3D printed products are only as good as the files they came from. While we’ve seen some truly phenomenal products rise from 3D printers, what that really says is they can each trace their successful prints to successful designs. I doubt any of us will every meet anyone who hasn’t had a failed print project (or two or three…) under their belts, and the lucky ones of that lot are those who didn’t lose money from misprints.
Avante Technology, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has just begun shipping the latest solution to the misprinting problem. The company — which develops, markets, and licenses products and technology for 3D printing applications, particularly in the commercial sphere — has come to our attention before, for their composite filament system. Now, Avante Technology has added their new Emendo Automated STL Validation & File Repair software. It’s been on the market for a full day now (shipments began December 1st), and it sounds pretty promising.
A typical cause of failed prints can be pinpointed to inputting a “non-manifold” STL file, and many repairs have necessitated costly, manual repair toolkits. Avante Technology, aware that “commercial versions cost hundreds to thousands of dollars and require some training to become useful,” has brought about savings in both money (Emendo is available for just $49.95) and time (Emendo is an automated repair software). Just pushing one button (helpfully labeled “Repair”) should bring about the fix you’re looking for in 3D STL files.
Emendo is available now for Mac users (OS v 10.9 and higher), and a Windows-compatible version should roll out in the first half of 2015. A single-user license is $49.95, with OEM/volume licensing prices available upon request for higher-volume users.
To use Emendo, all you have to do is rely on their one button system: open Emendo, click on the error-ridden STL file, and Emendo will validate it, identifying, listing, and displaying the errors with a 3D rendering. Then, click “Repair Errors.” Boom, Emendo is going to work, and when it’s run, you can save the repaired file as either a new, renamed file, or overwrite the original.
That one button will begin the automated process to repair the most often-occurring seven classes of errors in 3D modeling with STL files from CAD/other modeling applications. Because the repair job may create new, smaller issues during the initial repair, it may be a good idea to hit Repair again to account for any remaining (or new) errors that may be in the file. If hitting Repair again doesn’t quite do the trick, Emendo will automatically present a more powerful option for repair to the user.
“This second operation completely rebuilds the mesh representing the surface and provides a 3D printable manifold STL file nearly every time,” says Avante’s press release announcing Emendo. “This more comprehensive repair operation takes longer but produces a printable file out of most ‘basket case’ files that would typically require significant manual repair operations by a skilled technician.”
Once everything in the STL file is hunky dory, it’s off to print! Emendo sounds like a much easier way to repair any sort of STL file prior to print, or even just to check files prior to initial print attempts, than has been available. Automated? Inexpensive? Interesting! Have you purchased Emendo? How does it measure up? Let us know what you think at the Emendo Automated STL File Validation & Repair forum thread over at 3DPB.com.