Two materials models in Inventor
I have seen some topics concerning model preparation for dual printing, but could not find them now.
My question is following: I have drawn two 3D objects in Autodesk Inventor and then created an assembly of this two objects. Then I export this assembly as stl file and try to load it into AM. AM shows me an error message (see attached). If I load single parts of this assembly - no problems. If I ignore the message by loading the assembly the assembly appears on the bed but I cannot select single parts to assign material to print with. The whole assembly is seen as a single object. I tried to convert it into obj file using some plugin for Inventor, but I have the same error message by loading and the assembly does not appear on the bed, if the message is dismissed.
@mateo You need to export the STL with two separate files or two bodies within one file. Then when you import them, for two files use CTRL+select to select both files and bring them in together. Then double-click on the part of the model that you want to change.
If the double-click does not work, the problem is with your model preparation.
I always check (and eventually repair) models with netfabb (recently bought by Autodesk) before importing them in Automaker, and I never had any issue.
You can fill in bogus information to download. You don't have to install the license manager, and skip the licensing wizard. Then netfabb starts as the free "basic" version.
I'm not 100% sure how the results should look for dual material preparation, but I guess netfabb should show you the correct amount of shells you expect. Then each shell/object can be assigned to a material (?).
@bhudson I could import single parts simultaneously but they are both lying on the ground, though one needs to be on another. If I create an assembly in the inventor I can add constrains, so that the parts are correctly connected. If the parts are independent, then they are imported without considering their correct respective positions. Interestingly, another assembly I have made in inventor could be imported without any problems. May be there are some problems in the actual drawing by itself...
@tinu Netfabb detects some problem as well, after auto repair there is one single part. So, this does not solve the problem...
I haven't used inventor but in all other packages i have used I would:
Create the shapes as I wanted them and aligned correctly.
- Hide or delete all the items except 1 and export the scene as .stl.
- Undo the delete or unhide all the objects and repeat step 1 until all the items have been exported.
This method ensures each .stl file shares the same "origin" or centre point.
In your file browser highlight all the parts and either drag them onto the build plate in AutoMaker or open them all at the same time using +Add Model. They will appear as a group in the software and will be positioned based on the "origin" which they were created with.
It is possible to have multiple shells in an .obj file. These can behave the same as groups.
@pete That worked for me! Thanks!
- Open the assembly file
- Isolate object 1 (others were hidden)
- Save as ... (for instance 1)
- ctrl+z (all objects visible)
- Isolate object 2 (others were hidden)
- Save as... (for instance 2)
n. import all files simultaneously into AM. Profit.
I'm using 123d Design and my separate models (all exported as separate stl files) come in centred on the bed instead of in their original positions. Any thoughts?
If you drag and drop them at the same time they will be grouped and in their correct locations.
You can also use the +Add model button and when choosing the models hold CTRL/SHIFT or Drag a box to select multiple models before clicking Open.
I bought the dual Robox a couple of months ago, but it has been set aside until now. So now I am getting involved in its dual function. It's so easy to mess things up, even when everything's been set up for ease of use. I'd like a step-by-step guide to dual printing - two colour and colour plus support. But even allowing for the excellence of the Automaker manual, to me it's a bit lacking on fine detail in this area.
So I have a couple of questions :-
- Does it matter which nozzle the polymaker is loaded onto? Is there a default nozzle setting for printing with support.
- Is the support automatic as with the single nozzle Robox, or is it necessary to make a negative .stl file of just the support and then group it with it model part?
- Is there a minimum nozzle size for using polymaker?
@paulsroom not sure about extruders, or minimum nozzle size for Polysupport but I have done two colour printing, using various softwares.
I did start with a test piece like the road cone or similar so that you can understand things, and possible start with a DIY two colour part. I model them up in CAD, and select both objects and export as a multipart stl, but you could do a couple of 3mm thick 20 x 20 squares and do a Bassetts Allsorts type tester too.
If you add this model in AutoMaker, it will load correctly, on macOS you hold down the cmd key, but it's ctrl elsewhere, and that way you can select and drop both stls linked onto the build plate when you Add Model
Support is automatic if you check the right boxes under the Support tag in the Make section, and @bhudson recently mentioned this the other day, but I also make a support model in CAD too, almost tree like, and if you want print part of it the same material, and add a smaller layer of poly support aka like cartilage on a bone to the area that will interface with the model. It might seem like hard work, but it does give good results too, especially on snap fit clip details I have made, where I cantilever the support into the model, and the support doesn't "contaminate" the surface.
@17bt Thank you for your information. As a first pass I just printed a ball with polymaker support and that was okay, but I was surprised to have a filament stuck already on the polymaker on just the second pass. Since this was sealed in its original bag and not opened until yesterday, it cannot be moisture related. Since it also printed okay, I can't see that it's print related.
I'm still a little unclear about dual colour printing. If I am printing a second colour that starts half-way up, where would the origin of this second file be located?
If I am printing a second colour that starts half-way up, where would the origin of this second file be located?
@paulsroom Both files have to have the same origin, so that say the new colour starts 10mm above the old colour, the Z zero for the first old one would be on the bed, and the other would have an "Z origin" of +10.
I'm a little busy right now, but maybe this link will help you understand. :)
If your Polysupport is sticking, have you tried "Support Gap" enabled? Can you slice the top layer and remove a portion where it's sticking and let it bridge over the awkward bit, assuming you have imported or added the models using the CTRL key (macOS cmd) to maintain their grouping.
and I'll update later today, if nobody else chimes in.
@paulsroom Do you mean that you are getting filament slip errors? Polysupport is PLA based it's shape and ability to feed will be effected by temperatures over 50°C. This is manageable but needs to be noted.
When you create a model which has 2 or more parts which you intend to be printed at the same time you should create them in the modelling program in the locations you want them to print. Before exporting I would hide all the parts and show the one I want to save, repeating until I have a .stl file for each part. This method keeps the origin the same for all the parts.
When you import the files into AutoMaker ready for printing you will select all the parts and load them at the same time. Use CTRL/CMD to select multiple files or drag a box around them. They will be loaded together and become a group. If you want to maintain the position, don't Ungroup them. To edit the material used for each part just double click on it then click the Material 1: or Material 2: buttons.
@pete I have only printed a ball (bearing style) using nozzle 2 with polymaker in nozzle 1 as support. That printed okay and was the first print on my Robox Dual. However when I changed to PLA on nozzle 2 it came up with a stuck filament message. I used the Automaker screen button and it ejected the filament okay. But although it loads and unloads the material in nozzle 1, the cut end shows no sign of having been melted. So it is being blocked from getting right into the nozzle.
I have attached an image showing the start-up procedure when heating up. I don't if this is relevant, but the right temperatures are achieved before it actually prints.
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