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  1. #1

    Making a model into a kit?

    I want to turn a 3D model made in Blender into a multi part kit which is going to have moving parts and which can be made of different types of resin (Transparent and opaque).I need to make sure that it fits together so I'm going to need to create pegs and holes, as well as to set specific wall thicknesses to make sure that some parts can fit neatly inside each other.Is there any software that can do at least some of this automatically (Such as making sure that two components don't overlap\clip through each other). Or is this something that I'm going to have to do entirely manually?I'm probably going to be using an Elegoo Mars 2 Pro. Which I haven't purchased yet, so I don't have any software other than the modelling software right now.

  2. #2
    There are no automatic programs capable of doing what you describe. The skill set required to accomplish such tasks is substantial and is part of the justification that creators have, explicitly, for charging fees for their otherwise intangible products.

    For your objective, you'd do best to learn a program such as Fusion 360 (free for hobbyists) that has the capabilities to accomplish all the fine detail work such a project requires. Your wall thickness is going to be determined by the slicer, not by the model, unless it's a hollow part. Tolerances between moving parts or joined parts is very much a part of the design process. For example, my printer will allow 0.2 mm tolerance, but that represents a 0.4 mm gap between the two parts. Less high quality parts require greater gaps.

    If you've been using Blender, you've experienced what I consider quite a steep learning curve, and you have my admiration. Fusion 360 has more engineering based features, but also supports sculpt-type features, as well as (for the paid version) some computer aided manufacturing features. Far more than a 3D printer operator requires, but the free hobbyist version does great in that respect.

    good luck

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by fred_dot_u View Post
    There are no automatic programs capable of doing what you describe. The skill set required to accomplish such tasks is substantial and is part of the justification that creators have, explicitly, for charging fees for their otherwise intangible products.

    For your objective, you'd do best to learn a program such as Fusion 360 (free for hobbyists) that has the capabilities to accomplish all the fine detail work such a project requires. Your wall thickness is going to be determined by the slicer, not by the model, unless it's a hollow part. Tolerances between moving parts or joined parts is very much a part of the design process. For example, my printer will allow 0.2 mm tolerance, but that represents a 0.4 mm gap between the two parts. Less high quality parts require greater gaps.

    If you've been using Blender, you've experienced what I consider quite a steep learning curve, and you have my admiration. Fusion 360 has more engineering based features, but also supports sculpt-type features, as well as (for the paid version) some computer aided manufacturing features. Far more than a 3D printer operator requires, but the free hobbyist version does great in that respect.

    good luck
    I thought that Fusion 360 was only free for limited time. Is it free forever?

  4. #4
    The hobbyist version has to be renewed each year and it's been quite a trick to find the right page to accomplish that task.

  5. #5
    Oh, it can be renewed. I read that as being a one off trial.I used to use Hexagon, but most of the 3D printing community seems to use Blender so I switched.I'm looking to cut up models and to put holes\pegs or lips\flanges so that you can glue things together.I've got about 5 years worth of 3D models that I made for use in renders and\or video games in hexagon and I'd like to start putting things out in the real world so that they can be used in tabletop gaming or just as ornaments.

  6. #6
    You would very much want to run your models through a checker of some form if you're going from rendered models to 3D printing. The creator can get away with quite a bit when it only has to be displayed on a screen. Having re-read your original post, I think I might have misinterpreted your objective. I've used Meshmixer to create pegs and holes to enable flat surface printing of models to be glued together with semi-automatic alignment, due to the pegs. It's often a nuisance, as Meshmixer can get wonky with the re-surfacing around the holes.

    When performed in Fusion 360, it's a real breeze. F360 allows you to use a plane to slice anywhere you like and creates a new face on both parts. You then use the separately created peg as a tool to punch holes in both faces. You'd want to have one tool to be printed and another tool scaled up a mm for the holes, in order to ensure a decent fit. I don't worry about scaling, but I make the peg a convenient drill size, say 3.5 mm and then use a 4 mm drill to clean out the created holes.

    A good part of learning Fusion 360, as with other programs, is not getting to understand the features, which is easy in Fusion 360, but it's getting the workflow understood.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    most of the 3D printing community seems to use Blender
    Actualy most use openscad.

    Blender is more used for animation and pretty pictures/models.

    As fred says, fusion 360 is the current popular kid on the block.
    And if you learnt blender then you'll have no problems with that.

    Howevere - I will say this because it's true: Nothing complicated you model now will work with a 3d printer.
    There are a whole bunch of factors and requirements you have no idea about until you start printing.
    And each printer will handle things slightly differently.

    Start with the printer. Each one is different. Learn what you can and can't do with the specific printer - THEN create the model to fit the printer.

    The elegoo mars are cheap and cheerful, but seem to work quite well.

    The cheap resins will be weak and brittle. But you can buy more expensive 'tough' resins.
    So bear that in mind.

    On a resin machine, you should be able to get away with a 0.1mm gap between parts - just remember the gap is on all sides so for a 0.1mm gap you actually set the part size difference to 0.2mm.

    There are no commercial print bureaus that offer a smaller than 0.1mm gap - so assume no consumer machine will go there either.

    That said, yes - technically it can be done - but assume it can't :-)

    But get the machine first :-)

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