when we see low poly models on 3d printing websites. wish to 3d printed but here we see how to get these stl files and make them for laser cut format . for this purpose we requires two software Meshmixer and Inkscape great news are they are open source . Download the Meshmixer from here meshmixer and inkscape
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Step 1: Download Model From Thingiverse
Download model from thingiverse thingiverse link
Step 2: Meshmixer Workflow
1. import the model .
2. give the dimension to model by go to the analysis/units and dimensions
only for check do not change dimensions to inch export svg on inch not work in meshmixer
3. go to edit/transform , tick uniform scaling ,change any one dimension as we wish .
some times the model looks like inverted with red stripes
Step 4: Click on Select and Press Ctrl+A to Select All and Again Goto Select Press Ctrl+A Edit /flip Normals
our model is looks good.
another way to this using paint selection
1.select icon / tick the Allow back faces and paint on object then press 'e' on keyboard
2.and go on popup window edit/ flip normals
Step 5: Generate Face Groups
Face Groups are a core concept in Meshmixer. The Generate Face Groups tool allows you to try to automatically assign useful face groups to an unstructured mesh. these step are important .we can generate facegroup two ways
by manual selection by paint selection command and through Edit/Generate Face Groups change the edge angle value. and Accept
if facegroup is not coloured then press and hold spacebar and click on colour icons
Step 6: Export to SVG File
1. select the facegroup which is exported for svg files using paint selection.
2.separate the selected facegroup using select/edit/separate or press 'y' on keyboard.
3.object browser will pop up if not GO to view/show object browser
4.in object browser hide other object by click on eye icon
5.go to edit/unwarp ,select unwarp element as "by group" , unwarp type as "Rigid",packing type as optimum .
6.each face group is unwarp and shown separate in object browser
we can convert each object into svg but make group of these objects may help in laser cutting as single file
this is done by combine operation . select all unwarp object in object browser by pressing shift+left mouse button
and combine on pop up window done
9. go to the File /export svg select "inkscape svg"/and untick internal edges/ exoprt give file name / save
and we are done
10. do the all step for each facegroup to another hide object
this is how we done
Step 7: Inkscape Work Flow
2.Goto the File/Document properties and assign youer laser machine bed size.
3.Goto the File/import and open the previous meshmixer exported svg file
as we know meshmixer by default metric mm dimensions
Step 8: Convert to Vector
click the lower left corner showing cross mark . this will erase the infill color and turn into black vector
Step 9: Convert to Clour Vector
RED lines to indicate cutting
BLUE lines to indicate vector engraving
BLACK to indicate raster engraving
go to Object/ Fill and stroke and stroke paint icon
if we wanted red line then put value R =255 ,G=0, B=0B
close the window
Step 10: Stroke Style and Save As Pdf
stroke style gives stroke width for specific machine. set to 0.001 in after this we cant see vector lines because they are very thin . do not worry..we see the vector lines when save as pdf file format
if your machine does not support pdf then we can different file format in save as option.
Hope this helps you!☺️