In 3D printing, a digital model of the future product is a key element necessary for the process of reproducing an object on a 3D printer. 3D modeling for printing takes place according to certain rules and can be both of technical and design in nature.
Creating a 3D model from a sketch
To get started, let’s describe the sequence of actions required to complete a similar task:
- Approval of the assignment;
- 3D modeling for printing;
- Export of the finished file to STL format;
- G-Code Generation;
- Running the 3D model to 3D print;
- Post-processing and preparation of the finished product for painting;
- Painting and, if necessary, processing the model with varnish.
ZBrush 3D printing
Pixologic’s ZBrush is a powerful professional tool for creating and editing three-dimensional graphics. In order to better prepare newcomers to work in the application, we have prepared a review of the ZBrush program. First of all, the program is aimed at working with the so-called “digital clay”, from which you can literally sculpt objects using a variety of tools. There are practically no analogs to this approach in other packages for 3D modeling, although some applications (for example, Maya) offer special tools for sculpting.
Such digital modeling is ideal for creating people, animals, and in general everything organic. Nevertheless, ZBrush can be used for solid-state 3D modeling and is equipped with special tools for this. A huge set of special brushes is aimed at achieving maximum realism when creating 3D models, and texture mapping and visualization tools complement the functionality of the program.
3D models created in this program are in demand primarily in the film and gaming industries, where detail and realism are extremely important. With its help, the characters and attributes of many famous computer games and films, including animated ones, were created. And of course, upon completion of 3D modeling and approval of the final version with the customer, the 3D model prepared in the ZBrush program can also be used for 3D printing.
ZBrush 3D printing service
To start printing on a 3D printer, one needs to prepare a digital 3D model. There are many programs for 3D modeling in which one can create a 3D model, in which program to create the model – it does not matter, but in order for it to be accepted by a 3D printer, it is necessary to export it to the .STL format is suitable for most printers.
How to export a 3D model to the STL format for 3D modeling in ZBrush?
It is possible to export to STL format from ZBrush using the Decimation Master plugin. The Decimation Master plugin allows optimizing the polygon mesh for printing, which helps save models with a reduced number of polygons and less file weight.
- After installing the plugin, one needs to open the ZPlugin menu in ZBrush. There should be a Decimation Master containing the functions of the plugin.
- Click “3D Print Exporter”
- Define and scale dimensions
- Select STL-> Export STL
- Enter a file name and save
In conclusion, it is worth recalling that simply exporting to the STL format does not guarantee that the model is suitable for 3D printing. It is important to ensure that the designed object meets the model requirements for 3D printers.
Most of the minor 3D modeling errors can be easily fixed using different programs. It is also necessary to check that the wall thicknesses are set in the model in accordance with the characteristics of the selected 3D printing technology. So, after the 3D model is saved in the desired STL format, all errors are fixed, you can safely start 3D printing. The quickest and most convenient way is the 3D model order online.
Creating 3D sculptures for 3D printing
Modern artists often get inspiration in the field of 3D printing, because it is this tool that allows you to create unique works with amazing detail. The manufacture of the sculpture includes the creation of a 3D model and three-dimensional printing with subsequent processing.
The creation of sculptures, statues, park decorations is one of the directions of 3D printing prototype companies. They make custom-made details of sculptures, decorative interior items, stucco moldings, and bas-reliefs, and also offer a wide and varied assortment of bronze, stone and plaster products and are ready to bring to life the most extraordinary and complex ideas.
- Creating a three-dimensional model to 3D print
The customer provides a sample of the future sculpture in the form of a sketch or numerous photographs and drawings.
Designers draw sculptures in special programs, as a rule, these are ZBrush. The program is equipped with many convenient functions and tools for sculpting, most of which are presented in the form of so-called brushes. With their help, the artist deforms the surface of the model at his discretion, forming the desired object. This approach is optimal for organics but is also well suited for solid surface (Hard Surface) modeling.
In addition to sculpting, the program offers the possibility of ordinary 3D modeling with the help of a special tool ZModeler. It is a special brush capable of performing a variety of functions. ZBrush is a completely creative application in which one can work as he likes. In it, one does not work with the polygonal mesh directly but interacts on it indirectly.
ZBrush 3D printing service attracts 3D artists from around the world.
There also exists such an option for creating a 3D model as scanning a sketch. After the necessary modifications, the model is sent to prepare for printing.
- Designing models for 3D printing.
At the preparation stage, specialists create g-code for printing and divide the model into parts in order to fit it into the print area of printers.
The files are ready, and the specialist starts working with printers: prepares each machine for printing, selects plastic and modes.
After all the details are printed, 3D specialists begin post-processing.
Depending on the requirements for the quality of the coating:
– painting (electroplating, enamel, chrome plating, art painting, UV printing)
– other types of restoration work