3d printing software for the Mac

Formlabs, the developers of the first desktop vat photopolymerization process (also known as stereolithography) has just released PreForm for the Mac OS X. Based on many requests for a Macintosh-compatible version of the company’s PreForm software, it is available on Formlabs website now.

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According to Formlabs, PreForm on Mac OS X has complete feature parity with the Windows version. Subsequent releases of this software will occur for OS X and Windows-compatible versions simultaneously.

The PreForm 0.8.4 release for Windows and Mac contains a new feature — automatic mesh repair. PreForm’s mesh repair tool integrates software from Netfabb, to examine the geometric meshes that make up a digital design. It will automatically clean up artifacts, close triangles, and join vertices, so that models will print reliably on the Form 1.

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The pictures show this feature. One of the Formlab engineers punched a bunch of holes in a model he grabbed from the web (top picture). At left, the carnage; at right, after the repair.

The second image shows the model viewed through the Formlab slicer. The model at left will print poorly. You can see where the laser will skip all over the place, trying to fill broken and malformed triangles. The model on the right, however, after automatic repair, will 3D print beautifully.



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