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Export the cura 3d preview as a model?


greens83
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Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

Hello ultimaker efficianados. Does anyone know of a way to export the 3d layer preview cura creates after slicing to a 3d model?

 

This would be extremely useful for rendering images of 3d printed designs.

 

Thanks in advance for any info.

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    The 3D toolpath is a bunch of lines in space.  It will contain Travel Moves and maybe Wipe moves and Z-Hop moves, if it is a dual extruder situation then Cura may have adjusted the X and/or Y coordinates to include the extruder offset numbers.  

     

    Then there is the offset due to Line Width.  Consider a calibration cube 20 x 20 x 20 sliced with a 0.4 line width.  The outside wall paths in the X and Y would measure 19.6 x 19. 6 (1/2 line width short all the way around) so it wouldn't be correct to try to make a model from that.  (I've done that when all I had was a gcode and I had to design that part to fit with another part.  It's no fun.)

     

    I wrote a macro for AutoCad that will read a gcode file and render it in Model Space.  The result looks like the model, but it isn't a model.  Yesterday I started to alter it so it would read an Arc Welded gcode that was for a Dual Extruder printer.  It's not going well (it works but it was processing 600 lines/sec and now it's down to 60lines/sec.).

     

    If you have the STL file then there are conversion utilities (like THIS ONE...you need to create a free account) to turn it into a DXF file that most CAD software can open.  The resultant structure (which is not a model) will be comprised of triangle shaped objects rather than parametric bodies or 3d solids.  It can be rendered into a colored body and it is the same size as the STL (rather than having nozzle width offsets).

     

    So yes, it might be convenient but I really don't see it happening.

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    Appreciate the info. All I want it for is to visualise (photorealistically) how a part looks with the layers as they are sliced. A bunch of lines in space would work for me. I guess there isn't a way to isolate just the lines where material is being extruded though? Any vector based format of the lines just when the material is being extruded would work for what I want.

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    I think SuperSlicer can make an STL out of a gcode file by exporting "pipes" for the toolpath.

     

    In theory, I could make a plugin that does the same for Cura, but frankly I don't see enough of a usecase other than "greens83 want it and thinks it is really important".

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    @ahoeben thanks for the heads up on super slicer. Ill check it out. I wish I had the skills to write a plugin! Appreciate you can't write plugins for everyone asking for them!

     

    I'm sure other users would find it useful too though. Im a product designer and I believe some products can be produced with fdm 3d printing much more sustainably than by other manufacturing methods. Being able to show what a product will look like photorealistically exactly as its sliced without having to print it would save a lot of filament! Now ultimaker seems to have moved towards professional applications im sure they might see merit in it too.

     

    Anyway thanks again for your reply and info.

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    @GregValiant is there any chance you could share your autocad macro? No problem if not but I thought it was worth asking. Appreciate you just taking the time to reply in the first place.

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    It requires MS Excel because the VBA of AutoCad doesn't have a file opening dialog.  It's also written for Acad 2000 which is what I have.  If that will work then let me know and I'll see what it takes to make it portable.  Right now it calls other functions within the project.  I'd need to move those and adjust the dialog box it uses.

     

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    Posted (edited) · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    Appreciate it. I don't want to waste your time though so Ill have a go with Super Slicer first and see if that does what I need.

    If not Ill message back. Thanks for your help.

    Edited by greens83
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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    Load your G-Code in PrusaSlicer (or SuperSlicer) and export as OBJ to use it in Blender :

    https://help.prusa3d.com/en/article/export-toolpaths-as-obj_1777

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    Thanks @Cuq. Do you know  if I can load g-code created in cura or do I need to re-slice? 

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?
    6 minutes ago, greens83 said:

    Thanks @Cuq. Do you know  if I can load g-code created in cura or do I need to re-slice? 

    Yes you can load the Cura-Gcode in PrusaSlicer as well in SuperSlicer

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    Perfect. Thank you!

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    You can also do the same without using PrusaSlicer or SuperSlicer but just by using their Gcode-Viewer

    image.png.01470c2c6eb77fdeaaf7c5a44700d305.png

     

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    Posted · Export the cura 3d preview as a model?

    This is exactly what I need. Thanks for your help. I've only ever really used cura so its really good I can use the gcode from it and don't have to learn another slicer. I might have a play around with pruser slicer tho. I've got all ultimakers but contemplating a prusa i3.

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