"Bald Eagle" <cre### [at] netscapenet> wrote:
> STL are files are essentially _already_ mesh files. They just use different
> keywords to denote the triangles. I wrote my own spreadsheet
> (and IIRC, so did Cousin Ricky) to convert STL to POV - but perhaps a macro
> or something could be written to do the absolutely trivial "conversion".
> I'm still gobsmacked that such a thing isn't already a solid part of
> the POV-Ray toolkit. Actually, I'm shocked that no one has simply
> implemented direct import of stl files by POV-Ray itself, since it would
> be "just" ;) a minor cut-and-paste and then a little modification to
> handle the slightly different file structure.
Intrepid (and naive) experimenter that I am, I tried opening an .stl file in
Wordpad to see what would happen-- thinking that it *might* just be a simple
ascii text file (ha!) NOPE! A bunch of computer-ese gibberish instead. (Well,
the one I tried was a binary file, made in the Meshmixer app, so I should have
expected that.) The process of converting .stl to mesh2(?) for rendering in
POV-ray would seem quite daunting to my inexperienced eyes. Kudos to you and
Cousin Ricky for working that out.
> Support material is tricky.
> I've written G-code from scratch, which is what handles the CNC aspect of
> driving the printing head - it's truly not that difficult.
> Which leaves me wondering why some of the printing patterns, and
> construction of support structures seems so poorly implemented.
I'm finding that gcode is quite fun to play around with-- it's just simple text
commands. It's somewhat new to me though, so I'm being *very* careful when
attempting to edit my 3D-printer files. But the 'slicer' software for printers
seems to be quite an amazing coding accomplishment, turning .stl triangle data
into layer-by-layer .gcode instructions that delineate geometric paths; it seems
like magic. I guess old-style computer plotters used similar translation
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