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netfabb at the RoboSavvy Booth @ London Printshow 2013

Friday, November 08, 2013 by Alexander Steiner

A special Thank You! to our UK reseller RoboSavvy for promoting netfabb in their home city to  London's audience.

Hundreds of visitors saw RoboSavvy's really cool dancing robot Fonzie. "I am sexy and I know it". The robot and other high tec kits related to or made with 3d printing technologies can be bought directly from RoboSavvy here.

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netfabb Private Prepares All Your Files for 3D Printing

Friday, October 11, 2013 by Alexander Steiner

Model builders like railroad enthusiast often use small 3D printers at home to print their own miniature worlds. With netfabb Private 3D files of such models can be fixed, adjusted and prepared as needed. The following tutorial shows how to do this with a railroad station model.

1. Step: Scale down

The initial model is extremely large (about 51 meters long) and needs first to be scaled down.

To do this click on "Scale Parts"...

...and set the scale factor size to 0.005

After the model has been scaled down click on "Zoom to selected parts" to re-center the view on the part:


2. Step: Auto repair

The big red warning triangle indicated that the model needs to be repaired before printing. Click on the "Automatic Repair" button to get into the repair mode:

In the "Status" tab you see that there are a lof of things to be fixed:

Click on "Automatic Repair" and choose "Extended repair". After a few seconds all holes are closed and all border edges are removed.


Step 3: Wrap surface

Now to eliminate all unnecessary inner mesh structures and triangles we will apply the "Wrap parts surface" function. A neat and perfectly hollow shell is one of the best ways to avoid potential printing errors.

The whole process takes only a few seconds:


Step 4: Remove inner room

To avoid unpleasant surprises on your printer use the clip planes view to detect possible error sources. Use the "View" tab to activate the clip plane cut views. You will see that there is an inner room inside the station's building:

The room was not cleaned up by the wrap surface feature due to the holes in the wall of the building, namely a window and a door slit. These have to be closed in order to remove the inner room. We will do this by applying the "Extrude" function.

Select all triangles on one of the sides of the window:

And click on "Extrude surfaces":

Use the toggle bar to extrude the side of the window over to the facing side.

Extrude the door sidewards to close the slit under the door:

And finally close also the stairs on the underside to get a really flat bottom surface. Simply extrude the one step of the stairs as shown in the picture sidewards:

No when you re-apply "Wrap part surface" the inner room is gone:


Step 5: Ready to Print

If there are some shells left, with zero volume, then simply select them manually and press the "Delete" key:

Finally to confirm all fulfilled repairing steps click on the button "Apply repair" and you're done. Everything ready within 5 minutes.

Now the train station is completely printable on a typical home 3d printer like Ultimaker or Makerbot. Enjoy!

More Information on netfabb Private

Category: 3D Printer Flattr
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Manufacturing some Bones and Saving Time – A Turorial

Thursday, September 05, 2013 by Alexander Steiner

This tutorial shows how to use the Automatic Packing add-on for netfabb Professional on the example of a friendly skeleton. Save your time and let your computer do the work for you. netfabb groups and arranges a large amount of different parts on the building platform as compact as possible. This saves printing material and a lot of manual work.

Let's start!

First of all we need to activate the platform in netfabb. Go to "View" and activate the check box for "Show platform":

The size of the building platform can be set under "Settings" \ "default platform size":

In the next step we load all the STL files of the skeleton. In this case these are over 200 STL files saved as a fabbproject file (in this way all the bone STLs are loaded in a way where they are arranged correctly as a human skeleton).

Now to automatically pack all the bones of our skeleton go to "Edit" \ "Automatic placement":

Now comes the important part - the options of how to run the Automatic Packing.

"Minimum distance" determines the distance between the parts. Keep it at 1.0 mm to get the most compact results.

Set "Accuracy" to determine the accuracy of the placement. The more accurate the more compact the arrangement will be and the longer the computer needs to do the calculation.

"Z rotation steps" determines how far the parts may be rotated when their rearrangement is done.

"Limit platform height": Set the maximum height up to which the parts shall be arranged on the platform.

Finally click on "Pack Platform" and let the PC do the work. The result in our example looks like this:

netfabb Automatic Packing pays off really fast for companies offering Rapid Prototyping services and companies manufacturing a lot of parts per build job.

More information and request for a quote here.

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