Difference between revisions of "Fixing STLs"

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==Fixing stl files==
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Many programs may be used to fix an STL; Netfabb, Magics, Mesh Mixer, Rhino. Netfabb is an AutoDesk product available for free to students through their <code>.edu</code> email address and as such will be the main focus of this article.
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==Netfabb==
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----
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The following article has been written for AutoDesk Netfabb 2017 Standard.
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===Import Parts===
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<div class="col-lg-4 col-md-5 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">[[File:Import_STL.gif|thumb|left|Import an STL into NetFabb.]][[File:Import_STL.gif|thumb|left|Import a CAD file into NetFabb.]]</div>
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<div class="col-lg-8 col-md-7 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">
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;To import an STL into Netfabb<nowiki>:</nowiki>
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;To import a CAD file into Netfabb<nowiki>:</nowiki>
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</div>
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<br clear=all>
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===Automatic Part Repairs===
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<div class="col-lg-4 col-md-5 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">[[File:Automatic_Repair.gif|thumb|left|Import an STL into NetFabb.]]</div>
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<div class="col-lg-8 col-md-7 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">
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Repair mode can be entered by clicking the red cross in the top tool ribbon. From repair mode there are several fields of significant importance; shells, border edges, invalid orientations, and holes. These are all technical issues with the STL and are not functions of your part. There should be 1 shell per continuous part, 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes.
 +
;Netfabb's automatic repair tools can be used to fix these problems in most scenarios<nowiki>:</nowiki>
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*Click <code>Automatic Repair</code> in the lower part of the Netfabb part tree.
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*Click either <code>Default Repair</code> or <code>Simple Repair</code> in the pop-up window. <sup>''This may take some time to complete''</sup>
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:*If your part does not have 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes attempt another repair.
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*If your part now has 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes click <code>Apply Repair</code>. <sup>''There are other tools to reduce shells to 1''</sup>
  
stl stands for steroLithography, stl file format is an industry standard to print 3-D parts, and is the only file format that can be used at the Idea shop to 3-D print parts. stl file format contains only a surface of the 3-D  part, unlike other common 3-D file formats that contain the texture, color, material properties and scale of the parts. In order for the printer to successfully print any part, the following features must be checked on Netfabb<nowiki>:</nowiki>
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It is not recommended that you use the extended repair. This repair wraps the visible surface of your STL in a new mesh. This repair can lead to thin regions of your model which is of particular concern if plan to use the [[zPrinter 450]].
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</div>
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<br clear=all>
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===Boolean Operations===
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<div class="col-lg-4 col-md-5 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">[[File:Boolean.gif|thumb|left|Import an STL into NetFabb.]]</div>
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<div class="col-lg-8 col-md-7 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">
 +
;In the event an automatic repair cannot merge your part down to 1 shell you may<nowiki>:</nowiki>
 +
*Adjust your Rhino file so there is 1 closed polysurface per part before meshing or exporting as an STL.
 +
*Mesh your model in Netfabb by importing the CAD file instead of an STL.
 +
*Use Netfabb's boolean operations to reduce the mesh to 1 shell.
 +
The boolean operation button can be found in the top tool ribbon. It appears as green and red circles intersecting one another.
 +
;Netfabb's boolean operations tool can be used to reduce a mesh to 1 shell<nowiki>:</nowiki>
 +
*Shells may be added or removed from the tools consideration by moving them between the green and red columns in the part tree.
 +
*Click the <code>green cross</code> to begin the boolean union. <sup>''This may take some time to complete''</sup>
 +
*Once complete click the the <code>blue check</code> to apply the operation.
 +
*Recheck the model in repair mode to confirm there is only 1 shell.
 +
;If the Boolean union command fails to merge down to one shell it is likely that the shells are disjointed and will print as separate parts<nowiki>:</nowiki>
 +
*Enter <code>Repair Mode</code> by clicking the red cross in the top tool ribbon.
 +
*Click <code>Shell Selection</code> in the top tool ribbon.
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*Select different parts of the model to see the different shells.
 +
:*If you can clearly see the disjointed parts return to your CAD files and attempt to fix your geometry.
 +
*To select hard to find shells press <code>Ctrl+A</code> to select all shells.
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*Deselect the main shell by pressing <code>Ctrl+''left click''</code>.
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*Press <code>Delete</code> to remove the extra shells.
 +
*Inspect your geometry for any deformations.
 +
*If your part now has 1 shell, 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes click <code>Apply Repair</code>.
 +
</div>
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<br clear=all>
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===Export STL===
 +
<div class="col-lg-4 col-md-5 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">[[File:Export_Model.jpg|thumb|left|Import an STL into NetFabb.]]</div>
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<div class="col-lg-8 col-md-7 col-sm-6 col-xs-12">
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;When repairs have been completed you will need to re-export your model as an STL<nowiki>:</nowiki>
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*Select your model.
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*Right Click
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*Select <code>Export as STL</code>
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As a reminder, your STL must have 0 border edges, 0 invalid  orientations, and 0 holes before exporting and should have 1 shell per continuous part, and 1 part per STL. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in a failed 3D print.
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</div>
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<br clear=all>
  
