Export out of 3DTin

This has been a recurring request over time. There wasn’t much point in spending time on export formats, if the tool could not create any meaningful sketches. So the priority was to improve and fix the main user interface first. But the time has come to provide export options for 3DTin sketches so that users can import them in other 3D editors or use them with services like 3D printing. Right now 3DTin supports: PNG, OBJ, STL.

Now you will see a new icon in the top toolbar, next to save buttons.

Export-icon

Click on this icon after you have saved the sketch (or if you are loading already saved sketch), and you will be presented with these export options.

Export-dialog

You can view the PNG snapshot of your sketch and you can download OBJ or STL files of your sketch.

OBJ file downloads as a zip archive which contains .obj and .mtl files. The STL file is in binary STL format that can be used with 3D printing services. I have imported some of the generated OBJ files in Blender and verified that they are identical to the original sketch in 3DTin. Similarly STL files were successfully imported into MeshLab. Please let me know if you run into any issues while importing these files in your favorite 3D modelling tools. The STL files also passed the pre-printing checks once I uploaded them to Shapeways.

Limitations:

This is a first cut, so it’s not perfect.

  • STL files don’t include color information at present. There doesn’t seem to be consistent way of encoding color in STL and don’t know if 3D printing services make use of color at all. Let me know if you have any insight. It can be fixed in future.
  • Only Cubicle mode is supported, smooth mode versions may be added in future.
  • It turns out that the export operations is a bit CPU intensive for Google App Engine and stretches the quota a little. So if you try to export big sketches, the request might fail. Let me know when that happens.

Other than that, I found the exported files working as expected. Let me know what you find out.

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One Response to Export out of 3DTin

  1. Xane M. says:

    I can’t wait until smooth mode’s supported in OBJ export! Nice browser-based 3D editing “program”, by the way! Keep up the good work!

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