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Heightfield to STL

When your heightfield comes from a photograph (or other image maybe) and you want to create an STL Stereolithographic file you can do it all in one pass. For example you have this original image:

Image to use as a heightfield

and you want to make a heightfield from it in order to create an STL file. Open the image using the "Open Image File..." button: mesh Text

Open photo to form heightfield from it

As you can see, after a few seconds, a 3D representation of the photo's heightfield will be created. There are various settings you can change, here are seme of them:

  1. Points along the X and Y dimensions. How often the photo is sampled to create the heightfield.
  2. The Mesh (heightfield) X Size, so the dimension of the output STL file.
  3. The Mesh (heightfield) Y Size is normally calculated automatically, but you can force it by switching off the Lock Y Dimension check box.
  4. The mesh (heightfield) height, as a percentage of the Mesh X Size.
  5. A smoothing percentage, which can make the final STL output file easier to manufacture.

The final step is to save the heightfield mesh as an STL file, simply use the "Save Mesh..." button at the right of the dialog.

You can also save it as a DXF file, and the above mesh, imported into AutoCAD would look like this:

Stereolithographic output

There is a free demo available which you can use to try out your own image, click on the button below to download it:




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