MakePrintable has introduced an interesting workflow system.
The online service has provided a means for fixing damaged STL files for some time now, gradually improving the service’s quality and speed. Their “Mammoth” algorithm remains one of the most powerful methods of repairing pathological 3D models.
Like other online services, they permit you to upload files to your account where you can perform “fixes” on the files, and download the results. Typically this is done to prepare the 3D model for proper 3D printing, as slicing programs are often confused by misbehaving 3D models and disastrous prints result.
Now the company has introduced a workflow system that appears very straightforward to use. The idea is that you may wish to perform a repeated series of steps to “fix” a 3D model from a set of standard functions. The functions they provide include:
- Reduce Polygons
- Close Holes
- Transform (in 3D space)
- Conversion from DICOM data
- And much more
Typically one might execute several of these functions in sequence to arrive at a desired 3D result. The new system allows you to record these steps and apply them again to a new 3D model at the touch of a button.
This is welcome news for those who use the service for repeated 3D model processing of a similar nature. For example, I could imagine a medical department receiving DICOM 3D scans daily that require significant repairs. The automation now provided could quickly reduce the labor required to handle that processing, and make daily savings.
Of course, being able to push more repairs through MakePrintable more quickly means they’ll generate more activity on their site, but that’s the idea here, too.
You’d think that 3D model repair is a simple activity, but it really isn’t. There is much more to 3D model preparation – for good 3D print results. It seems that MakePrintable is examining the experience of those in that practice and incrementally improving their service to perform more of the required work. It’s a great idea, and should benefit all users.
If you haven’t yet tried MakePrintable, I recommend you do. It’s very easy to use and results are sometimes better than those obtained with other tools. However, do note that MakePrintable is a paid service, although they do offer several different plans to meet everyone’s needs. They even include a free trial and free tier so you can try it out at no cost.