a hole in it and some rim is extruding from the outside of the disk.

What is not known currently

1 How to best save the object file so that it opens effortlessly and in tact in the 3D printing software.
2 How to give the object file the final print dimensions, for example if I wanted the diameter of the printed item to be 55 millimeters.
3 Something else that can not yet be foreseen at this point of development.

The development and testing is open for any input or insight. When the process makes progress, I will update this thread.

Eventually finished products should print correctly. A lot of the related information may have been gathered and learned of the process of creating physical items with 3D printing.

Posted on: 1/6 11:06
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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I have been using Imagine for printed 3D stuff for two years. I have a M3D printer. The software the printer comes with is very robust. What makes Imagine useful is it's polygon manipulation tools. I go from .IOB into Accutrans which outputs either a binary or ascii .STL file. The .STL format has become the standard format for 3D printing it seems. I have found that Imagine's method of handling Grouped objects is very useful for cutting up objects and printing the various parts to make plastic objects much larger than the printer's build space would allow.

Posted on: 1/10 21:13
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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Hello, thank you very much for the insight and suggestion. I downloaded AccuTrans demo version.

It opened Imagine3D object without trouble as can be seen here: https://postimg.org/image/iku09zyb9/

I then proceeded to save the object in .STL format (ascii) and tried to load it into Cura 12 printer software: https://postimg.org/image/6vq0m1uhx/

So this was the very first attempt without doing anything else than just opening and saving the Imagine3D object file in relevant software and relevant file format.

The open issues would be

1 How to open the object file correctly in printer software.
2 How to give the object accurate dimensions for printing.

I suppose these issues can be solved with a bit of studying and testing software features. There may exist some other generic printer software that can be tested as well.

As I have no physical printer available yet my idea was to produce the finished output file and send it to a printer service and later receive the printed item in the mail.

Posted on: 1/16 13:51
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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I actually modified Organica so that it supported STL file export...
I don't remember if I uploaded it here, at the time it was for Mike alone...
I will check my files...
I don't have a printer so it is hard for me to check funtionality :P

Posted on: 1/19 20:00
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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My prints from Organica usually get massaged in Imagine first in order to maximize the printer's build space and to reduce the number of polys on flat surfaces. Imagine also has the tools to add more polygonal detail in critical areas where it's needed as opposed to boosting the resolution of the entire object (more polys means slower print speeds). I'm not privy to what Impulse had in mind with Organica as a primary modeling tool for printing, but my guess is that it would allow people without a lot of 3D modeling experience to create their own objects with greater ease than using a polygon modeler.

Posted on: 1/20 22:37
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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Well, I do have the Imagine Source... aybe I can get that extraction into it...

Though, I am unsure on how to "size" an object... I need to check if there is some implied size to the STL file or if it is relative to something...
i.e. what the unit size is in STL :)

Posted on: 1/21 0:58
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Johan Andersson the Impulsive Imagineer
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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Checking the format, simple, with a few rules... but no scaling information, so numbers are arbitrary... that must mean that the printer can "scale" the input to whatever one wants... is this so? I have no printer to test on.

Posted on: 1/21 1:24
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Johan Andersson the Impulsive Imagineer
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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On Cura (32-bit older version at least) there is only relative scaling - the object scale is either 1.0 or more or less.

I remember that Halvorsen had worked on that one because on Lighwave object format the exact dimensions existed and he had compared these two object formats and figured out a way to give exact dimensions possibly by saving to LW object format (I can not quite remember, 20 years has passed).

Another related question, when I build an object in Imagine using primitives, different primitives have different sizing. For example, if I create a plane with 30 units diameter and a tube with 30 units diameter, the tube has bigger diameter.

Is this a known and understood issue?

It makes it a bit more difficult to combine object parts made of different primitives. But can be overcome, of course, with some planning.

Posted on: 1/21 17:02
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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> For example, if I create a plane with 30 units diameter and
> a tube with 30 units diameter, the tube has bigger diameter.

This was an easy one, the Plane primitive used 'width' as parameter and tube uses 'radius' (half width).

So no problem there as far as the specific way of determining size for a primitive is accounted for.

Posted on: 1/21 18:39
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Re: Imagine 3D for 3D printing
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I tested with another printer software - Slic3r and it looks promising already

Objects made with Imagine3D and saved in Accutrans as .STL open without trouble. The best part is that the Imagine3D dimensions are seen as millimeters compared to the printer hot bed size. A plane primitive made with 100 Imagine units is close to 100 (99.66) on the printer's hot bed on this software.

When installing the software I put the printer hot bed size as 200 x 200 mm.

The problem is still accuracy because the printer software allows relative scaling in full numbers only (no decimals). So if I needed a 100.0 mm diameter object, the result might be 99.7, for example.

At least with this current knowledge, which might improve of course.

Posted on: 1/21 20:06
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