With everything from 3D print fail blogs to in-depth tutorials on how to avoid various 3D printing pitfalls, it was only a matter time before we saw a 3D print preview offering. Unsurprisingly, Autodesk Labs has given us our first taste of what to expect with their all-new Project Miller app designed for testing and previewing your 3D models before hitting that all-too-important (and expensive) ‘Print’ button.
Currently a free technology preview developed to improve results with 3D printing, Project Miller is the latest utility from Autodesk Labs that can tell you among other things, if your 3D model is printable, what changes can be made, and what the final part will look like. Similar to a 2D Print Preview window in existing operating systems, the utility is a welcome ally as various operating systems begin to include 3D printing as a system-level printing option.
Once a 3D model is completed in a program such as SolidWorks or Rhino, Miller provides users with a print preview window that allows for inspection, visualization, and simulation prior to the expensive time and money commitment of running a 3D print. Considering the cost of potentially-wasted filament alone, this utility could save literally hundreds if not thousands of dollars for those who print frequently and spontaneously. Developed by Autodesk Labs, Project Miller provides users with the following print preview options:
- Result — View printing details such as feed rate, thickness or volume of extruded polymer, layer count and more
- Visual — View the model with solids or lines
- Animate — Watch how the model will be printed
- Clipping — Create a planar cut to examine the interior of your model
- Surface — If issues are detected, Miller’s Surface feature will help you re-surface your complex geometry and export an optimized 3D geometry (STL) for printing
- Mesh — Choose how to re-mesh your model
Currently, Project Miller is available as a stand-alone application. The technology preview is available until December 31, 2013.
You can download Project Miller from Autodesk here.