Even a resource blog needs a resource page. Here are some links to places on the web that we think others may find useful:
This consulting company is a provider of technical and strategic information and advice on rapid prototyping. On their site you can find such things as:
- The annual Wohlers Report, the most comprehensive listing of what is going on with RP available
- The Wholers Talk Blog, Views, perspective, and commentary from Terry Wohlers
- A collection of videos from the press where Terry Wohlers talks about Rapid Prototyping
- A very comprehensive listing of links to Service Providers, people who make RP machines, Software and 3D Models, and the best list of RP related sights on the web.
STL File Format
Wikipedia has a nice article on the STL File format and its history. If you ever need to write your own STL file from your own software, this is a good place to start.
If you can not find what you are looking for on The RP Resource, you may want to try some of these other sites:
- Rapid Prototyping Home Page – University of Utah website for rapid prototyping, a major destination since 1995. If it is not listed here… well you probably don’t need it.
- RP-ML – A very active electronic mailing list for users of RP technology.
- RapidToday – an online “magazine” for the RP industry
- Shapeways – an online startup that sells a huge range of 3D prototypes that artists and other creatives from around the world upload for you to look through. This is a great place to see what is new with 3D Printing outside of the world of engineering.
There is a lot of free software out there that can be used by people involved in rapid prototyping or 3D printing. But it is free, and you get what you pay for:
- CADspan – converts Google SketchUp models to STL
- Meshlab – the best Open Source tool for dealing with mesh geometry, like STL files. Use this tool to translate between formats, view your STL’s , and even do some repair. Linux, Windows, MacOS.
- ‘topeScope – Tool for viewing STL files on a Mac.
To be efficient and effective users need the right tools. You will of course need a good CAD package. Almost all of them will output a great STL file. In addition, we recommend some of the following tools:
- Geomagic – We like this software so much, we sell it. If you need to deal with legacy faceted data, scan data, or repair bad faceted data, this is the tool.
- SolidView – A nice set of tools for dealing with RP data. This tool is very popular with service providers like PADT as well as larger companies that do a lot of RP. It is useful for repair, translation, scaling, and modifying STL files in a dozen different ways.