SANIX3D has published multiple articles on the topic of 3D printing.

These articles are intended for people who have opened up the world of 3D printing to themselves, and wish to learn about the general elements, as well as some additional information.

New articles are systematically added to the page

 

Content

3. 3D Printing File Formats: STL vs OBJ

In the field of 3D printing, the use of 3D models is crucial for the creation of physical objects. These models can be created using a variety of 3D modeling software, and once completed, they need to be exported in a file format that can be read by the 3D printer. Two of the most commonly used file formats for 3D printing are STL (STereoLithography) and OBJ (Wavefront Object).

STL is a file format that was developed specifically for the stereolithography CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. It is a relatively simple format that describes the surface geometry of a 3D object without any texture or color information. STL files are made up of a large number of small triangles, which together make up the surface of the object. Because of this, STL files are considered to be a “tessellated” format, and are commonly used for 3D printing because they can be easily read by most slicing software.

OBJ, on the other hand, is a more complex file format that includes not only the surface geometry, but also textures, colors, and other material information. OBJ files are made up of a series of vertices, faces, and other components that describe the object in a more detailed way. OBJ files are commonly used in 3D animation and modeling software because of the additional information they contain. However, OBJ files can be more difficult to work with for 3D printing because they need to be converted to STL files before they can be printed.

The main difference between the two formats is that STL files are simplified version of the original 3D model, used for 3D printing, while OBJ files contain more information about the object and are used for 3D modeling and animation. STL files are made up of triangles, which are the basic building blocks of a 3D model. OBJ files, on the other hand, can be more complex, including various different elements like vertices, normals, and texture coordinates.

In terms of compatibility, STL files are more widely supported by 3D printers, as most slicing software can easily read and interpret the tessellated surface geometry of STL files. OBJ files can also be used for 3D printing, but they must be converted to STL before printing.

In conclusion, both STL and OBJ file formats are commonly used in the field of 3D printing. While STL files are simpler and more focused on the 3D printing process, OBJ files contain more information and are better suited for 3D modeling and animation. However, regardless of the file format used, the conversion of 3D models into printable files is an essential step in the 3D printing process.

 

4. Choose a good file for 3D Printing

In order to choose a good file for 3D printing, you should follow these steps:

  1. Check if the file is in the correct format. The most common formats for 3D printing are STL and OBJ.

  2. Check if the file has a solid structure. A good structure ensures that the 3D printer can generate a model with adequate strength and durability.

  3. Check if the file is in the correct scale. It is important to make sure that the file is not too small or too large, to avoid printing problems and unnecessary costs.

  4. Check if the file has good resolution. A higher resolution will provide a more detailed and finished model, but this can affect the durability and strength of the model.

  5. Check if the file is compatible with the 3D printer you have. If you are not sure, you can contact the printer manufacturer for more information.

It is also important to check the compatibility of the file with the material that you have available or that you want to print with.

It is also important to check the file for good design, not just technical correctness, in order to obtain a satisfactory final result.

 

 

5. Differences between SLA and FDM 3D printers

  1. Printing technology: SLA printers work by using a laser to solidify a photosensitive resin, while FDM printers work by melting a thermoplastic filament and extruding it in fine layers to form the model.
  2. Print quality: SLA printers are known for producing models with fine resolution and precise details, while FDM printers are better for printing models with more complex geometry and a greater degree of flexibility.

  3. Materials: SLA printers are compatible with photosensitive resins, and FDM printers are compatible with thermoplastic filaments such as ABS, PLA, TPU, etc.

  4. Costs: SLA printers are more expensive than FDM printers, both in terms of the price of the printer itself and the cost of materials.

  5. Durability: SLA printers produce models with a lower degree of durability compared to FDM printers because resins are more sensitive to wear and impact than thermoplastic filaments.

  6. Post-printing process: SLA printers require a more complicated post-printing and cleaning process compared to FDM printers, which only require the removal of supports and cleaning the model.

  7. Applications: SLA printers are ideal for printing models that require fine resolution and precise details, such as medical or dental models, while FDM printers are used for models with more complex geometry, such as prototypes or machine parts.

