|The Cost ..|
When you have something printed at Shapeways you get charged for the material (cm3), the shipping (in the US is a flat-rate $6.50) and a ‘handling charge’ that varies. For FUD it is $5. The problem is that suppose you upload a widget. You a proud of it and want it printed in FUD. You find that the cost of the material is only 10¢ .. but the shipping is $6.50 and the handling charge is $5.00
Ok. You figure .. one will cost me $11.60 .. but if I order ten of them then the total cost would be $12.50 and the by-piece cost would drop to $1.25 each .. and you drop the order .. and you are charged a total of $57.50!! What happened?
Shapeways had charged .. 10 ea at 10¢ = $1 .. + $6.50 shipping … PLUS .. $5 handling X 10 = $50
The answer would be then to combine ten copies of the widget into one mesh. That way you would only be charged that $5 handling fee once. If you really wanted to drop the cost then have a hundred printed. You would then be charged 100 x 10¢ or $10 for material cost. You would pay $6.50 and a $5.00 handling fee .. for a total of $21.50 .. and your cost per piece would drop to 21-1/2¢ each.
|A single mesh|
I am going to use as an example a bridge shoe I designed recently. It was designed for WSF and not FUD but that matters only in the minimum wall thickness of the object.
I have named it .. widget
I am making the assumption that you have a .stl file ready
If you don’t have MeshLab, you can download it for free.
In the following steps you can click the image for a larger version.
|.. or your .stl file|
|The screen is the same if .. as here .. you wanted to lad a .stl file. Locate your .stl file, select it and click ‘Open’. In this case I am going to import my widget.stl|
|When I get this screen I just click ‘OK‘. Clicking the ‘Info’ basically tells me .. click ‘OK‘. Go figure.|
|Layer dialog Screen|
|.. and here we are. There is only one layer as I only imported the one mesh .. my widget.dae in this case. If I had loaded a widget.stl then you would see that.|
We now have two layers titled widged.dae (original) and widget.dae_copy
You can only see one .. as they occupy the same space. You can hide one by clicking the eye but that helps not at all when it is a copy. Duh.
|Move the mesh/layer|
|Now, let’s move one of the widgets. I’ll move the copy .. you could move the other one. Up to you. From the menu select .. Filters –> Normals, Curvatures and Orientation –> Transform: Move, Translate, Center|
|Flatten Dialog Box|
|Here you can choose just how you wish to proceed with flattening the layers .. I keep it just like this and am a happy camper.|
|The Two Merged|
|MeshLab does it’s thing and you now have one mesh called . MergedMesh (duh). Note box on the bottom .. tells you exactly what it did in exhaustive detail.|
|Like we did before .. merge to one mesh. That’s about it. I could if I wished .. copy THIS mesh as a new layer and move it .. and so on and so on.|
|Freeze that sucker|
|It says that Freezing the matrix will “Freeze the current transformation matrix into the coords of the vertices of the mesh .. ” .. ok. Whatever. Just freeze the sucker.|
From the menu select: File –> Export Mesh As…
If you select Export Mesh just above it will export as a whatever kind of mesh you have loaded. If it was a .stl file then fine. If it was a .dae then you need to Export Mesh As…