Mirror an image with preform

Our Form2 is in the order process, when the printer arrives will I be able to mirror an image and save it with the Preform software

Currently the software does not have the ability to mirror an object, but it’s something I’ve been asking for for a while.


Thanks Zachary it does seem odd that the software hasn’t got this feature, hopefully it will soon.
Regards Dave.

Yeah, I think it’s probably something that would be easy for them to implement, and it would save me a lot of time since I often have to print symmetrical objects.

It’s a bit tricky to balance when it makes sense to implement a feature into PreForm and when it makes sense to keep it a function of mesh modification software like Meshmixer. I’ve forwarded this to our Software Team so that we can look into it.

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This topic and request has been brought up quite a few times, Zachary has been asking for it since 2015, and the answer is always the same

But as you can see, no changes have been made to the software.

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Hi, working in the NHS our IT would be much more comfortable having us use one piece of software.
I have asked them about installing Windows 10 which has a mirror feature in 3D Builder, they can only see compatibility issues at this point in time.
Our printer has arrived on site :slight_smile: so now it just up to our IT and Medical Engineering to let is plug it in.

That’s totally understandable, though if you were able to convince them to install something like Meshmixer, that would expand your mesh manipulation toolset pretty significantly.

I really don’t understand FormLabs reluctance to add such a simple, yet very valuable feature.

You already provide the means to scale and rotate and object, and the program contains NetFabb code that lets it fix broken meshes.

Nearly every slicer available from the Open source Slic3r and Cura to the closed source MakerBot and Simplify3D, they all provide this facility. For those of us that make a lot of mechanical parts, the ability to print mirrored parts without having to clutter up our hard drives with superfluous STLs would be a real boon, and for FormLabs a bullet point on their spec sheet rather than a strike mark when compared to the other slicers on the market.


Our It now have suggested that they look into installing Sketch-up to use the mirror function, although they point out I need to check if they up grade the PC from 32 bit to 64 bit to run this will Preform software still run as normal. Does anyone have experience of this?

Sketchup is not a good solution. STL is not its native format, and in order to work with it, it would have to import the part first, then convert it to it’s native SKP format, then you could manipulate it, and export it again.

The resulting file will not be anywhere near the original, and besides, Sketchup STL export leaves a lot to be desired.

The best solution is NetFabb. It imports a few different CAD formats, including STL, OBJ, 3DS, and it’s also capable of importing a lot of slice files and GCode variations. If you import a format like STL or OBJ, and export it into the same format, it doesn’t do any “transcoding” unless you modify the model. Mirroring, rotating or scaling an object doesn’t change anything withing the mesh, so the resulting file is polygon for polygon identical to the original.

NetFabb is currently owned by Autodesk, and the version you download is the full version, free for 30 days, after which it reverts to the equivalent of the “bsic” version, which will still do most of everything you’d want to do, except Boolean, merge, shell and special cut (Pro) operations.

The other alternative is Meshmixer which is owned by Autodesk as well, but it may take a little to get used to it. Once you get the upper-hand, it does quite a bit, and it has a great sculpting feature and good Boolean operation engine.

The big problem I have is having to go through the process of exporting a second file from my 3D program and then having to redo the support placements, if I had a simple mirror function in Preform I would save hours of work.


Yes, especially if you could mirror it with the supports.

Hi Dudemister, I will pass your points to our IT, as I am a begginer with this technology. Thanks.

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