Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d? 3D printing is a relatively new technology that has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years.
It’s no coincidence that this boom is happening when the world needs to find more sustainable solutions for production and consumption, as 3D printing can help with both of these problems: it reduces resources used and also helps people create what they want without having to buy anything.
Cinema 4D is popular design software for creating objects and characters in 3 dimensions.
But does this mean you can actually use C4d to print out your designs? The answer is yes!
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Can you 3d print from cinema 4d?
Cinema 4D is a program that people use for making 3D animations, graphics, and special effects. It is very easy to use. You can also make models with it that you can print in 3D.
It depends on how complex and heavy your objects are. Cinema 4D is not a native 3d printer compatible application, but there are several ways to export geometry from it into files that can be printed with commercial or domestic 3d printers.
This article briefly touches on the subject of importing and exporting C4D objects for 3D printing.
Cinema4D is a popular software for motion design and visual effects that features a wide range of modeling, animation, rendering, and dynamic effects tools that can be used to create complex 3D scenes. The application however isn’t a native CAD program, but a feature-rich graphics application tailored towards the needs of contemporary media production houses and professional CG artists.
One significant advantage of Cinema 4D is its tight integration with several other third-party applications over which it shares capabilities or even fully interoperates so as to offer advanced solutions to digital content creators. This is what makes C4D stand out from the crowd of generic packages such as Maya, MODO, or Blender which are also very suitable for computer-aided modeling, animation, and rendering.
Cinema 4D is often used as a 3d graphics application by TV production studios, video game developers, car manufacturers, or even architects due to its versatility and compatibility with other applications in the Creative Suite bundle by MAXON which is an industry-standard in the field of real-time visualization.
Check out this nice article on Archdaily that features some architectural visualizations realized in C4D!
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d?
Somethings you should know about Cinema 4D
3D printers are becoming more affordable every year but they still remain out of reach for most people without access to large amounts of capital or running a small business. The creation of custom-made products for individual consumers may be considered economically unfeasible given the current cost structure of these machines. Most 3d printing services offer an online platform to upload your files where you can select the desired material, color, and order it.
It stands to reason that these services are using desktop 3d printers for prototyping products before they go into full-scale production.
But what if you want to print custom-made objects at home?
Can you make something in Cinema 4D then feed it into a commercial or domestic 3d printer? The answer is yes!
But not everything is smooth sailing here since C4D features powerful tools tailored towards rendering rather than manufacturing. Nonetheless, all native Cinema 4D objects are fully editable with the exception of XRefs which are linked assets imported from other file types such as fbx or obj. You can delete them from the scene without corrupting the main object.
Modeling objects might seem like an insurmountable task for someone used to handling basic primitives like cubes and spheres but it’s actually quite easy if you are know-how.
Let’s say you want to make a simple box that could serve as a case or container for small items. You can do this in C4D without much tinkering! Here is how (tutorial follow)
There are several ways of exporting Cinema 4D geometry into 3D print-ready files such as .STL, .OBJ or .PLY which are recognized by RepRap machines or commercial 3d printers. There are also online tools that enable users to convert their geometry into files directly through the browser with just a click of a button. However, exporting your geometry is only half the story since you will also need to prepare it for print.
Since 3D printers do not work like standard 2d printers they expect input files in a particular format and scale them on their own. They don’t really care about file size so you might as well save some hard disk space and export at lower precision values such as 16 or 32 bits per channel! If you are planning to order several copies of an object on Shapeways for example, this could help keep costs down as well as delivery time since there will be fewer data to transfer.
The material cost may vary but it’s more likely that processing and handling charges will play a bigger role here rather than printing itself which is almost instantaneous.
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d?
The file chosen here is .OBJ which stands for Object File.
It’s a simple text-based format that can be read by many applications including 3D editors, image viewers, and web browsers. It does not include any editable information hence the geometry will be exported in it’s current state. The other choice would have been to use an .STL file which stands for Stereolithography format, also known as Surface Tessellation Language. Since this is much more complex than the OBJ file it contains all information required to print your object in its original size at 100% scale without distortion or unnecessary data transfer overheads.
Both formats are supported by most 3d printers but STL is definitely more widespread due to its simplicity and easy processing.
The geometry exported from Cinema 4D will be saved in your local directory and optimized to save space and print faster. You can change this location before exporting so if you want to preserve the original scene it would be best to store both files next to each other since they’ll have different names such as my_obj.obj and my_obj.STL.
We open up a simple box by clicking on New under the File menu or hitting shortcut [CTRL+N].
The document size is then dictated by our 3d printer which defines the maximum x, y and z dimensions we can use for a given model, typically within a 200mm cube. I’m going with a 100% scale box measuring 100mm wide but only 60mm deep and high and set the background color to black because colors don’t matter much here. The name can be anything since we’ll be deleting this object pretty soon.
The first step is to create a polygonal cylinder by clicking one time on the Cylinder tool under Create Objects (or hitting [SHIFT+C]).
