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3D Printing - Mesh versus Solid/Generic Solids

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I am a novice with 3D printing but have already wasted much time and printed many useful (and even more useless) things!


Question: Can anyone tell me whether there is a resolution difference between exporting Vectorworks to STL as solids rather than converting to a mesh first?


I am currently printing a Sennheiser microphone housing (c1960) which has many curves and am less than happy with the results so far.


When sending to the slicer I tried converting the model to a mesh, but on screen the curves seemed to have lost the smoothness that they had as a VW model so I created the STL directly from the model, ie: skipping the "Convert to Mesh" stage...


There is a "Quality" option when exporting to STL, but presumably "Convert to Mesh" defaults to the best resolution it can get!?!

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  • 1 month later...

It depends on the model. NURBS based models can sometimes be more leaky in the conversion to STL, whereas Mesh models stay the same as the original. My suggestion is to check the volume of the model and if the value makes sense, it's more likely that it will work regardless of method. The quality in the Mesh conversion refers to the conversion between NURBS style objects, which can have almost any mesh resolution, and Mesh resolution, which is what it is in VW. What resolution you need depends on where you really can't see the difference when printing, that is, when the mesh resolution is finer and more dense than the printer can replicate. 

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