Instructables
Picture of 3D Printing Digital Sculptures
This Instructable will show how to take a sculpture from Zbrush and prepare the file for 3D printing. The process utilizes Zbrush 3.1 and Rhino 3D, but most other 3D modeling programs will work fine. The final print was sent to a Dimension ABS printer and took about 8 hours to print. This process runs conjunction with another Instrucable that I recently wrote that could be found at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Digital_Sculpting_3D_Printing_and_Animatronics/
 
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Step 1: Sculpture

Picture of Sculpture
sculpture3_2.jpg
sculpture3_3.jpg
The first step requires one to create a sculpture in Zbrush. Sculpt whatever you like. What is important is that you keep the resolution of the model to the proper subdivision level. This model was subdivided 3 times to insure the best print resolution, without creating too large of a file. After the sculpture is finished, export the tool as an OBJ file.

Step 2: Converting the File

The software that the Dimension ABS printer uses requires files that are in the STL format. That means that the OBJ file that is exported from Zbrush needs to be converted. I used Rhino 3D for this. Select the object/objects and export them as an STL file.
dscott42 years ago
Nice

I would love to see it added to the 3D print group I have just started

http://www.instructables.com/group/3Dprint/

Thanks
stuartbray5 years ago
Cool. There is some free software at MeshLab which allows you to turn STL files into OBJ, thus allowing you to edit in ZBrush.
anyone know of a similarly inexpensive rapid prototyping service that is US based?
doktorvortexx (author)  stuartbray5 years ago
I use MeshLab quite a bit. The only limitation is that you can't precisely scale models in it. On another note, Pixologic (the makers of Zbrush) just released a couple of new plugins. One allows you to decimate a model while keeping detail and another allows you to export your model as an .STL directly from Zbrush. These features kind of make this Instructable obsolete, but have really streamlined my workflow!!!