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  1. #1
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Project (emboss/extrude/loft) from cylindrical face

    Hi,

    I am working through some choices of CAD software for use with my RL200. One of the first things I need to do is project some letters from the face of a cylinder. Basically, looking for some letters to be mounted on a tube and look like they are projecting outwards. All of the applications I've been trying (Cubify Design, 123D Design, TinkerCAD, FreeCAD) it's not clear to me how I could project a sketch onto a curved surface and then extrude or loft. I was hoping I could loft between two concentric cylinder faces where the sketch had been projected and then increase the radius of one of the cylinders.

    My fallback is to extrude the letters then do an intersect with a cylinder with a wall thickness of the intended height but will not have those radiating edge angles.

    Cheers,
    Mike.

  2. #2
    3D Printer Noob
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    I don't have the exact answer, not sure if those tools can do it.
    I would suggest looking at Blender. It is a free package that has quite flexible text options
    Huge amount of online tutorials.

  3. #3
    Expert 3D Printer
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    I use SketchUp for that.
    SketchUp for itself does not have everything that other CADs do, but it allows 3rd party plugins to be developed and added by everyone.

    Because of that, SketchUp does literally everything imaginable.
    Including, placing extruded 3D text on a curved surface.

    http://www.thesketchupessentials.com...thout-plugins/

    Or even better:
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=sketchup+text+curved+surface

  4. #4
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    Cool. Thanks for the tip. Will take a look.

    Edit: @Joao - just saw your post before I sent the reply below - that is what I need to do! Taking a look at SketchUp as well! Thx.

    I think the second method of doing a straight loft and then the intersect with a shelled cylinder is the only way to do this. A couple of things I've discovered with Cubify Invent/Design (which I am liking) is that you can explode text first which helps - but then you can not loft with multiple loops so any letter container an inner bit it can't do. Also you can't do any scaling uniform or not with sketches - just "parts". Oh well.

    123D Design is similar but a lot of things just don't work for me (non-uniform scaling etc). Loft sometimes works sometimes crashes. Going to try FreeCAD next.
    Last edited by warx; 04-16-2015 at 12:42 AM.

  5. #5
    Expert 3D Printer
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    The plugin that I use for placing 3D text on a curved surface is this one: http://extensions.sketchup.com/en/co...f-shape-bender
    It does much better job than the extruding the text to the curved surface, and deleting the 'left-overs'.
    This plugin does a proper bending of the text.
    And it also works with any other object that you want to bend with a defined curve.

    Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 01.08.13.png

  6. #6
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    I did hear the .STL files generated by Sketch up werent too "compatible" for 3D printing... is that so?

  7. #7
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    I only use SketchUp and I never had a problem with 'compatibility' issues.

    The only problems I have sometimes are if the drawings do not have perfect "watertight" objects. And that is not a 'problem' with SketchUp, many objects in Thingiverse are also badly designed. http://airwolf3d.com/wiki/manifolded...y-to-3d-print/

    That thing of SketchUp allowing to have plugins also helps, because I installed a few plugins that can identify if the object is ok for 3D printing, even before I export the STL.

  8. #8
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    That was the point... Simplify3D requires it to be watertight to process it i think....

  9. #9
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    Funny as I am having that exact problem now. Component looks good in SketchUp. Looks good in MatterControl layout etc. By the time it gets sliced it's got some odd bits sticking out of what was a clean side. I went back to redo the mating of the embossed text and the solid to see if it would do a cleaner job. Now I can't get the CF shape bender to work again - it won't let me select the single line on the [red] axis. Doing exactly as I did before. Even tried redrawing a single line on the axis. I can select it with the select tool - but Step 2 of the bender tool won't recognize it. Looking at other bender tools now.

  10. #10
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    Got a little further. Seems Shape Bender is happier if the straight line is not actually on the red line axis itself (just parallel). Still having slicing issues and definitely looks like the bender does not create perfect faces. Below is a picture of the bent object showing missing faces. Also below are pictures of how each of the three slicers handle this (within MatterControl). Cura looks like it actually does a good job. I am going to try to print it (if I can do the crazy offset from middle or wrecked kapton tape trick).

    In SketchUp
    sketchupbent.png

    Slic3r
    slic3r.png
    MatterControl
    mattercontrol.png

    Cura
    cura.png

 

 

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