Modeling in Cinema 4d for Shapeways Rapid Prototype Printing

I’ve printed a few models from C4D at as a 3D sculpture and each time I do this I have to go through a trial and error process to create the model at the right size and specifications. I haven’t found good information that explains what the correct settings are, so for my own benefit and others, here it is:

  1. Set Cinema Preferences to  use Millimeters
  2. Create geometry without using Boolean (seems like Booleans never work once translated to VRML)
  3. Make your geometry a single object, the Connect object works well for this
  4. If you use the Connect object, don’t forget to “Make it Editable” to actually connect it into a single object
  5. Keep polygon count less than 100,000 and it must be less than 500,000. Since C4D uses 4 sided Polygons, this means the actual count should be 250,000 or less in polys.
  6. Since version 11, if you have Advanced Renderer you can check Render>Cineman>Select non-Manifold edges
  7. Export at VRML 2 with the scale set to 1000 [Edit: In C14, if you set your project up in Millimeters, select the Export option of 1 : Millimeters. If you set up using Centimeters, set Export to 1 : Centimeters]
  8. On the Shapeways site, use Millimeters as the measurement, regardless of if you used Centimeters or Millimeters in C4D.

This brings the models in as centimeters, i.e. 100 mm = 10 cm and in Cinema the object is scaled at a reasonable size so it’s easy to work with. Hope this helps other people trying to do the same thing!

Update: Shapeways has expanded my tutorial on their blog, you can read more here.

Related note: I also needed to export models from Cinema 4D to Illustrator using the Export option. For scale, I found 56.5 cm/inch for the resolution worked when bringing the model to illustrator for laser cutting.

Curator’s Incubator

The six artists included in anti-matter: recontextualizing the material all use materials in an individualistic way that emphasizes process, instability and familiarity. The incorporation of high and low materials by artists represents a shift in attitudes towards the conventional that is culturally significant and personal at the same time. The work of Suzanna Fields, Helen Frederick, Alberto Gaitan, Morgan Kennedy, Susan Noyes and Jennie Thwing are representative of how artists are searching for new interpretations and meanings from common materials. Through recombinant technology, whether digitally based or not, these artists reflect a yearning for familiar ground in a changing landscape.

Essay for the catalogue, co-authored by Susan Serafin and Bryan Leister