Step 4: Repair Your Model With NetFabb

I should preface this step by saying that I know very little about NetFabb. My problem was that I needed a way to repair a mesh to make it watertight for 3D printing, and NetFabb was the solution. There are several programs out there that can accomplish the same thing, but when I googled "repair mesh watertight" this is the one on which I settled. That being said, I've found NetFabb to be simple, intuitive, and powerful, a homerun when you're looking for free software.

The goal of this step is to fill in any holes in your OBJ file that make it not watertight. Just in case anyone is wondering what "watertight" means, it's exactly what it sounds like; if you were to fill your OBJ file with water, would it leak out? The most likely places you'll get holes are at the top and back of the head, where the complex texture of the hair causes problems with 123D Catch, and at the bottom of the neck where the photos cut off.

Open up NetFabb and go to Project > Open. Navigate to and select your OBJ file. You should now see your model in the NetFabb window. Use your right mouse button to rotate the model around and check it out. You may notice some holes at this point, almost certainly at the bottom of the model, but we're going to repair both the holes you see and those you don't.

Go to Extras > Repair Part. You should see your model turn blue and wireframe, with invalid surfaces colored red and unclosed edges turned yellow. At the bottom right of the window click the button labeled "Automatic Repair". A window will pop up asking if you to select either default or simple repair; either one will do fine most of the time, but if one of these options gives you a problem the other might help. After choosing your repair option you'll notice that all holes, even very large holes, have been closed. Make sure to click "Apply Repair" after selecting your repair options. Go ahead and choose yes when asked to remove old part.

Export the part by going to Part > Export Part > As Wavefront OBJ. This will save our model as an OBJ, the same format with which we started and the easiest format to open in MeshMixer. This is the same process we will use to eventually convert our model into an STL fileformat, the standard for 3D printing. If you'd like you can go ahead and export your head as an STL now.

You now have a watertight model, suitable for printing! At this point we could skip to Step 7 and print our head as is, or continue down the rabbit hole and see where the wonderful (and sometimes infuriating) world of model editing takes us.
<p>Hmm... Not the path I would prefer to take but may have to do this for more advanced design templates. I did this with my head a year back to make a well fitting cosplay helmet but it took a lot of editing to correct the capture errors.</p>
<p>What of the idea of making your little man into an AI robot...ha that would take a few more steps but just use an adwino or something right?</p>
<p>Haha wouldn't that be cool!</p>
<p>Your action figure looks like Chris Pratt.</p>
U are so cute! ;)
Man, tried everything, 123D catch doesn't work so I diverted to VisualSFM which doesn't seem to work on mac, and then I tried Skanect, and apparently I first need to buy a Kinect for it. <br> <br>I hope some company created a 123D catch-like software for free that isn't browser based (there is no offline mac version).
What's a prime cost of printing this kind of personal figure?
Real men play with dolls....um....of, um, themselves. <br> <br> Where to borrow/hack 123D is the purpose of this comment however. Brilliant idea for gifts to my young nephews or cake toppers for the soon to be married daughters. <br> <br>I might be able to help if arm/leg articulation is imperative- &quot;have dremel, will cut&quot;. S'my motto. Miniature eye screws for the loosely jointed and there are doll hospital web sites where you may be able to find more fixed jointing/swivel. <br> <br>Thanks for this great ible. <br>
Now about your posture.........
Cool idea.... <br> <br>Thanks to 30 years of agressively working out at a gym (including the fact that I can bench press more than 2x of my own weight) and other than the Tatoo, the 3D figure has about the same pysique as me,.... <br> <br>to think I wasted all that time in the gym...when I could have made a 3D sculpture of myself! <br>
Why not do the 3d scan of your body, too? I thought it was practically a requirement for anyone who worked at Instructables to strip down to one's undies for at least one project. :p
Do you know how to make 3d objects hollow in a software? I would like to know because I am working on a weight sensitive project where the motors aren't strong enough to lift a solid 3D piece. Also, it is less expensive if I use a hollow piece. Thanks.
I like the ripped jeans and gnarly tat. They compliment the rugged six-pack to give the figure back his 'action'
To put the &quot;action&quot; back into your &quot;figure&quot;, in theory you could just print out a head and glue it to an existing action figure sans head right? I really like your instructable, but am trying to figure a way to do it a bit cheaper. Does shapeways have an order minimum? Thanks!
You could definitely just print out your head and glue it to an existing figure. In fact, if you were willing to do some engineering-grade modeling in AutoCAD you could add the joining mechanism directly into your head before you print, and just snap it onto the action figure!
cool! although there are easier ways to get this done in meshmixer...guess I should make a tutorial video or something =)
If you do I would love a link :). I can tell it's a powerful program, but most of the tutorials are way out of date.
Yes, unfortunately that part of the website doesn't get any attention at the moment. If you are looking for help, the youtube channel: <br> <br>http://www.youtube.com/meshmixer <br> <br>has the most recent tutorial videos. And you will get a quick response to any questions on the forum: <br> <br>http://www.meshmixer.com/forum/
Fantastic work! Thanks for posting, I voted for you. I really liked your work! <br> <br>K.
Thanks, that means a lot to me!
Great instructable! <br>If what you're doing creates the head separately anyway, you could put the head on an articulated body and have an actual posable action figure. Dollsfigure or any company that creates articulated bodies sell bodies ready for heads. <br>
That's very true! I was looking for models of articulated figures, but couldn't find any; if you just printed the head however, you could glue it on to any action figure.
Cool! Good work but... you should get a model painter in to help you out haha
Haha, that would certainly help. I gave it my best shot, but I'm not a painter by any stretch!
Do you think drawing some sort of markings on your face first might help 123D Catch? Since the ultimate goal is to make a mesh, it wouldn't really matter if the initial model had big X's drawn on with eyeliner or something.
Yes, that would definitely work! I would suggest that you use a pen or something that has a fine point, This will help you be more precise when you're stitching.
Nice action figure. Wear those never-nude cut-offs proud!
I LOVE your denim cut offs. where did you get those from? hahah Can I borrow?
Thanks for all the links to some really interesting software for the right price.
That is a fascinating process. It is amazing that people can make a 3-D replica on their home computer and manufacturer a copy of it at home with a 3-D printer they own. That would have required some very expensive technology to achieve just ten years ago. <br> <br>Do you think people will soon be able to create life size, ultra realistic sculptures? That might create a whole new industry. Wouldn't it be interesting if instead of just a life size poster of a favorite sports hero or celebrity, one could buy a life size 3-D sculpture of them. You could have your favorite wrestler standing in your bedroom.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm handling most of the shipping here at Instructables, as well as learning to run the new 3D printers. Feel free to PM me ... More »
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