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Printing large complex multipart things - Image heavy

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So, a while back I started work on a very complex model for a client. The model was to be used in film and game, and was very high poly. Sadly the client canned the project about 6 months in, 2 weeks after this model got started. A shock at the time was that the IP for each piece of work got signed over to the artist, something I've never seen happen before or since. But as I own this asset I thought I'd use it.

Here is where it was:


And another with slightly more chassis:


And a detail shot:


This model was never initially intended for print, and when that was decided it was going to be output on large industrial systems which re very different to the UM2, or any desktop machine, so it wasn't printed in a UM2 happy way. So I decided to rebuild it and at the same time fix some design issues.

After an hour of fiddling one wheel is done (this is a long term project!):


And here is how I'm thinking of building, in parts which can be fixed together later:


Before I go ahead and keep building I wondered if this is the sensible thing to do? This model will be quite large, I guess the tyre diameter will be about 5" so the full thin will be about 2 foot long. It will eventually be like a full kit.

I also want to get the best quality, and am wondering how I'd go about printing those tyres because no after which way it lays it'll have lots of overhangs. Meshmixer crashes for me, so I can't use that. Manual supports are an option I guess, maybe I should write a support gen tool.

So yeah, thought on printing large kits please :)


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Why don't you start with a small scale one, and then go full size when you're sure(ish) all the pieces work out?

In my experience breaking up complex stuff like this is the only way to really ensure good quality all around where you're optimizing each part for print direction.

There was a guy on here that printed a model of a prop plane engine, it was pretty amazing stuff, had similar characteristics as your model there.




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Meshmixer crashes for me, s


Probably too many polygons. You'd be amazed by the thousands of details you can get with only a 100k polygons. So take your HUGE model and run it through this process and then try meshmixer again:

(meshlab is free)




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Hey fingerpuk

I think breaking down larger projects into smaller pieces to be assembled is the best way to achieve decent prints. I have taken a terminator arm model recently and basically redesigned every part to be in pieces. The original CAD model could of had just around 30-40 pieces, but I reckon ive ended up with double that. Will post pics later tonight.

I don't think there is a Right or Wrong way to achieve your model.. just as long as it works :p


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