3D scanning has become much more advanced, as well as easier for the average user. There are still issues that arise, however, between scanning an object and turning it into a 3D model. 3D scanners frequently produce models with missing areas, or holes, which is obviously problematic – no one wants a model with a big gap in it. But mesh processing software Polygonica has come up with a way to remedy the problem.

The software’s newest function fills holes by recapturing the original geometry of the 3D data, thanks to geometry manipulation. New, more efficient algorithms have been developed to improve the filling of holes so that model completion is achieved much more quickly. The Polygonica team has also developed new methods aimed at filling larger holes than other software is capable of. The combination of capabilities – filling holes more quickly and filling larger holds – is highly appealing. The performance of the software has improved significantly, according to the Polygonica team, which has tested it with different sizes and complexities.

The new and improved software includes a new fill type that can match the features on the opposite sides of a hole and extend them across the hole. This gives a better mesh result than finding a minimum area or smooth fill for the hole. The software also includes a way to fill annular holes, which are holes with one or more islands inside them, more effectively. The outer hole is filled, while maintaining the detail provided by the islands. The new fill type automatically matches features to determine which islands belong to which hole, offering great results for filling holes in challenging objects.

“We’re seeing increasing demand for processing and repairing scanned data in a range of sectors away from the specialist tools provided by scanner manufacturers themselves,” said Richard Baxter, Sales Manager for Polygonica at MachineWorks Ltd. “We are very excited by the speed and quality of these new hole filling techniques and we look forward to bringing further improvements in future releases.”

In other software news, Ultimaker has released the beta version of Ultimaker Cura 3.3, in keeping with its promises to release new software updates on a regular basis and make workflow simpler. User interface improvements include a new font for better readability, as well as a configuration/sync button and a model assistant. You can also multiply models faster than before.

In terms of slicing engine optimizations, you can now disable an extruder on the Ultimaker 3 for single extrusion prints. Prime towers are now circular, and grid and triangular infill patterns now have connected lines. You can also block support material generation in a specific area of a print, and a new experimental feature detects bridges, adjusting print speed and fan speed to enhance print quality.

Initial layer flow can now be adjusted to give the user better control, and retraction has been added to the initial travel move. You can remove retractions on layer change in spiralize mode, and faster travel paths have been incorporated.

There have been several plugin updates, as well. The plugin browser has a better look and feel, and three new plugins were added: scalable extra prime, print temperature offset, and enclosure fan. Extruders can be preheated in the printer monitor, and XML material profile files are now checked before import.

Ultimaker Cura 3.3 also comes with several bug fixes:

  • Infill density now applies to both extruders instead of just one
  • Fixed slice engine crashes when slicing with a material at 0 °C
  • Fixed users unable to connect to a printer after losing the network connection
  • Replaced comtypes modules in SolidWorks plugin with win32com to fix errors

Profiles for several third party 3D printers have been updated, including FABtotum, Dagoma, uBuild, Cartesio, Printrbot, SeeMeCNC, Velleman Vertex, and gMax 1.5.

You can learn more about these and other new features of Ultimaker Cura 3.3 here.

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