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  1. Hi, I am a newcomer to 3D-Coat, though not to 3D. There are a few questions I have, so I will start with the first one: Is there a tool in 3DC that measures wall thickness?
  2. I have a bit over 2 years in 3d printing technology. Mainly the FDM type as I own one. The industry is full of hype. Like the 3d printing of guns which is not practical for any low end desktop 3d printer. Here on my gallery page I have a few things I have created: http://www.fx-creator.com/gallery.html Ok now to the good stuff. The 3d Printer I own is an Airwolf3D 5.5 printer. This printer can print up to 12 known materials. I have used PLA, ABS, TPE myself. The process depends on your tools. I use a variety of tools such as 3d-Coat, Softimage and Repetier-Host. There are mesh clean up tools like Meshlab etc.. The main thing people have to understand more than the 3d modeling tool they use is how the model is constructed and the resolution you are interested in printing. Some of the tools that create the G-code will choke on a valid STL file. What is most important is this. The lower the resolution the more simplified the model should be. So you can use a low poly mesh for a standard .4mm height printing. All should work fine. The more detailed model the higher you can push your model. You can run a higher resolution model with low settings and it will work however it will take longer to process. Most people just throw a 5k to 10k poly count model for say like a character at these applications. The program is designed to just process the model and will fail when it runs out of ram or if you set a setting that is in conflict. G-Code creation and tools like Slic3r or Skeinforge. These are 2 of the main opensource slicing tools used. There are probably others but the focus is not on which tool you use. What is important is understanding how the 3d printing process works. All 3d FDM printers are like a hot glue gun with several computer controlled features. There is a couple of ratio calculations that are used for determining how fast to feed the filament and the speed of the extruder moves. Most of these ratios you do not have to worry about. Skienforge does force you to be aware of them and there are over 50 independent settings too. So knowing how the machine works will help in your settings. It takes a while for a novice to be able to print with any good quality as each different machine has quirks. You will have to just experiment. If your serious then you will create profiles and label them. Keep a log of what settings you did and the outcome. A friend of mine bought a Solid Doodle 3d printer when they were first released. These printers are not for a novice as you are set up with Skienforge. Skienforge has a lot of different settings and my friend was not aware of how to set them. His first attempt at printing he crashed the head. The design of the 3d printer does not allow for the head to give a little in case of sending the Z axis too far. Now I helped fix his printer and replaced the head. I also gave him some instructions on how to use the 3d printer. The Solid Doodle can print very good once it is set up properly. Those wanting a good 3d Printer need to do a good amount of research. I am not going to say buy what I have but after owning one the best thing for me was support. The people there are nice and will make sure you get a working product. You can get kits or buy the thing fully assembled. Read the reviews and talk to them. Take tours if your close by. Most important do your homework and understand not only the machine but the process. If anyone has any questions relating to the process I use or in general post a comment below and I will respond if I know the answer. Also if I do not know I will try to find someone who does.
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