Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Mesh to Clay for 3D Printing accurately sized objects - workflow test


Here's something different - I wanted a wallet holder that wasn't boring. So I designed the basic base in Fusion 360 in no time, but then I got to have fun making it be more organic using Medium - I've yet to print this version out!

I tried to work within the limits of a 3D Print - detail below 1mm is lost (so making detailed cracks and shading are counter productive), and X/Y Resolution is much higher than Z Axis. I also had to make sure the lettering was at an high enough angle to not need supports or they would collapse on themself from overhang.

The copy to mesh function, as well as the tool manipulator are amazing new features I'm going to grow to love in Medium since v1.3  I learned a bunch of things this time around:

Sculpting in this program is much more fun than anything else I've used still - It should be obvious that I try and incorporate this whereever I can in a workflow if I'm able to for work.

Alright, enough rambling for the moment here are photos:

Object made in Fusion 360 - nothing special besides accurately measured cutouts for a wallet and badget, and a fillet shape that I wouldn't be able to make in Medium (fair enough too).

3D Printed basic version holds the goods fine.... but its just  a slab.

See how the text is blobby to allow it to print ok, and is at a sharp enough angle upward to not need supports.

Alternate angle shows the detail of the shape is preserved - this is importing a obj file as a reference mesh, then using "Copy to Clay".
Exported file was 640meg in full detail but whatever - as long as the base and sharp edges are preserved that's not a problem for me - and it ticked that box.

I ran into two problems with the mesh, both of them are fixable but are things I need to be careful of:

Size is inaccurate in this test: I'm not sure how I could fix this in medium, because the scaling isn't say 2x as big, it's 1.53x bigger which is an odd scaling.
The need to merge all layers down before exporting for a 3D Print


Firstly - damn I can't appear to edit a post once it's posted 😞 In regards to merging all layers, this is because when you have intersecting polygons exported, the slicing software gets confused and usually makes one part be a hole on the other. In the example wallet holder above, the side red stripes were made using the constrain to surface tool. This makes part of the brush go underneath the surface, and is included when exporting.

I know in the past I have to merge each layer, but it's just tedious as I can't undo if I save the sculpt in that state. I also forget to do it


Thanks team on Medium! The 1.3.1 is like a love letter for these kind of workflows. In short they can optionally preserve the origin points you've set, and even respect that when it's imported. AND SCALE. This fixes the screenshot above where my stand was a bit larger. That's amazing!

I'll try do this workflow again tonight.

A random suggestion now is for the slice tool - to be able to constrain it to a given degree angle. Being able to do a precise flat cut is important for making bases on a 3D Print. Now that you can import a correctly rotated model, this becomes a viable option to fully clean up and reshape a model.

Currently you can get around that by just shifting the whole model down a mm or two to ensure no gaps, but it takes a bit to figure that out.