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CURA feature request : Vertical Expansion with some dedicated options


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Posted · CURA feature request : Vertical Expansion with some dedicated options

Hi there,


I am very often in the need to print multi-meshes part that are stacked vertically, but not merged. Think about a rugged laptop that yould like to print to get a dumb object so that you can try and place in a car, on a specific dock, etc : just an externally representative and plasticky laptop. But what you have is a 3D CAD Laptop with EVERYTHING inside it, which means the backplate, the motherboard, all the electronic equipements, the keyboard, the screen, the upper front plate, etc. Everything is separated by a tiny distance, because this is how we assemble thing in CAD, there is always a tiiiiiny gap between elements. Which is really not convenient for 3D printing.


I've detailed this need in this specitic thread if you want more details : 


Now, i've been dealing with this issue with the X/Y Horizontal Expansion that helps me filling the gap automatically, at the cost of a slight external dimensions error which is most of the time Okay (since it expand in all X/Y direction, outer wall expand as well). In the laptop example, it helps making sure that every keys of the keyboard, won't fall apart and stick to the keyboard since they've expand horizontally and merge the keyboard structure. Alleluia.


But... The vertical axis remains the same. The backplate that "look" to be merged to everything else, is not. It's slighlty separated by a tiny gap, and will mean that the slicer will add some Support to deal with this gap. Same goes for EVERY parts that are stacked one above the others. Using some PVA as a support, it would mean that everything would fall appart after printing, nothing is really merged, attached, etc.


In the linked thread, we talk about the 3D CAD modification that could help merging parts. 


Here, I want to ask if it would be possible to get a Z Vertical Expansion so that it would expand every surface by a user specified parameter (in mm), and allow to fill the vertical gap automatically. Sure, everything inside would still be there, the unnecessary detailed motherboard and electronics, etc, but that's another problem, at least everything would stick together if the initial vertical gap is below the vertical expansion set by the user.


As an option, it would definitely need to get a box to tick saying "no expansion of the outer surfaces" or something like this, to ensure that the global vertical dimension remain the same, but that a second step 😉


Well, so, yeah, a feature request for you guys ! I'm really struggling everyday with this exact situation and it would help so much.


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