Cleaning up STL files for 3D printing properly? Answered
Every now and then I find a nice model on Thingiverse or such places that I would like to print.
Quite often though these models come with errors.
No clue why people upload them for 3D printing if the printing software can't print them....
Anyway, there are quite a few online place that fix a model and make it watertight, remove flipped faces and more.
Usually with quite good results unless the model is really crappy.
What I miss though is a program or online service, preferably free of course, that can actually simplyfy a model to match a printers capabilities.
For example a scanned object of just a few cm in size can come with over 100mb in file size with ease.
There are programs able to modify a mesh, shrink it or even reduce the triangle count.
However those usually still fail to address the problem at hand.
Required details go missing and sometimes entire shapes change in important spots.
A normal FDM printer comes with a 0.4mm nozzle and is capable of 0.1mm layer hieght with realitve ease.
There must be program or service that utilises this properly to create new and in size reduced model.
It is just a total pain to use 3 or 4 different programs to modify a simple lithopane just to get some custom text onto the stand.
Same for creating multiple print jobs for it as it often results in bad adhesion.
What I really would I guess is something where you enter your prefered layer height and max resolution based on nozzle size to get an optimised STL in return.
I know your nagging question already: Why bother?
1. If you have a STL file of less than 1mb and make some simple modifications with Blender, Meshmixer or whatever, then you can end with a file of way more than 20mb in size and with a complexity that was nowhere in the original.
"Fixing" a bad file with these apps is easy but again result in massive file sizes or massive loss of detail.
It really makes no sense at all trying to make your printer create structures finer than 0.2mm - you just won't see it with your naked eye anyway.
Especially complex, scanned objects often result in perimeters that enlarged look like someone was holding a running jack hammer while making the perimeter.
In return your printer can create quite similar sounds and most importantly the print time goes up for no good reason at all.
3. I just prefer simple and clean models.
I want to be able to make simple adjustments to a simple object without the need for 32GB of RAM and a server tower to house several CPU's.
Is there any such app or service already out there and I just missed it?