1. #1
    Senior Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default ZBrush and 3D printing, some suggestions

    Hi there,
    i am using ZBrush a lot to do work, which gets printed later.
    Its so nice, that Pixologic has included some cool tools for that
    purpose, and i could not live without the STL exporter or the
    Decimation Master.
    But i am still missing some minor tools, which would make my
    work even more easy, and which would make it possible that i
    can do my work entirely in ZBrush. Here is what i would suggest:

    • - Evaluate wall thickness.
    • For the sake of saving money, i always try to make my models as thin as possible. 3D printing prices are mostly calculated on volume, therefore making your objects hollow is a great way to save money, and the thinner the walls, the lesser volume is used. Aside of that, certain print processes need to maintain a certain stability of the printed parts, because they are quite fragile after frinting, and need to be infused with additional hardening chemicals. Such a funtion would help to avoid faulty prints, because of too fragile objects.
    • - Evaluate Volume
    • With this, it will be possible, to calculate the effective volume, and therefore have a price for your print project. That would be helpfull to maintain budgets and a good help, if you have to do a proposal for a - customer.
    • - Check for a watertight object
    • All 3d printers alike oly like watertight meshes, which dont have holes, gaps or unweld vertexes. With such a function, one could make sure, that the printer software will not refuse to accept a object for printing.
    • - Fuse Vertexes and fill Holes
    • That would help to repair errors, which turned up after the check for watertightness.
    • - Apply absolute Scaling and use of Units
    • In 3D Printing you always want to know how big your object is, and you want to know that in the measuring system of your choice. So it would help a lot, if you would be able, to set the construction grid to a certain size (inches, cm or whats in question). This would help very much to decide, if the object you work on has the size of 10 inch, which might be the max. your 3D printer can do.
    I am no programmer, but i am almost sure, that these things can be made in ZBrush.
    Last year i attended the Euromold trade fair here in Frankfurt / Germany, which is focusing mostly on 3D printing and rapid prototyping. There i saw at least one application, which tried to supply the functionality of ZBrush, enhanced with a 3D printing toolset. Needless to say, that the sculpting functionality did not match ZBrushs, but nonetheless, they sold that app at a price way higher than pixologic.
    I am not saying, that Pixologic should raise prices! What i want to say is, that with some modifications ZBrush can conquer that market segment single handed.
    Best regards,
    Imagination rules ---> www.weltundbild.de <---

  2. #2
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Same needed

    I need the exact same thing... I just updated to Z4 so maybe its in there but I haven't found it yet. I know I can now export in the scale I want but being able to easily make it to the scale would be very helpful.

    Right now I measure right on my screen to make sure the object is within the scale I want it to be which is a pain but it works.

  3. #3
    Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    A bit of a late reply, but I agree with Heiner. The 3D printing market is set to explode and even though Pixologic has made improvements with ZB4 the above mentioned wall thickness, watertightness, hole-filling, volume measuring, modelling to scale, etc, etc would be a great plus for the programme.


  4. #4
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    I had a problem where it looks like Zbrush is not measuring correctly... The part is 1:1 scale right on my screen so I measured it to make sure 1 crucial measurement was correct.. then it seamed like the other measurements were off...

    What would be nice is just to be able to measure from Point A to B...just click and draw the line to get a measurement.
    Last edited by Visions; 05-01-11 at 06:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Pixologic - Thomas Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Bordeaux, France


    Vision: if you are defining your scale based on a specific SubTool, you have to enable first All SubTools and Selected and then, doing an Update all size ratio. If you object has been imported, click on the small "R" on the right of the Update size rato.
    If it's what you did, please, can you open a ticket at the support center and ask to have it assigned to Thomas (me) as you shouldn't have such issue.
    Ah, just a question, did you do your export as a STL or VRML or as an OBJ file?

    And for measurements, you can use the Transpose line and changing the corresponding units (and calibration) in the Preferences. But it's only to provide a -visual- distance feedback, it's not an accurate caliper.
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  6. #6
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Totyo,,, I broke out a much more accurate ruler and it proved Zbrush was correct... go figure... haha... a small error on one measurement transposed to make a large error elsewhere.

    For me my crucial measurement wasn't X Y or Z... so I scaled from my crucial measurement and measured the XYZ which made it much harder to get accurate measurements from the screen...

    From now on when I have this same type of issue , I'll make the part in scale .. Export the STL... run the STL through Discover STL to make sure its water tight etc... then when I send the part out I'll ask them to make the part based on the crucial measurement... Most Prototyping companies will do this as long as its simple...

    Thanks for your help

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