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  • 3D Printing Valentina Kerman


    We are happy to announce that Valentina Kerman is now available at our Shapeways Store!


    As part of the announcement I’m going to explain to you how I prepare a Kerbal for 3D printing. First of all, I need to find the file with Valentina and the rig used in the game animations. Next step is to pose Val to match the rest of the crew available at Shapeways.


    Next up, the model needs to be adjusted for 3D printing. You can find the requirements and technical specifications at the Shapeways Materials page. So the easiest thing to do at this point is to separate the model into different parts (here I’m talking about internal parts, at the end one single mesh will be exported) and start closing holes.

    One of the requirements for 3D printing at Shapeways is that all meshes should be watertight. That means there shouldn’t be any “open facesâ€Â. So an optimized model for the game should not work for printing. Some parts of the model, like the body of our Kerbal, work with an empty space on the interior. It should be a walled structure, with an escape hole for the excess of material. That makes the model less expensive, because it will use less 3d printed material.


    Next step is to extrude the faces of the model of the sections that need support walls. For example, the head and the body. Those two have empty interiors. To extrude the faces I need to be working with mm inside of Maya for the sake of convenience. I only need to push the faces 2 units and most of the times this works just fine. Some parts, like the neck, need to be relaxed, so that faces won’t intersect with each other.


    Now that we have a watertight model, with support walls to have an empty interior, I need to combine all the shapes into one single mesh, and export the model. Valentina is ready to be uploaded to our Shapeways account, and see if the automated tests send any problems.
    As you can see, the tweaking process of a model is not extremely complicated, but it needs patience, to be careful about the small details and to always have an eye at the Maya units.

    Once everything is OK, we send the print to Shapeways!

    Our friends at Shapeways have sent us some pictures of the printing process of Valentina at the lab. You can find over here a detailed video of the process:









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