Preform: Can it layer components instead of sizing them?


I have an object I want to print. The object consists of multiple, but distinct parts. The parts aren’t interconnected in any way, an the plan is to assemble them manually after printing.

Each part can be printed separately, but the combination of parts(the object) is too big to be printed. Now, what I’d like to see, is that PreForm understood that the STL file contains distinct parts and that PreForm is able to print them all in one go.

For example, it could be possible to layout the parts vertically instead of horizontally, and then print them.

The reason I want this feature is that this way I can keep my model consistent in the design tool (OpenSCAD) and I prefer not to have to generate multiple STL files and then scale the parts manually and individually in PreForm. That’s too error phrone IMHO.

Disclaimer: I’m kind of a newbie and is very open to alternative solutions.

Bjørn Augestad

You’re unlikely to get good quality prints on objects that you stack. The taller the object, the more easily it will be distorted by the peeling process (in particular the parts of the object opposite the hinge) But I bet if you import two parts and position one on top of the other, PreForm will quite happily generate supports going from the base around the lower object to connect with the upper object and let you print them stacked in one go. Just don’t expect the upper objects to be as good as they’d have been if printed close to the base. I’d try this myself, now, and see, but PreForm is uploading a large print to the printer at the moment…

Preform is not going to be able to edit your models. If you need to edit them (even if it is just rearranging the bodies), you will have to do it in another design tool.

Using individual files also allows you to generate supports as you see fit, rather than it trying to fit supports around other bodies.

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