PhotoScan to ShapewaysWritten by Paul Bourke
The following are some brief notes around the conversion of PhotoScan reconstructed models to Shapeways for 3D printing. Some additional notes can be found here around editing in MeshLab and thickening in Blender. This document is mostly aimed at the file formats available from PhotoScan and the requirements for Shapeways. As is often the case the difficulty here arises from poor software support, in this case it arises from deficiencies on the Shapeways site, they are: incomplete support for textured meshes through OBJ and 3ds files, the incomplete support for zip archives (in this case those created on the Mac by MacOSX).Build model in PhotoScan
It is assumed here that the model is a closed surface, that is, has no holes. Photoscan has a number of tools to facilitate this, see the hole closing and the extrapolation option in the mesh building stage.
Example used in this tutorial
At the time of writing the following formats are recommended on the Shapeways site.
The following export formats are available from PhotoScan.
A commentary/comparison of the formats in common is
The preferred formats then are: obj, 3ds and dae. Unfortunately Shapeways has discontinued obj support. At the time of writing Shapeways rejects the 3ds file from PhotoScan, despite every other package tried working fine.
So, only dae left. The last part of the story is how to combine all the assets (geometry file and texture) into one package for Shapeways. Instead of offering multiple file uploads of the assets, pretty simple these days, they insist on a single zip file. Unfortunately it seems Shapeways is a little fussy over what can be in the zip file. Specifically, the zip file that MacOSX creates by selecting files and right clicking isn't accepted, despite every other unzip (and other 3D printing companies) accepting it.
If one is familiar with the command line then this creates a zip file that Shapeways can handle.
zip slab3.zip slab3.jpg slab3.dae
There are no doubt zip utilities that create zip files acceptable to Shapeways, however iZip does not work, the uploaded zip files seem to crash the Shapeways upload system. Keka does seem to work. YemuZip does seem to work. Others can be tried by the reader ... note that the issue seems to be around other files some zip applications include in the archive, so disabling that in the applications preferences (if possible) is encouraged.