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Shelling .stls
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* December 16, 2016, 03:55:13 PM
It's often hard to shell .stl files if you don't have access to an original solid model file.  There are a few programs about that can reconstitute a model with curved surfaces that can be shelled and reconverted into an .stl, but that's often as cack-handed as it sounds and they all cost.  TC can do it quite simply from the native .stl, by exploding it down to polylines.  While the polylines are still selected, right-click and enter properties from the context menu, go to the "3D" dialogue and give a thickness, which will be the "shell" thickness.  There's a quirk here, which is that TC almost always (always in my own experience) has some of the facets/polylines with normals inverted relative to the others, so the thickness of those polylines "shells" outwards.  Manually isolate and select those and change the thickness to a negative, that'll correct them.  Then reselect all of the facets/polylines together and check the "solid" property, in the property box or selection info.  The more facets/polylines there are, the slower this'll be, so patience is a virtue.  I've been a road warrior working on an Atom CPU convertible tablet/netbook recently, I'm really getting quite Zen about it.  Once they're all solidified, they can be multi-boolean-added together, then the model, your original .stl, now hollow with shelled walls instead of the solid original, can be re-saved/exported as a new .stl.  Being hollow, it requires less material to be 3D printed, which makes that process faster.   


December 26, 2016, 01:07:39 PM

Not as seamless in my experimentation as would be desired; lots of facets extruded the wrong way for basically round objects, but there is no way of specifying a center (or central axis) to provide guidance.

Converting to Solid and Shelling failed in my experiments.  Not the first time I have encountered limitations with Shell Solid, it should be noted.  If those limitations could be excised, this would be a faster way of doing things.


TC Pro Platinum 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks & RedSDK) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1

* February 27, 2017, 04:45:44 PM
I have many problems shelling body's of cars I have been using a method I learn t by Don Cheke I either cut object in half shell it then recopy missing half or I copy scale to smaller size  and subtract it but your method is very interesting I will try it thanking you NJR


* February 27, 2017, 10:54:08 PM
Try http://www.meshmixer.com/ Its free to download and use, and is by the reputable company called Autodesk.
The Help leaves a bit to by desired, but there are several good videos and its well worth the effort in learning it.

Gary Wooding
Win10 64-bit,
TC21.2 x64 Plat, Bld59
TC16.2 Plat, Bld54.0
TCC 3.5