Hi Alan, I was going to e-mail but I think students from the first and second years might benefit from more information about the 3D printing service that the University provides as well -
Basically, I'm interested in the requirements that the 3D model has to have before it can be converted and successfully printed, for example, when multiple components are intersected like the first image below, will the conversion process only take into account the shape that the two cubes create and ignore that there is data underneath? Or will there be some sort of error, and it is necessary to create the shape similar to the second image in order for it to work?
I'm asking this mainly because I'm currently modelling some things which I plan to get printed, but I don't know how much effort I'm wasting on making sure that every component is connected as one single mesh, rather than a base mesh with separate objects extruding from slightly under the surface of the main body of the object to give the illusion that they are physically connected, as the latter method would be a million times easier.
Secondly, what file format do the models need to be converted to, and is such a converter available to students if they want to get models printed elsewhere at a 3D printing company rather than having it done internally at the UCA?
If there's any other information that could help me or others about this, I'd appreciate it. I think in the CG Arts department there is an unfortunate lack of enthusiasm from the students about the fact that their 3D models can be printed, and I think part of the reason for this is that information about the process is quite hard to come by.