A popup will appear where you enter all relevant dimensions such as Radius, Height, Depth, and Segments which define how many polygons will make up your geometry – more for smoother results – and click Apply.
That’s it! Unless you want to save your model press [DELETE] right away since we’re not going to use this primitive and start walking through each tab in order to adjust their parameters according to specific printing needs.
The Render tab will give you access to your camera and lights, useful if you want to preview your geometry from different angles before exporting it. We’ll be using the traditional default lighting instead which consists of a yellowish ambient color and a white emission coming from all around the selected object.
The Object tab is fundamental since it defines how your object will look after being printed – i.e. its physical dimensions – and allows us to print only what we need without wasting material on unnecessary features that may not show up once printed (i.e. holes or inner faces). Selecting an object lets us change its size along any axis by either directly typing in numerical values or moving/scaling existing handles around.
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d? (cre: shapeways)
Cinema 4D uses the international metric system by default and if you plan on exporting your object for 3d printing make sure to switch this preference under Edit > Preferences > System > Units Setup . The new setting is called Custom and lets you specify all lengths, angles, and weights by either typing in numbers or selecting from a dropdown menu of common values such as millimeters (i.e. mm), centimeters (i.e. cm) or inches (i.e. in). At any rate, it’s important not to mix units so meters for example wouldn’t be ideal since we want our finished object to measure 100mm on each axis and not 10cm x 10cm x 10cm which would produce a cube measuring only 100mm x 100mm x 100mm.
The Object Axis is also important when it comes to 3d printing because all coordinates are expressed in relation to the printer’s build platform which is usually flat and horizontal so if we enter 0,0,100 here our object will be printed upright with its bottom resting on the build plate.
Any numerical value below zero will move your geometry down while anything above it moves it up towards the top of its virtual bed which makes sense since this axis points away from you during normal print operations. Another thing to keep in mind when working with 3d printers is that they’re not perfect machines and their axes may not be perfectly aligned or calibrated so there’s always a chance that you end up printing an inverted object like in this example where we set 100,0,0 and ended up with a bottom that was facing upwards
The reason is that the build platform’s X and Y axes aren’t perfectly horizontal but at a slight angle so when trying to print our cylinder it slips off.
To avoid this we need to either add some sort of raft or brim since they help give added support to the base area of the object in order for it not to lose its contact with the printer’s bed during printing.
They also add extra layers on top/below your geometry which strengthens your finished piece; however, ensure that you don’t use too much material and end up wasting good PLA by making unnecessary rafts! I’ll go over this later
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d?
Another option would be to use the Offset setting since it moves your object’s origin (0,0,0) away from the platform’s center bottom.
By default this is set to 0mm which means that you’d be printing your object starting at its surface but by increasing this value we can move it up, for example, making sure that any potential sag will be below where our object actually is rests on the build plate now.
The Orientation tab lets you define how will your geometry face once exported to XYZ.
For now, I’d leave all 3 axes with their respective settings as they are since they’ll temporarily be changed during actual printing instead of only when exporting models in .stl format. This process usually takes a few tries before getting right so if you screw up don’t worry, simply undo your changes by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+Z or going up to Edit > Undo. And if you need to go back even further you can always use the history panel on the right side.
What is important however are Z-Up and Y-Up since they’re specifically set for 3d printing purposes so that models exported in .stl format are oriented correctly for their intended machine.
You can see that here I have both my Object Axis highlighted along with its respective setting of Z-Up which makes sure that geometry will be facing upwards when it’s eventually printed. However, X-Up doesn’t matter here since it prints without this but this would obviously change if we an object rotated around to say the X-axis.
Finally, there’s the Rotate Around section which is used to define whether your object will be printed flat on its back or standing upright with its side touching the build plate.
For now, let’s leave Flat on Build Plate selected since this means that our object will be lying down during printing but don’t worry you can always change this for example by clicking on Flip Along X-Axis if you wanted your object to print sideways with its flat side facing upwards.
Just keep in mind that selecting anything other than Flat on Build Plate will result in a different Z-Axis value because objects are usually printed upright and not flat so they need to go up! That’s it for now, click OK to save these changes and make sure that your main steps/layers settings are also correct. If you do edit these make sure to click on Re-slice in Slice3D after saving any additional changes.
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d? (cre: materialise)
The slicing process
Now let’s quickly go over the most important thing – the slicing process! Slic3r is pretty much a tool that takes your .STL model and slices it up into many horizontal layers before sending each one to a 3d printer.
For example, our default calibration cube will consist of around 200 slices with each slice being at least 0.1mm thick if not more depending on your layer height setting which we’ll cover next:
Viewing this information is very important when trying to achieve better results since you can see how printing 30% infill for example would take twice as long as printing at 10%. You can then use this information to experiment with different settings and find the sweet spot that’ll work best for your specific model. Let’s go over each main setting starting with Layer Height which is measured in either mm or %:
A lower number
A lower number makes for a smoother object but also takes longer since it creates more slices while having a higher layer height makes for faster prints but they will be rougher due to less detail.
