As exciting as 3D printing is for the average person, there are a number of hurdles one has to pass before realizing the technology’s full potential. 3D modeling continues to be difficult, especially to realize the detailed imaginings within the human mind. And, even if one is able to capture elaborate 3D models using a 3D scanner, the next issue to resolve is ensuring the model can be printed. Though there are tools like netfabb and Materalise Magics, LimitState hopes to improve upon other programs with their LimitState:FIX, which automatically fixes 3D model files to prepare them for 3D printing.
LimitState:FIX relies on the Polygonica software toolkit from MagicWorks to, possibly, make model problems a thing of the past. Upon opening a printable file in the software, LimitState:FIX analyzes the model, closes holes in solids, repairs defective mesh files, reorients polygons, removes self-intersecting areas and noise shells, and checks to make sure that a geometry is manifold so that it can be printed. According to the company, test customers found that the software worked better and more simply than other programs, “almost always” ensuring that a print can be performed. The video below demonstrates the software repairing “21500 mesh errors repaired in under 1 second.”
Matthew Gilbert, Managing Director of LimitState, said of their software, “3D printing has come a long way but there are still many businesses that have trouble getting their files to print. LimitState:FIX will fix almost all 3D files and ensure they print. It complements the existing 3D design and engineering tools out there very well. LimitState:FIX adds a whole new level of model fixing capability. It’s a dedicated fixing tool, designed to do one thing really well, using the unique Machineworks’ Polygonica tool set.”
To which, Cristina Sesma, Marketing Manager for Polygonica, added, “LimitState:FIX shows just how much scope there is for enhancing 3D software using our technology. Users can fix so many problems so fast with this software that it’s a game changer for busy 3D printers, whether they are bureaux, engineers or designers. We’ve got 20 years of experience in 3D engineering and manufacturing software and it’s great to bring this technology into the mainstream 3D printing market.”
LimitState believes that their new release will be especially useful for 3D printing bureaus, which may be able to save time fixing their clients’ model files before printing. If their client, Mercury Centre, which 3D prints metallic components for the auto and aerospace industries, is any indication, they may be right. According to Mercury Centre’s Everth Hernandez Nava, the tool saved a substantial amount of time, “I spent many hours trying to manually fix a model with other professional tools, but LimitState:FIX did the job in under a minute.”
You can find a free demo of the software here, which allows you to fix the files, but not to save them for printing. To do that, you’ll have to pay £2,999 per user for a perpetual license, if you work for larger service bureaus or companies, or £499 per user, if you’re at a small firm.