Requirements for STLs for color printing


#1

All of my previous work with FDM color printing has required a separate STL for each color. These individual STL files were then ‘merged’ in the slicers. Is that true when working with Voxelizer?


#2

This is one of the options in Voxelizer, but not the only one. In particular, Image Mapping makes it possible to map an image or a texture on a model, eliminating the need for multiple aligned files.

A good starting point would be our two existing tutorials on this subject:
Multi-material and Multi-color Printing
Image Mapping

They are for the non-Experimental version of Voxelizer, but the working principle is still the same. We might be doing an expanded tutorial on the multimaterial/multicolor workflow shortly to cover it more thoroughly.


#3

Thank you for a VERY quick reply. I have to admit that my first encounter with Voxelizer was completely baffling… probably due to the step-by-step process. It wasn’t until I began studying the options in detail that it dawned on me that everything Mike at M3D had said about Voxelizer was true. It’s brilliant.

I’m really going to enjoy adapting this product to all my printers. That doesn’t mean I won’t stay confued for a while. It just means that of the slicers I’ve used I can already tell this one is going to return big dividends for any time invested in learning it.


#4

Thank you very much Tom. If there are some parts of the program that you find particularly confusing you can share your thoughts with us. On top of the technical possibilities of the software we try also to make the user experience as good as possible.


#5

Tom, I’m glad to see you’ve found the community forum. =) Filup and the other Vox folks are really great people. I am currently learning how to do UV mapping; although… I really want to learn how to better separate shells.

Many times, I think about Voxelizer as a sort of “Paint By Numbers” slicer. As long as you have a pre-separated model, you can put color anywhere you like. The only thing I wish I could do is actually select an individual set of Voxels and tell them to be some color.

As I said, i’m still learning UV mapping and other texture mapping techniques… a bit over my head, but i’m getting there. There are also videos from our… friends at Mosaic. =) They actually do a great job of explaining separation of a model in Meshmixer. I would love to just set facegroups in meshmixer, and pull them in as separate parts of the model in Voxelizer. Is this possible, by any chance? =) I know that if you export an obj/stl from meshmixer with facegroups defined, it will actually produce a facegroup section for each.

Kyp(Filup, that’s you isn’t it?)heh… reminded me how to go from waste shield -> tower. I have actually managed to get our purge amount down to a factor of 8 from 25. I’m amazed! The amount of waste we produce is something like 5-10% what other slicers produce.

Anyways, thanks again guys. Tom is one of our most awesome users, and the work he does really helps people. It’s incredible! Ask him about his 3d Scans. =) From us at M3D, we’re all quite happy to be working with you all. =)

Thanks,

David


#6

Well this is quite possible:) You can: use pyramid selection (SHIFT/CTRL + mouse) or sphere selection (q/w + mouse on the model) to select the voxels (note that the two methods produce two different kind of selection that cannot be joined together); right click on the model->selection->split; apply the color/material to the newly created objects.

See this GIF:


#7

There is a LOT I don’t know. And, the material color system is so different than the PLY/WRL Vertex color system that we use with the Z450. But, this kind of thing is what keeps an old guy feeling young as I learn new things and pass it on to others, This is going to be so much fun to learn!


#8

David, this is why we have to have a completely separate section in Discord and the M3D.app forums dedicated to Voxelizer. This is a completely unique and important approach to the future of 3D printing. And, because it is, there are some complexities that deserve to have their own dedicated focus.

Don’t feel bad about the dizzying world of UV, etc. My nephew, Peyton, who has been at the forefront of 3D game design had his own hurdles when it came to preparing some art for printing with on our Z450! It’s not all that easy and neither is Meshlab; but, it will probably boil down to a by-the-numbers process as it does when converting an .OBJ material to Vertex color. It took us a while to find the steps; but, once found, we just repeat them for 99% of our conversions. :wink:


#9

Kyp,

We have four colors loaded into our CraneQuad. I am assuming that the first three are Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. The last color, I assume, should be white or black. If we use black, we can get true black on our model; but, not white. If we use white we cannot get true black. Even so, I expect using white is preferable in most cases. (The Z450’s powder is white; but, it exchanges the black ink for the clear binder)

The true competitor for what M3D and Voxelizer are doing is the xyzPrinting daVinci Color printer. They now have two versions; both using a proprietary white filament. The more expensive model uses a CMYK ink cartridge and the less expensive version uses a CMY cartridge. It is unclear how successfully they have pulled off color since the only non-xyzPrinting reviews/tutorials seem to be from early beta testers and few have offered any follow up… which is interesting to me.

I will say that xyzPrinting’s yet-to-be-released professional $30K+ full-color powder printer blows away our Z450 in color and quality. The marketing people came from 3D Systems so they sent me a sample print and it was amazing.


#10

agiachino

Thank you! Since there is no narration, one of the things that would be very helpful in the GIFS would be a annotation of some sort that indicates mouse selection clicks. I find that I have to watch over and over to try to catch exactly what is being clicked.


#11

@tomdmeeks Sure, this one was taken from our website so it’s quite fast, in the future if I will post GIFS they will be more clear.


#12

David, I was confusing you remarks about Meshmixer with Meshlab, which we are able to use to covert OBJ materials to Vertex colors.

I’m wondering if Meshlab, which seems to be VERY comprehensive, might not also be able to accomplish what we might need for Voxelizer. I don’t know. But, maybe Kyp or Agiachino know that answer.


#13

Very nice to see the painting with the “brush”. Perhaps they will not print well, but for more detailed/complicated art work, a quick thought is to try 3D Coat, another voxel based software geared mainly at game artists. Interestingly, they have a 3d printing module, but it does not appear to support multiple colors/materials.


#14

I have a LOT of respect for the 3D Coat developers. They’ve done a marvelous job.