In conclusion, both SLA and FDM have their own advantages and disadvantages and are suitable for different applications, depending on your project and needs, how you choose between them.

6. How to choose an SLA 3D printer

To choose an SLA (Stereolithography) 3D printer, you should consider the following aspects:

  1. Print quality: Check if the printer has good print quality and if it produces models with a fine resolution.

  2. Printing dimensions: Check the maximum printing dimensions of the printer and ensure they are suitable for your projects.

  3. Software: Check if the printer is compatible with the desired software.

  4. Materials: Check if the printer can use the desired materials for your projects. SLA printers can use photosensitive resins, and different types of it, with different characteristics.

  5. Additional features: Check if the printer has additional features such as an LCD screen, support for connecting to Wi-Fi or a computer, or even dual printing.

  6. Price: Compare the prices of different models and make sure you get the best value for money.

  7. Brand and distribution: check if there is distribution and service available, to make sure you will be able to get technical support and necessary consumables.

It’s important to consider the final goal of the printer and what projects you plan to realize, this will help you select the printer that best suits your needs and budget.

Compared to FDM printers, SLA printers offer better quality and fine resolution, but this comes with a higher cost and lower durability, and requires a post-printing and cleaning process.

 

7. How to choose an FDM 3D printer

To choose an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer, you should consider the following aspects:

  1. Printing dimensions: Check the maximum printing dimensions of the printer and ensure they are suitable for your projects.

  2. Resolution: Check if the printer has good resolution, this will affect the print quality.

  3. Software: Check if the printer is compatible with the desired software.

  4. Materials: Check if the printer can use the desired materials for your projects. FDM printers can use filament such as PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG, and others.

  5. Additional features: Check if the printer has additional features such as an LCD screen, support for connecting to Wi-Fi or a computer, or even dual printing.

  6. Price: Compare the prices of different models and make sure you get the best value for money.

  7. Brand and distribution: check if there is distribution and service available, to make sure you will be able to get technical support and necessary consumables.

It’s important to consider the final goal of the printer and what projects you plan to realize, this will help you select the printer that best suits your needs and budget.

 

8. Slicer ,, CURA ,,

Cura is a free and open-source slicing software developed by Ultimaker, a leading manufacturer of 3D printers. It is one of the most popular slicing software available, and it’s compatible with a wide range of 3D printers. Cura is known for its easy-to-use interface, which makes it simple for users to prepare their 3D models for printing, and for its wide range of advanced features.

Cura’s features include support for multiple 3D printer profiles, the ability to customize print settings such as layer height and infill, and the ability to generate support structures automatically. It also supports multiple material profiles and has a build-in print time estimation. Additionally, Cura also supports STL, OBJ, 3MF, and VRML file formats.

Cura is also frequently updated and Ultimaker provides a lot of resources for troubleshooting and learning how to use it. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

Download link – https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura

 

9. Slicer ,, CHITUBOX ,,

Chitubox is a 3D printing support software that provides features such as support for multiple 3D printer types, automatic support generation, and advanced piece orientation options for optimizing printing. It can also generate G-code for various 3D printers with different print settings. It is considered to be one of the best slicers in the market and it is free for personal use.

Download link – https://www.chitubox.com/en/download/chitubox-free

 

10. Slicer ,, LYCHEE ,,

Lychee Slicer is primarily designed to work with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printers, not SLA (stereolithography) printers. However, the software is open source, this means that it can be modified and customized by users to support SLA printing. This would likely require some knowledge of programming and G-code, but it may be possible for advanced users to make the necessary modifications. It is worth noting that using a slicing software that was specifically designed for SLA printing, like CHITUBOX, could be a better option for SLA 3D printing, as it will have support for specific features and configurations that are relevant to SLA printing process.

Download link – https://mango3d.io/downloads/

 

11. To become a beginner 3D Designer

To become a beginner 3D designer, it is necessary to study different 3D design programs such as Autodesk Maya, Blender, Cinema 4D, or 3ds Max. These programs allow for the creation of 3D models, texturing, animation, and illustration. It is also important to understand the basics of lighting and texturing, as well as other essential elements for creating quality models and animations.

