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Importing a STL into 3D-Coat

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I am trying to import an STL made in Fusion 360 into 3D-Coat. I want to add some texture to the surface and basically just learn. But I cant figure out how to maintain sharpness/quality of my model.

I'm hoping for some guidance from @kmanstudios or anyone else who has actually worked in 3D-Coat.

I will let my screenshots do the rest of the talking since I'm not really familiar with what I'm doing and therefore don't really know how to describe my issue in a good way.





Lock saltvatten.stl

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Ahhhh, ok, here is the trick with getting something into 3D coat.


First off, if you are looking to add texture to the model, then you must convert to a volumetric object. BUT!! make a copy of the object then convert. Why? So you have a lo-rez proxy in back up.


Here is a quick breakdown on the basic interface as I use it for modeling:



A. This button will toggle you between orthographic and perspective modes.


B. Make sure you 'park' the 'Tool Options' to make it easy to get to things. Say, if you move and scale and rotate (transforms in 3D parlance) it will remember that. If you bring in a new model into a new blank layer, it will remember that. So, you just hit 'Reset Space' and it puts the transforms back to their original values.


C. This is the 'Ornament Alphas' I use for a lot of my decorative things. For instance, this is a set of transorms from 'JRO Tools.' Not that expensive and very, very useful. Can find on Gumroad easily. Can also just search as well.


D. I use the Polymer colours for colouring my models to differentiate between parts or just setting a base colour. Keeps you from getting the 'black' look you got on your model import.


E. VOX tools. I just put them there because I use them a bunch and want them very easily accessible.


F. Where you can increase resolution if you want to 'slow down' the effects of the tools. More on that in a moment.


G. This is the 'Duplicate Layer' button. I find this useful if I am doing work and want to save 'stages' of development.


Basic workflow I use.

  1. Import model into a 'Surface (S)' layer. This preserves the raw model without changes. Click on a 'colour box' in the 'Shaders' box. This will assign a colour to the layer. It will remain when you duplicate the layer.
  2. Duplicate a layer to preserve my original model (G).
  3. Where there is an 'S' on that new layer, left click and it will bring up the 'convert to Voxels' dialogue. Now, this can be a bit tricky until you get a feel for what you are working with. It usually (not always) defaults to some odd voxel value like '200,000'. Just left click into the value field and it will pop up a dialogue that lets you retype the numbers to your liking. This will be way too low to preserve detail so, I usually start somewhere around 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 to see if it is what I want. I usually decide by a quick test of how fast it will stamp things or the grow or smooth tools operate. When you do this, your model will be resampled into the sharp edges you expected.
  4. Usually for stamping options using the Alphas, I use the 'Extrude' tool.

Your interface does not look like mine, but you can move those interface sections around to suit your organizational desires.

Tools I use the most are at the top of the left hand side: Grow, Smooth, Scrape, Pinch, Smudge.


This should get you going enough to really play a bit.

  • Thanks 1

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I forgot to add a clarifaction of nomenclature:


  1. Texture: The physical change in surface features or roughness.
  2. Shader: Something that is applied to a model to cause rendering or colour changes.

These two terms get used a lot interchangeably. This can cause issues until you can understand the context of their usage. For this thread, I will attempt to use These two terms as I have outlined in this post.

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Thank you so much!

In my screenshot I have converted to voxel choosing 10,000,000 as voxel value and the edge still isn't sharp? Tried 15,000,000 but then my computer started to argue with me and wouldn't let me do anything smoothly afterwards.

Could you load my STL file and see what value you would choose?

This particular model is to be used as a lid on an small glass I have with salt water.

Skärmavbild 2018-11-30 kl. 14.10.58.png

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Yeah, it is a different animal than Direct mesh modeling. It takes a bit of experimenting. But, remember that for the object you showed, I would not go more than 3,000.000 voxels to start with. AND when you export, select the layer and use 'Export Selected.' Then make sure you are going down to at least 1. 5 million polys or even less. Otherwise you will get really banged up in Cura. It is a bit of a dance between how many voxels to hold detail and how many will go into Cura nicely.


One key to seeing how much detail you actually have is if you look at the image you posted last, you will see that it is picking all the mesh polygons, even at that high resolution.


It does become more workable as you experiment.

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It feels like you nail every question I have and the next three as well.

It is time to do some experimenting on my own now, it's easy to get lazy and start asking about every little thing.


I have previously asked you about 3D-Coat in an other subject, and you made me wanting to give it a go and I downloaded the demo, then now on black Friday they (3D-Coat) had an offer with $100 taken of the standard price and I could not resist. Haven't told my wife yet though...

Just wanted to let you know and that I appreciate it a lot. *edit; your help and input that is.

Edited by TMicke
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26 minutes ago, TMicke said:

It feels like you nail every question I have and the next three as well.

That is because I simply know what I went through to understand things. I am nowhere as versed in the program as I could be since I use it mainly to model and prep models for printing.


But, you comments are appreciated. :)

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