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Advice setting up file for (Shapeways) sandstone 3D print

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Denzil Egan
Advice setting up file for (Shapeways) sandstone 3D print
on Jun 16, 2020 at 5:59:22 pm

Hello! And thank you in advance for your help! I will try to keep this question simple because I believe that the answer should (hopefully) be a very simple one as well; I have a series of 3d models that I want to print in sandstone (via Shapeways), and I simply need help preparing the file(s) for print.

To be specific, I am simply trying to 1) first trim an extruded (landscape) plane; the .obj file that I am working with has quite a bit of extra parts that I don't want to include in the print, and then 2) next extrude the landscape to create a cylindrical (printable) shape.

I am using primarily Cinema4D and Blender, but I have access to all Autodesk software and a host of other applications (I could list them all if you like; I also have Rhino, the Adobe CC suite, etc.).

See some examples of something similar to what I want to produce here:

That last one is a contour extrusion, which is *not* exactly what I am going for, but I *do* want to print them with a circular base. Also I do want to note that if you look carefully at those files linked above, you will notice the files are not solid but rather are hollow; the models also have walls that give the appearance of not being hollow (when sitting flat). Those walls appear to have quite a bit of depth to them, probably at least 10-20mm thick; SEE:

Here is an idea of what I am looking for from the models I have-- the blue/cyan portions in these screenshots indicate the portion I want to trim and then extrude:

As you can see from these file screenshots, I thought it would be a simple boolean intersection to result in the extruded cylinder, but I keep hitting road blocks with that method!

I suppose I should interject also at this point that I am using a photogrammetry method with Autodesk Recap Pro to generate the models. So far, I am getting phenomenal results, so I am eager to get printing some models! Here is one model straight from Recap for anyone that wants to download and take a look at the RAW .obj model:

If you would like my respective Blender and C4D files, I am happy to share those as well. Additionally, if you are interested to hear more specifically about my workflow I will just try to condense it here and tell you it consists of: Satellite/aerial imagery capture > AfterEffects render to JPEG image sequence > send to photogrammetry via Recap > output .obj model {{{THIS IS WHERE I AM STUCK}}} > prepare for (Shapeways) sandstone print via Blender > print

So I hope that the answer to my problem is a (series of) simple boolean intersection/delete to trim the landscape planes to a circular disk that I can then extrude and trim again (probably also via a boolean intersection), but for some reason the models I am working with do not seem to be allowing me to do this (both in Blender and C4D)... as for C4D I am simply unable to make the models editable, and as for Blender, well.. I am quite the NOOB when it comes to Blender, but I'll just say that super funky things happen when I try to do what I think I want to do here...

So, there it is and sorry to be so long winded! As I said, I am eager to get printing, and I am also frustrated because I believe this should be a very simple fix here-- I thought I was a pretty good 3D modeler, but I must admit my confidence in that regard is severely diminished as I have not been able to figure this out on my on!!!

Thank you and please be safe out there!!

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Brian Jones
Re: Advice setting up file for (Shapeways) sandstone 3D print
on Jun 17, 2020 at 3:20:12 am

a way to trim to a shape would be to use a boole. In C4D and Blender it's the same sort of process, add a cylinder with the obj import and do an Intersect boole. That should give you the part of the landscape inside the cylinder. Extrude that and you get a top and bottom that are identical, flatten the bottom (scale to 0 in Y or Z depending). That's a start anyway. Pretty slow with that many polys you might want to Polyreduce/Decimate before the Boole, that depends on the detail possible in production (and the physical size of the result)

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