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STL to bitmap 'slices'

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is anyone aware of a tool to take an STL (or OBJ or 3DS, it doesn't really matter, it's a list of triangle faces essentially) and turn it into a sequence of bitmap slices (at whatever layer height might be required). ? I think I remember the resin printer boys having some tool like this.. but the second part of my question is equally important -

does anyone know how to turn that set of bitmaps back into STL (or similar) ?

the reason for asking is that I'd like to write some clever software that works on the slices and optimizes and makes certain improvements to them - this would be easy if I had slices to work with - but then I need to get back to something that can be printed so I have to convert back to STL ultimately. bit of a tail wagging the dog exercise I appreciate, but any info gratefully received.

thanks, nik

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That would be a bit of a backward procedure.

However, Skeinforge can do what you want, it can do it's first step "carve" and then export an SVG file containing all the layers. You can edit this file and feed it back into skeinforge to do the rest of the procedures.

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I'm rather toying with the idea of just writing my own slicer now since it's quite easy ;) I see however, that both you (Daid) and destroyer have had a go at this already - what happened next?

It's not as easy as you would think ;p lots of corner cases to cover. But I shouldn't have been stubborn and used libraries for stuff like polygon inset/outset instead of wanting to write everything myself.

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