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Author Topic: Shapeways for 3D printed fractals  (Read 13929 times)
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bib
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« on: November 29, 2012, 06:39:06 PM »

I've created a virtual shop on Shapeways, the 3D printing site:

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/3Dfractals

I have created the following models :

- Mandelbulb
- Sierpinski Cuboctahedron
- Menger Rhombododecahedron
- "Beamed" Octahedron
- "Cubofractal" Octahedron
- and "Inside an Amazing Box" that passed the initial test at upload time but did not print successfully.

My (iterative) workflow is the following:

- Mandelbulb3D => Voxel export
- FIJI to produce an OBJ file from the Voxel slices
- Meshlab to do some postprocessing and export to STL
- Netfabb to fix issues before printing
- Upload the STL to Shapeways

That's just a start, as I need to learn so many new tools and techniques, and assimilate the constraints of 3D printing like number of polygons, thickness, how to minimize the quantity of matter, etc.. and how to better use Mandelbulb3D accordingly: DE stop values, number of iterations, output size, and how all these params interact together and impact the 3D mesh.

The variety of materials seems very interesting: different types of plastic of various colors, alumide, glass, steel, even silver or bronze!

So far I have ordered the Mandelbulb in white plastic, I will post photos when I receive it. I will order more soon, but I have other ideas in mind before, and I'd like to make one large order to reduce shipping costs.

Feel free if you have any question or comments and feedback about 3D printing in general...
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 12:20:45 AM by bib » Logged

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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 07:23:34 PM »

wow what a great offer wink i think i am going to buy the mandelbulb right now

regards!!!
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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 07:23:56 PM »

quite low detail on the bulb sad
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divide and conquer - iterate and rule - chaos is No random!
bib
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 07:32:32 PM »

quite low detail on the bulb sad

I'll try to do a more detailed version. The first one I did was much more detailed but it was rejected at upload. As I said, I'm still learning!
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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 08:42:28 PM »

yea, lol i would love to have something like this in the non existant fractalforums shop wink
i know it is hard to get a connected object, the plate with the mandelbox looks nice because it looks like something is hanging in the air, but it is connected

you need to make sure that there is no lonely pixel that is not connected to the main bulb, but giving it a little more detail should be doable!
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divide and conquer - iterate and rule - chaos is No random!
bib
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 08:50:21 PM »

Connectedness is not the main problem because you can print non-connected objects. The problem is to iteratively find what is the maximum precision they can accept while staying in the 1 million triangle count limit. There are some guidelines but these are applicable to quite simple objects, not fractals...
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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 09:10:02 PM »

lol, yeah, horrible fractals with horrible big surfaces wink
i see they base it on triangle count !? strange they do not work directly with voxel maps ?!?
very strange because at the end of the day they have to send voxels to the printer....
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divide and conquer - iterate and rule - chaos is No random!
cKleinhuis
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 09:11:32 PM »

more simple things should be in there as well, like a menger sponge, i am interested in such like mengersponge, mandelbulb because they can be great be used to explain stuff
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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 09:12:44 PM »

why is the "inside the mandelbox not buyable"?
this one is so detailed that it attracts me most from the selection wink
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bib
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 09:26:18 PM »

lol, yeah, horrible fractals with horrible big surfaces wink
i see they base it on triangle count !? strange they do not work directly with voxel maps ?!?
very strange because at the end of the day they have to send voxels to the printer....
Yes, strange and not very flexible with the limited knowledge I have in mesh manipulation. I should ask them if they prefer directly the slices instead of a triangle mesh. After all, that's how the printer works, layer by layer.

more simple things should be in there as well, like a menger sponge, i am interested in such like mengersponge, mandelbulb because they can be great be used to explain stuff
There are already some Menger sponges on Shapeways.

why is the "inside the mandelbox not buyable"?
this one is so detailed that it attracts me most from the selection wink
Because when I ordered it, it failed to print. See the message and picture they sent me:

----
These design(s) could not be 3D printed in the material selected.
Reason: Thin walls
Additional information: very strange file, might cause problems during build
----

I like the operator's comment : "very strange file" cheesy:D


* ScreenHunter_378 Nov. 26 16.01.jpg (64.61 KB, 484x418 - viewed 994 times.)
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Syntopia
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2012, 09:56:00 PM »

I don't think the printers allow raw voxel data yet:
http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/4523/2012-The-Beginning-of-the-End-for-Polygons.aspx

Notice the same author has a long discussion of voxel vs polygons for the Mandelbulb: http://40westdesigns.com/blog/?p=371
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bib
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2012, 10:16:07 PM »

Thanks a lot for the links, very interesting, and sadly, we can't eliminate polygons from the workflow.

I was going to ask you: does your software offer mesh export and can you control the number of polygons?

The problem I have with Fiji is how to control the sizes of triangles and basically that it uses brute force. For example I guess that ideally a large flat surface should be made of one or a few large triangles, not plenty of small triangles. Given the 1 million triangles limit in Shapeways, it's best to use them where detail is needed, not to pave flat areas. Is that something achievable with Structure Synth or Fragmentarium?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 10:17:57 PM by bib » Logged

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Syntopia
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2012, 10:37:21 PM »

Thanks a lot for the links, very interesting, and sadly, we can't eliminate polygons from the workflow.

I was going to ask you: does your software offer mesh export and can you control the number of polygons?

The problem I have with Fiji is how to control the sizes of triangles and basically that it uses brute force. For example I guess that ideally a large flat surface should be made of one or a few large triangles, not plenty of small triangles. Given the 1 million triangles limit in Shapeways, it's best to use them where detail is needed, not to pave flat areas. Is that something achievable with Structure Synth or Fragmentarium?

Fragmentarium has no support for meshes, but Structure Synth may output OBJ files. In general it creates an enormous amount of polygons, so it would be necessary to remesh and/or simplify in Meshlab (notice Meshlab has a built-in Structure Synth interpreter!).
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fractower
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2012, 11:19:09 PM »

I have produced a hollow version of the mandelbulb

http://www.shapeways.com/search?q=bulb9a

I have not printed it yet. The model is downloadable so you can look at it with meshlab or similar viewer. Also you can make it smaller if you want to spend less.
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fractower
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2012, 11:45:08 PM »

The Sierpinski Cuboctahedron is really cool. Would you be willing to make the model available?
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