How long it takes to become a beginner 3D designer can vary depending on your previous experience and skills, as well as how much you focus on studying and practicing. It may take weeks or even months to understand the basics of the program and to be able to create simple models, while it may take longer to become more advanced and create more complex models and animations. It’s important to continue practicing and perfecting your skills, the process is ongoing.

 

12. To become a beginner 3D Sculptor

To become a beginner 3D sculptor, it is necessary to study a 3D sculpting program such as ZBrush, Sculptris, or Mudbox. These programs provide powerful tools for digital sculpting, such as chisels, hammers, brushes, etc. It is also important to understand basic concepts of form, volume, proportions, texture and lighting.

How long it takes to become a beginner 3D sculptor can vary depending on your previous experience and skills, as well as how much you focus on studying and practicing. It may take weeks or even months to understand the basics of the program and to be able to create simple sculptures, while it may take longer to become more advanced and create more complex sculptures. It’s important to continue practicing and perfecting your skills, the process is ongoing.

 

A graphic tablet for ZBrush :

 A graphic tablet with a stylus is not necessary to use ZBrush, as it can be used with a mouse or trackpad. However, using a graphic tablet with a stylus can provide a more intuitive and precise experience, similar to traditional sculpting with clay or marble. A stylus allows for fine and precise gestures in the program and can make the work easier. It depends on your personal preferences and needs and how often you work with ZBrush if it’s necessary to use a graphic tablet with a stylus or not.

 

13. About Autodesk MAYA and ZBrush for 3D Modeling

Autodesk Maya is a 3D computer graphics software that is used for creating interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, and visual effects. It is a comprehensive solution that includes tools for modeling, animation, simulation, rendering, and compositing. It is widely used in the film and video game industries, and is also used in product design and architectural visualization.

ZBrush is a digital sculpting and painting software that is used for creating high-resolution, highly detailed 3D models. It is primarily used in the film and video game industries for character and creature modeling, as well as for creating detailed environments and props. ZBrush’s features include a highly customizable brush system, the ability to sculpt in 3D, and the ability to paint textures on models. It is also possible to sculpt low polygon models and then retopologize them to create higher polygon models that are more suitable for animation or real-time rendering.

 

Autodesck MAYA – https://www.autodesk.com/products/maya/overview

ZBrush – https://store.pixologic.com/

 

14. Transition from Maya to ZBrush or vice versa

These two programs are used for different purposes.

Maya is a 3D animation and modeling program used for creating 3D models, animation, texturing, and lighting. It is a polygonal modeling program that focuses more on modeling and animating objects.

On the other hand, ZBrush is a digital sculpting program used for creating highly detailed and complex textured 3D models. It focuses more on sculpting and detailing models. It is a point-based creation program that allows sculpting the model with specific tools such as brushes, chisels, hammers, etc.

If you are familiar with Maya and want to switch to ZBrush, you may need to get accustomed to the different tools and workflow, but with some practice and study, you should be able to learn and work with ZBrush. Conversely, if you are familiar with ZBrush and want to switch to Maya, you may need to get accustomed to the different set of tools and techniques specific for animation and lighting.

 

15. What is more difficult – Bust or the whole figure ?

A bust or a full figure do not require the same amount of detail and complexity to be designed in 3D. Designing a full figure can be more difficult as it requires more joints, a more detailed body schema, and more complete texturing. On the other hand, designing a bust may be simpler as it focuses only on the upper body and may be less detailed.

In English, a 3D model of a bust would require less attention to detail and complexity as compared to a full figure. A full figure would have more joints, a more detailed body structure, and more advanced texturing, making it a more challenging model to create. On the other hand, a bust would only cover the upper body and would be less intricate, therefore it would be easier to design.

 

16. What is easier to 3D Print (Bust, Full Figure or Full Figure cut into separate parts) ?

From a 3D printing perspective, both a bust or a full figure can be easy to print, but it depends on the quality and details of the models.

A bust may be easier to print as it is smaller and requires less material and time to print. A full figure may be more difficult to print, as it may be larger and require more material and time.

If a full figure is cut into separate parts, this can be easier to print as these parts can be printed separately and then assembled later. This can decrease the difficulty of printing a full figure due to its size and complexity.

However, it also depends on the quality of the models used