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  • Generating SLI (3D printer) files

    I am more than "new" at this but how would I generate one of these files? Assuming a CAD program (my guess) is there an app that can produce without a steep learning curve?
    If I have an SLI file for a gear with a given pressure angle, diametral pitch & 'x' teeth, can this file be simply modified to create a new file for a gear with more - or fewer - teeth?
    Somehow, I have the nagging feeling that this is just too simple but I can only ask.

  • #2
    There seem to be many pitfalls in these files. Resolution, native units, time vs resolution, etc, etc.

    Maybe someone can point us to a reliable primer on the process. There seems to be much BS floating around.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #3
      No. He file can not be modified to what you want. You need to draw up a new part.

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      • #4
        Quite a few people use openscad to draw objects for 3D prining, http://www.openscad.org/ I have not messed with it my self much, but I know there are files that you load into the software then enter the values and it creates a 3d file that can be made into a STL file that can be sliced and printed. This is an example of a gear file https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1339 that someone came up with.
        Last edited by Mike of the North; 06-20-2017, 06:59 PM.
        Mike
        Brandon MI
        2003 MINI Cooper S JCW#249
        1971 Opel GT
        1985 Ford 3910LP

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        • #5
          Those OpenSCAD files of which you speak, can be written so that you can change some parameters to modify the object to get what you need. Those files are usually titled "Parametric" something or other. Otherwise, you have to be intimately familiar with OpenSCAD to know how to modify the original to get what you want. Same with any other CAD program.

          Chuck

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dunc View Post
            I am more than "new" at this but how would I generate one of these files? Assuming a CAD program (my guess) is there an app that can produce without a steep learning curve?
            If I have an SLI file for a gear with a given pressure angle, diametral pitch & 'x' teeth, can this file be simply modified to create a new file for a gear with more - or fewer - teeth?
            Somehow, I have the nagging feeling that this is just too simple but I can only ask.
            Where did you get the SLI file? Which slicer are you using which accepts .SLI files, most take .STL files?

            Fusion 360 can easily generate spur gears. Gearotic can generate more than a few different gear types.

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            • #7
              Oops! A slip of the finger... the file I have is, in fact, an STL file

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              • #8
                Stl files cannot readily be modified. As for spur gear on fusion 360, I believe it is only a paid plugin. I tried the trial and it works very well. Only cost $2 so its not a big deal.

                The other thing is stl files need to be sliced before sending to a 3d printer. Kind of like a cam program. But for 3d printing there are allot of free cam programs that work very well. I have tried a bunch. For user friendliness you can't beat CURA. Works very well to generate gcode. If you have more questions ping me via pm and I would be more than happy to help out. If needs be I can walk you through the whole thing from idea to part in hand. Hope your patient.
                12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
                Logan 825 - work in progress
                My Blog - http://engineerd3d.ddns.net/
                Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVY...view_as=public
                Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/engineerd3d/?hl=en

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by engineerd3d View Post
                  Stl files cannot readily be modified. As for spur gear on fusion 360, I believe it is only a paid plugin. I tried the trial and it works very well. Only cost $2 so its not a big deal.

                  The other thing is stl files need to be sliced before sending to a 3d printer. Kind of like a cam program. But for 3d printing there are allot of free cam programs that work very well. I have tried a bunch. For user friendliness you can't beat CURA. Works very well to generate gcode. If you have more questions ping me via pm and I would be more than happy to help out. If needs be I can walk you through the whole thing from idea to part in hand. Hope your patient.
                  Actually, there is a Spur Gear script in Fusion 360 which comes with the program at no cost. Cura is only a slicer not a CAM or a CAD program. It, as well as Slic3r and Simplify3d, are the main slicers. Simplify3d is the only one which isn't free and some will claim the best. I haven't tried it as Slic3r is working well for me.

                  As long as the STL file doesn't have a lot of facets, it can be converted to an editable form in Fusion 360. Even so, you do not want to be modifying gears to create smaller or larger gears. Creating the gear directly in Fusion 360 is a much better way to go.

                  Here's a little video of a gear created in Fusion 360, sliced in Slic3r, and printed in nylon: http://photobucket.com/gallery/user/...m1wNA==/?ref=1

                  p.s. Photobucket is almost unusable now with all of the pop-up ads.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by elf View Post
                    Actually, there is a Spur Gear script in Fusion 360 which comes with the program at no cost. Cura is only a slicer not a CAM or a CAD program. It, as well as Slic3r and Simplify3d, are the main slicers. Simplify3d is the only one which isn't free and some will claim the best. I haven't tried it as Slic3r is working well for me.

                    As long as the STL file doesn't have a lot of facets, it can be converted to an editable form in Fusion 360. Even so, you do not want to be modifying gears to create smaller or larger gears. Creating the gear directly in Fusion 360 is a much better way to go.

                    Here's a little video of a gear created in Fusion 360, sliced in Slic3r, and printed in nylon: http://photobucket.com/gallery/user/...m1wNA==/?ref=1

                    p.s. Photobucket is almost unusable now with all of the pop-up ads.
                    The STL file can not be edited, some will say it can but other than scaling no. I use Fusion 360 and if you have learned basics of CAD you will be able to figure it out. Free for hobby use, so don't need to pay. Web based and can be slow at times.
                    I am trying out Punch ViaCAD Pro V10 to get away from the need for internet access.
                    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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                    • #11
                      Some programs will take an stl file in, and convert it to a native file that can be edited.

                      The issue with that is the stl file has stripped off all the history of the part; how it was built up, what the features are (circles, extrusions, etc), how they were located and combined to form the shape. You get a "dumb solid", and editing it is a pain.

                      A few can extract some of the more obvious features, but don't count on that.
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                        Some programs will take an stl file in, and convert it to a native file that can be edited.

                        The issue with that is the stl file has stripped off all the history of the part; how it was built up, what the features are (circles, extrusions, etc), how they were located and combined to form the shape. You get a "dumb solid", and editing it is a pain.

                        A few can extract some of the more obvious features, but don't count on that.
                        If I am not mistaken. STL files contain triangulation data and nothing more. Consider it same as if you had polygon data. Not easy to edit, not easy to reverse engineer. Almost like compiled software. It's a one way street.
                        12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
                        Logan 825 - work in progress
                        My Blog - http://engineerd3d.ddns.net/
                        Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVY...view_as=public
                        Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/engineerd3d/?hl=en

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                        • #13
                          Correct, an STL file is just triangular geometry.

                          Realistically having 3D printer capability is useless unless you have CAD skills to go along with it. There's only so many actually useful things on thingiverse to make the printer worthwhile, so you gotta be able to make your own.

                          Doing something like printing gears, the best way is to parametrically model model a generic spur gear geometry, then modify the model parameters every time you need to create a new gear.

                          This video is a good example of the power of parametric modelling.

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                          • #14
                            Fusion added some mesh tools than can work on STL's, but it resembles using photoshop more than a cad program, using brushes to smooth and reduce the triangulation. Save yourself grief and just start over with a native file

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                              Fusion added some mesh tools than can work on STL's, but it resembles using photoshop more than a cad program, using brushes to smooth and reduce the triangulation. Save yourself grief and just start over with a native file
                              The thing is if you use the gear plugin for fusion. It's as simple as punching in numbers. Get gear. Designed a gear in 30seconds flat.
                              12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
                              Logan 825 - work in progress
                              My Blog - http://engineerd3d.ddns.net/
                              Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVY...view_as=public
                              Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/engineerd3d/?hl=en

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