What is 3d mesh model
When we speak of a 3d mesh model we normally refer to a polygon mesh model.
A mesh is a graph which defines a 3d shape. A 3d mesh model consists of vertices, edges and faces. Usually the faces consist of quadrilaterals, triangles or other simple convex polygons. A face is an ordered collection of vertices which connected by some edges, and these edges complete a loop. You can get more information from Wikipedia.
For storing 3d mesh data, there are many different file formats. For example,. raw,. blend,. fbx, .3ds,. dae, .dgn, .3dm, .dxf, .dwg, .obj, .ply, .pmd, .stl, .amf, .wrl, .c4d, etc. Among these formats, STL file is the most common file format for 3d printing.
How to create 3d mesh model
As we describe above, there are a lot of formats to present a 3d mesh model. And each format is the most effective when you use its creator program. For instance, you can get native .3ds format file by using 3ds Max, a native. blend format file can be obtained with Blender 3D, and so on.
Beside the native format file, there is another way. After you design your 3d model in a CAD program, e.g. solidworks, ug, usually you have the option to save the file as a 3d mesh format file. Now stl file is popular for 3d printer. Many people export STL format file in this way.
Of course, if you don’t have any skill to create 3d mesh model by yourself, you can try to look for a freelancer to help you too, such as Fiverr, upwork, guru, etc.
Why we need to repair stl model for 3d printing
No matter what format 3d model you use, usually you need to convert it to STL file for 3d printing. Or some 3d printing software can convert that automatically. The conversion is like smashing a smooth mirror, then glue back together to make it look like the original.
If the conversion works well, you will get a 3d mesh version of the original design with no errors. But if the conversion doesn’t work well, you may get a 3d model with holes, floating parts, intersection triangles, inverted normal faces, bad edges, and so on.
If you send a bad stl file to the slicing software, there may be some warning. Or after 3d printing, you get a bad print. That will waste your time and money. So it is necessary to check the file before printing to ensure it meets the 3d printing rule.
How to repair 3d mesh model with an online stl editor
How to check and repair stl model to ensure it is 3d printable?
We can do that with an online stl editor automatically or do that with an offline tool manually. For some simple 3d models, an online stl editor is ok. In this article, we will introduce this method.
There are some online stl editors you can use: makeprintable, shapeways, sculpteo, netfabb, and so on. The repairing process is almost the same on different platform: upload your 3d model – analyze and repair your 3d model online – download your 3d model.
Now we will use Netfabb’s online service to show you the process.
- Open the website: https://service.netfabb.com/login.php
You need to sign in to the Netfabb Online Service with an Autodesk Account. If you have not owned an account, just create one.
- Select Upload 3D model (max file size: 100 MB)
- After fixing the errors, you can click on the “download” to get the stl file.
The analyze and repairing process is automatically. But we cannot see the process and don’t know where the file is modified. So we don’t know whether the result is good before downloading the stl file.
I just suggest to use online stl editor when your 3d model is simple. If you have a complex stl model, it is best to repair the stl with an offline stl repairing tool, because you can control everything with these tools.