'''Number Of shells'''
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<!-- Jigar's contibution
When a part is opened on Netfabb, a pop up screen displays part name, part size and volume, number of triangles and shells, part  quality, and finally scale factor.  
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stl stands for steroLithography, stl file format is an industry standard to print 3-D parts, and is the only file format that can be used at the Idea shop to 3-D print parts. stl file format contains only a surface of the  3-D  part, unlike other common 3-D file formats that contain the texture, color, material properties and scale of the parts. In order for the printer to successfully print any part, the following features must be checked and fixed on Netfabb<nowiki>:</nowiki>
Any part that needs to be 3-D printed,
+
 
 +
;'''Number Of shells, holes, invalid orientations and border edges '''
 +
When a part is opened on Netfabb, a pop up screen displays part name, part size and volume, number of triangles and shells, part  quality, and finally scale factor.  
 +
Any part that needs to be 3-D printed,must have just '''1 shell''' per part, the number of triangles in a part varies depending on geometry and size of the part. A part must also have 0 holes, invalid orientations and border edges. Netfabb has a repair mode where it can create one continuous shell per part. The repair (<span style="color:#FF0000"> A RED PLUS </span>) icon is located to the right on toolbar, under repair a option tray will open up in the bottom left, then select "Automatic repair" , if that changes the number of shells to 1, Apply repair.  Netfabb repair tool may or may not be able to fix all the features mentioned, in case it does not fix the features, go back to the software used to design  the part and make changes there,double check on Netfabb,  save the part and it is ready to be 3-D printed.
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;'''Surface thickness'''
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'''NOTE: Surface thickness is check is only necessary for the z-printer, all the other 3-D printers are capable of printing parts one layer thick .i.e 0.025mm-0.30mm'''  If your parts needs to be printed on the z-printer, then it is important to make sure that the minimum surface thickness is 2 mm, if the part is less than 2mm then there are high chances of your part breaking when you try to clean it. In order to check for part thickness, in Netfabb there is a icon for "new analysis", under new analysis select wall thickness analysis, in the pop up window change the wall thickness threshold to 2 mm, and let all other options be default and click OK. The part will be displayed with green color indicating thickness of more than 2 mm and red color representing thickness of less than 2 mm, if your part has any red color in it, its ideally not suitable to 3-D print on the z-printer as it will break when cleaning the parts. The only way to fix the part is by going back to the software used to design the part and change the necessary parameters there. Once the necessary changes have been made, recheck the parts for the features mentioned above, and if everything checks out, the part is now ready to be printed.
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-->

Revision as of 20:49, 2 October 2017

Many programs may be used to fix an STL; Netfabb, Magics, Mesh Mixer, Rhino. Netfabb is an AutoDesk product available for free to students through their .edu email address and as such will be the main focus of this article.

Netfabb


The following article has been written for AutoDesk Netfabb 2017 Standard.

Import Parts

Import an STL into NetFabb.
Import a CAD file into NetFabb.
To import an STL into Netfabb:
To import a CAD file into Netfabb:


Automatic Part Repairs

Import an STL into NetFabb.

Repair mode can be entered by clicking the red cross in the top tool ribbon. From repair mode there are several fields of significant importance; shells, border edges, invalid orientations, and holes. These are all technical issues with the STL and are not functions of your part. There should be 1 shell per continuous part, 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes.

Netfabb's automatic repair tools can be used to fix these problems in most scenarios:
  • Click Automatic Repair in the lower part of the Netfabb part tree.
  • Click either Default Repair or Simple Repair in the pop-up window. This may take some time to complete
  • If your part does not have 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes attempt another repair.
  • If your part now has 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes click Apply Repair. There are other tools to reduce shells to 1

It is not recommended that you use the extended repair. This repair wraps the visible surface of your STL in a new mesh. This repair can lead to thin regions of your model which is of particular concern if plan to use the zPrinter 450.


Boolean Operations

Import an STL into NetFabb.
In the event an automatic repair cannot merge your part down to 1 shell you may:
  • Adjust your Rhino file so there is 1 closed polysurface per part before meshing or exporting as an STL.
  • Mesh your model in Netfabb by importing the CAD file instead of an STL.
  • Use Netfabb's boolean operations to reduce the mesh to 1 shell.

The boolean operation button can be found in the top tool ribbon. It appears as green and red circles intersecting one another.

Netfabb's boolean operations tool can be used to reduce a mesh to 1 shell:
  • Shells may be added or removed from the tools consideration by moving them between the green and red columns in the part tree.
  • Click the green cross to begin the boolean union. This may take some time to complete
  • Once complete click the the blue check to apply the operation.
  • Recheck the model in repair mode to confirm there is only 1 shell.
If the Boolean union command fails to merge down to one shell it is likely that the shells are disjointed and will print as separate parts:
  • Enter Repair Mode by clicking the red cross in the top tool ribbon.
  • Click Shell Selection in the top tool ribbon.
  • Select different parts of the model to see the different shells.
  • If you can clearly see the disjointed parts return to your CAD files and attempt to fix your geometry.
  • To select hard to find shells press Ctrl+A to select all shells.
  • Deselect the main shell by pressing Ctrl+left click.
  • Press Delete to remove the extra shells.
  • Inspect your geometry for any deformations.
  • If your part now has 1 shell, 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes click Apply Repair.


Export STL

Import an STL into NetFabb.
When repairs have been completed you will need to re-export your model as an STL:
  • Select your model.
  • Right Click
  • Select Export as STL

As a reminder, your STL must have 0 border edges, 0 invalid orientations, and 0 holes before exporting and should have 1 shell per continuous part, and 1 part per STL. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in a failed 3D print.