Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ready, Set, Slice!

One of the crucial elements of a 3D printer's software is the process of taking a 3D model file (usually in the form of a .stl file), and figuring out how to go about printing each layer.

Since we're going to be projecting UV light onto resin to create thin layers of polymer, we need to generate cross sections of whatever we're printing. This process is known as slicing.

We've utilized some existing libraries to handle some of the heavy mathematical lifting involved, namely a toolset known as Skeinforge. From here, we need to turn the many slices into image files to be projected. To do this, we generate an empty image file and draw to it, tracing around the slice we've created.

Once this is done, any file will be able to be sent to print!