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Author Topic: 3D printing 3d fractals?!  (Read 4985 times)
Description: how can we do it?
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eldon
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« on: July 21, 2012, 07:43:11 PM »

Hi, this is my first post here. The reason I joined this forum is to ask knowlegeable people about the possibilities of making 3D prints of 3d fractals.

I contacted 3D systems, a 3D printer manufacturer, to ask them about the possibility of inputting a fractal formula to one of their printers, but their only response was this:

"All 3D printers use the STL format which is a 3D dimensional file that is outputted from almost all 3D CAD software packages"

So does anyone here know if or how a 3d fractal formula can be converted to a STL file?

I would like to see 3D fractals in solid form and look forward to the possibilities of seeing them even on a large scale.
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taurus
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 11:11:34 AM »

hello and welcome to the forums.  grin

stl is a wide spread quasi standard for 3d meshes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_%28file_format%29) many 3d Programs can export 3d meshes to stl - incl. the free Blender.

the problem is, that 3d fractals are point clouds, that have no native mesh geometry. there are several ways to convert 3d fractals in solid meshes. the easiest way seems the "voxel stack" feature of mandelbulb 3d. a very bacchanal thread about that can be found here http://www.fractalforums.com/tutorials/voxel-image-stack-and-then-what/ and Don Whitaker made some tutorials. one of them is here http://www.fractalforums.com/movies-showcase-%28rate-my-movie%29/objects-made-with-with-m3d-voxel-stacks/msg41238/#msg41238

if you are using other software it is still possible, but a bit more complicated. so i'll leave you with theese infos as a start.  wink
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 11:16:01 AM by taurus66 » Logged

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eldon
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 09:09:47 AM »

Thanks, Taurus66. I wish I knew exactly what all that meant and could do something with it. But you're saying it CAN be done, right?

Anybody got a widget for that yet?  that's about the extent of my computer wizardry... I'd like to see someone do it-- make 3D prints of fractals, but I don't think I have time to learn all about how I could do it. Pretty full plate right now. I will take a look at those links though.

I look forward to seeing the results though and hope someone with the ability will be inspired to take the time to do it.  Can you imagine being able to print out a playground sized rubber 3d fractal landscape for children to play in? That's not far off from what I've seen of 3d printing so far, it could be done in modulars now I believe.
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eldon
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 09:31:53 AM »

I checked out that thread you linked and am watching the tutorials. Is anybody 3D printing such shapes as those shown in the first tutorial already?  I saw one was pictured inside a set of monkey bars, so I guess the playground Idea is already under consideration.

The one prominently featured in the second tutorial would make a fine jewel printed out in silver, gold etc. depending on how fine of detail three D printers can master at this point.
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eldon
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 09:37:56 AM »

WOW, fractal flora are very interesting shapes also
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taurus
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 12:11:56 PM »

check out http://www.fractalforums.com/mandelbulb-3d/a-3d-print-from-mandelbubl-3d/

Anybody got a widget for that yet?

i'm afraid no. 3d printing fractals is pioneer work today.
no simple tool, where you insert your frormula or parameters and after 2 or 3 clicks, you got a ready 2 print 3d mesh. that's not the way it works...
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when life offers you a lemon, get yourself some salt and tequila!
PhotoComix
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 02:28:19 PM »

no much hope for a click-and-go widget
The problem is not only convert 3d fractal in "normal" 3D objects, a additional problem is the limitations in the 3D objects that could be printed..limitation that vary from printer to printer but are always severe

Just a example this pendant http://www.deviantart.com/print/26284855/ seems printable


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Rathinagiri
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 05:33:03 PM »

If you talk about lenticular printing, yes it is possible and we are working on it.
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David Makin
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 10:59:24 PM »

If you save your 3D fractal as a set of 2D slices then I think there is various software available for turning this into STL format from an appropriate source format - some even free, but it was around 5 years ago when I looked for such and I gave up on the idea because then the 3D printers themselves where either cr*p or way too expensive - of course that's all changed now wink
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eldon
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 02:24:25 AM »

I'm sure lenticular printed fractals will be nice too, but I'm asking about 3D object "printing", like Don Whitaker is doing.

Very neat!  I look forward to realization of the expanding possibilities of you guys' work.
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fractower
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 01:04:47 AM »

In the past I have used marching cube iso-surface extraction to produce 3D models and printed using Shapeways. I have recently started extracting iso-surfaces from DE models. My first attempt was a bulb derived model.

http://www.shapeways.com/model/679052/bulb9a.html

I don't think bulbs will print well because of the limited resolution of the 3D printing process. However I would like to try other DE models. I think a tube/lattice fractal with limited fine detail would be interesting. Does anyone out there have a promising DE model for 3d printing.


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shaktimaan
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 04:21:59 PM »

Greet all, It is much if you are a Autodesk Maya user or XSI. Solid Angle Provide Mendulbulb.dll and .ass file to redender Mendelbulb, Mesh is of great detail take a look at https://support.solidangle.com/display/mayatut/How+to+Render+a+Mandelbulb+with+MtoA . There is also a custom build for Lightwave (Google it). Remeshing it further and exporting to .stl make sure you install direct connect 2.0.
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