Preparing the Model for Printing

Since the stool model for my project was meant to be done on a makerbot z18, which is significantly bigger than my Hyrel.  So, like I said in the previous post, I had to cut it into pieces!  The best software for this (in my opinion) is Netfabb.  Netfabb is so easy to cut stl files into multiple parts because the options are right on the interface when it opens:

In the right panel, there is a box labeled “Cuts”.  This lets you drag the sliders for the respective axes (x, y, z), and dragging these sliders causes a colored line to sweep across the part.  That colored line shows you where the software will cut your part!  Once you have arranged your cut lines the way you want (using the sliders), you click “Execute cut”, and it will cut the files for you.  Then, right clicking on each section will allow you to export it to a variety of different file formats (STL being one of them!!).

In addition to cutting parts, Netfabb is really good for moving, scaling, and repairing parts.  It’ll do a lot of different repairs, but the one that I have used the most is the feature that closes unwanted holes in the mesh.  This is especially useful if you are trying to work with the result of a 3d scan that has some data missing.

In order for the stool to fit on the hyrel, I had to cut the top into 4 sections, and the spreader piece at the bottom into 3 sections.  According to my printer, once sliced, each quarter of the top will take approximately 20 hours so stay tuned for pictures of the first piece in a few days when the next post comes around!

John (aka The Mad Printer)

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