So depending on how smooth you want your finished model to look I’d suggest somewhere around 0.28-0.35mm layer heights since they produce decent results without taking forever to print.
But most importantly don’t think too much about these numbers because my advice would be just to experiment and find out what works best for your specific needs. Next, we have the Infill which is also either measured in mm or %, but this time it’s used to determine how solid the inside of our model should be
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d?
A higher number
A higher number means that there will be more material at the center so you’ll print something similar to a hollow block while 0% would basically leave us with an object filled only by air.
This doesn’t mean however that infill can’t be used for other purposes besides making objects hollow because using a combination of different settings it’s possible to create additional structures within smaller models such as support materials which are required if you want to print anything overhanging certain areas since they’re otherwise impossible to print. And lastly, under the Infill Pattern section, you can choose between different methods for filling in your model’s interior
Most people tend to like using a grid filled with lines because it looks nice and it’s easy to spot any errors if they do occur, but personally, I rather print infills of large interconnected polygons since this way my finished object always has a uniform look which is great if you need multiple identical parts. If you ever messed around with some of these settings before you should’ve noticed that viewing the 3d preview on the lower right changes depending on what setting you currently have selected, so let’s quickly go over them starting with Layer View
This model shows us exactly how our sliced object will look like when printed by displaying every single slice at once while not having any of them overlap, but for now, just ignore this mode since we’ll come back to it later on. Next up you have Solid View which is what most people use since it shows us exactly how our object will look like when printed without too much detail:
But because of this lack of detail, you might find yourself constantly switching between the layer and solid view modes depending on what your needs are, that’s why I’d suggest using X-Ray since it makes seeing internal structures easier but sometimes ends up looking rather messy due to all those lines running through everything
And lastly once again for convenience, there’s Wireframe View which turns everything into a wireframe model so that stuff doesn’t get too complicated to spot anything wrong with, but personally I much rather use the Solid View since it’s the most useful when judging how good your model will look like in the end. Now that you know all about setting up our print’s quality let’s see how we deal with choosing an appropriate print speed which is done by adjusting either Flow or Speed settings:
Flow basically works the same way as Layer Height, meaning that a lower number means slower printing while higher numbers create faster prints but might result in objects having uneven layers and looking messy.
As for Speed however this setting determines how fast each individual layer will be printed at a given time, so a higher number would mean that less time will be required to complete a single layer but on the other hand, there’s also a chance of messing up the model’s layers so I’d suggest to keep it as low as possible.
And now onto the next important setting which is called Retraction and what this option does is pretty much slowly retract filament from our nozzle after a certain distance of movement, meaning that any air bubbles will be pushed back into the nozzle instead of being left behind:
If you don’t have a clue why this might be necessary then let me just give you an example since it mostly has to do with overhangs.
When making a small object anything below 45 degrees can normally be printed without any issues but once we start raising those angles problems may occur such as thin layers becoming weak and flimsy or thin lines getting broken off because they couldn’t hold up on their own.
All of these issues are caused by the material left in our nozzle which causes it to cool down slower than usual and thus makes filament drool out over time, but what retraction basically does is stop the flow of filament before it reaches that point so that you won’t have to deal with any problems just because your printer refused to listen for a few seconds. However once again there’s a catch since this process will require some extra time after completing each layer just so that the print head can go back to normal speed, meaning longer printing times, especially when attempting complex models.
Can You 3d Print From Cinema 4d? (cre: makezine)
Cura C4D Lite: How to remove the “C4D Lite” watermark from your projects
As you probably know by now, Cura C4D Lite is a C4D to Unity exporter that eliminates most of the limitations found in the free version. One of these limitations is that every time you save or export your project, it shows this message:
This can be annoying especially if you are working on someone’s computer and don’t have written access to all the folders. This guide will teach how to get rid of this “C4D Lite” mark so that no one has to see it again! The process only takes 5 minutes! Let’s begin.
1) Download Autotkey here if you don’t have it already: http://www.autohotkey.com/
2) After installing Autohotkey, open up a notepad and write this: (Remember to save the file as an .ahk file instead of a .txt or some other extension!)
You can change ‘YOURNAME’ to anything you want! ; This example is set to remove the text “C4D Lite” StringTrimLeft, YourName, YourName, 9 MsgBox %YourName% Return 3) Save the file as “removec4dwatermark.ahk” where ever you like!
4) Now, right-click on it and select run at logon if you don’t know how to run it. Right-click again and select ‘Exit’ if you want to stop it.
5) You’re done! You can now save or export your project without the “C4D Lite” watermark showing up!
Cinema 4D is a popular 3d modeling software that offers users the ability to create and render photorealistic digital content. It has been used in commercials, broadcast animations, video games, architectural visualizations, engineering design concepts, and more.
This article discusses how you can use this program for your own projects as well. To learn more about rendering images with C4D’s built-in renderer or using other third party programs like Octane Renderer and Redshift Render visit our website today!
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