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Posted by BeagleFury 
June 29, 2008 06:26PM
I use Blender instead of AoI, as a modeling tool. I had given Nophead a suggestion that he might want to look into Blender a bit more in depth when he found some bugs with AoI. I am not positive that Blender would resolve his situation, boolean operations on Blender bring my machine to a standstill for several minutes on complex meshes.

In any case, here is what I found, using the extruder 1.0.3 files on source forge:

- blender native unit = 1.0 mm

- normals point outward (not sure if this is necessary?)

- orientation does not seem consistant
XY: gearbox-fringe, gearbox-output-coupling, gearbox-motor-coupling, gearbox-bracket, gearbox-housing
YZ: quickfit-clamp, clamp, offset-motor-holder (?)
XZ: poly-holder, screw-holder,
?: offset-drive-coupling (Seems on a diagonal)

standard STL import / export appears to work without any problems, assuming you use the 1mm units. as noted above.
Re: Blender3D
June 30, 2008 10:38PM
I use both Maya and Milkshape3d. If you have any experience with 3D then Maya is fantastic and the boolean operations go by fast and since you can make any shape you want without adding/removing simple shapes from what I've seen AOI do, then you might not need boolean useage. It is an expensive program though, but I'm a graphics major and don't use it just for this.
Milkshape can be used to make any shape also and has a TON of 3rd party plugins and also a free one to export STL. This program is only USD 35 or EUR 25 (http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/).

I imported a complicated STL file into the host software from milkshape and it worked great. I thought I saw something on the wiki saying that the files needed to be tweaked for it to actually work. I haven't tried printing from it yet, but it imported properly without tweaking and looked fine in the 3d setup.

I've heard good things about blender, but am probably going to stick what what I know as long as it works.
I just thought I'd put out some other alternatives along with BeagleFury for everyone to contemplate.
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