Shapeways, the web-based 3D printing service and marketplace titan, just keeps improving and simplifying the process of uploading your 3D designs for printing. It’s now easier than ever to get your model just right before 3D printing it. Thanks to Shapeways’ newest 3D tool, you can scale your model to different sizes when you’re uploading it.
Why would you want to rescale a completed model? That’s the whole point! It could be that you’ve finalized your design but once you upload to 3D print, it becomes apparent that the walls are too thin or there are bounding box errors you weren’t aware of until you uploaded in preparation for printing. Scaling also matters in terms of ensuring that the finer details of a 3D model show up in the print.
With Shapeways’ new scaling tool, you will have the capacity to scale your 3D model by percentage and dimension both in the Model Edit page and within 3D tools. When adjusting scaling on the Model Edit page, you’ll get instant information about how pricing changes depending upon the size of your model. If you’re refining the scale in 3D tools, you’ll be able to improve the printability of your model.
Whether you’re working in Model Edit or 3D tools, you’ll be able to adjust based on dimension or percentage. You can make quick, well-informed decisions about how much smaller or larger your model should be, adjusting then and there rather than going back to your own 3D software to make changes, uploading a second time, and so forth. One of the great things about the new scaling tool–and about Shapeways in general–is that you don’t have to be an experienced designer to use the tool or their service. It’s user-friendly and you can also get plenty of support from Shapeways techs and community.
Let’s say you’re starting from scratch with Shapeways–or even with 3D design and printing, for that matter. You know what you want to 3D print but you don’t have much experience as a designer. You can access 3D scans of people, art, monuments, and other objects in many different sizes on sites like Sketchfab, which has more than 300,000 models to choose from. Find your model–or, at the least, inspiration–on Sketchfab and then use the scaling tool on Shapeways to prep for 3D printing.
If you’re an experienced 3D designer using 3D scanning to create brand new models, Shapeways’ scaling tool provides you with additional controls to both size and price your objects–or products if you’re an entrepreneur–consistently. When you are working with scanned data, there is a great deal of variability, particularly if you are scanning people, since each person is unique. While that uniqueness is great in most respects, you lose the element of consistency and the new scaling tool helps eliminate the variability, control size and cost.
Shapeways suggests using Skanect, a 3D scanning software by Occipital, which facilitates easy 3D scanning and prep of models for 3D printing. Using Occipital’s scanning hardware, Structure Sensor, as well lets you scale your model according to percentage when you upload it to Shapeways for 3D printing.
If this all sounds intimidating, don’t worry! Shapeways has provided examples of how you can utilize the new 3D scaling tool as well as Skanect and Structure Sensor to get your 3D printing project or enterprise up and running. Plus, they are consistently adding helpful tools that make the process of uploading your 3D models for printing and you’re never without support as you learn.
Is this a tool that will help you in your 3D design work? Let us know how it goes for you in the Shapeways 3D Scaling Tool forum thread over at 3DPB.com.