The High Pro Glow

Welcome! The topics introduced in this blog will vary wildly. Here, you will find a lot of odd topics that are here to help somebody in need. I post off-beat information, hard to find history, & stuff that is otherwise seldom regurgitated in our modern place. Sit back & find something interesting. Comment if you have a need or suggestion.

Thank you for crossing paths!

Christopher R. Smith (aka. Littlehorn)

I've got it on! Have you got it on?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Convert LDraw Parts to STL Files for 3D Printing

    3D Printers are becoming very affordable and really useful to prototype any idea. The ability to 3D print physical objects has also afforded solutions to many problems. One such problem is the fact that LEGO does not continually or currently produce every part/element they have produced in the past. Since many fantastic and useful parts are extremely rare or completely extinct the 3D Printing solution can help LEGO builders explore the possibilities of dormant or unobtainable elements. In this article I will quickly guide you through the simple process of converting LDraw Parts into STL files for 3D Printing purposes. It will require some knowledge in common Windows operations and in the software noted so spending a little time exploring the software will help you to grasp the process. I have converted the kit# 4481 Hailfire Droid Hoop Wheel part and created STL files and made them available HERE.

    To Begin..if you already have MLCad, the LDraw Parts Library, and LDView (must install 4.2 Beta 1) installed skip to Step 1 Below. If you do not already have MLCad, the LDraw Parts Library, and LDView installed, please use this CAD Quick Install Guide - LDraw to quickly install the software needed to easily use and convert LDraw Parts towards use with your 3D printer. Additionally, please send me some feedback on your experience using this guide!

Step 1:
Start MLCad and add a part file into a window at the center coordinates of x = 0.0, y = 0.0, z = 0.0. Save this file as an .LDR file to your PC.

Step: 2:
Start LDView and open the saved file.

Step: 3:
When the file is displayed within LDView's window..Navigate to File Menu > Export... export file by selecting the <Save as type:> dropdown box under the filename input box and select... "STL: Stereo Lithography File". Select the "Options" button and choose a dimensional unit..and save to your PC. There is a bug here..the "mm" and "cm" selections both produce files in "CM" units. It has been noted to the developer and will be fixed in the next LDView release.

Conversion use this file in your 3D Printing software and print the part. These files can also be a starting point used to design new parts by altering the parts with other CAD software.

Not difficult. Feedback is appreciated!


At 11:20 PM, Blogger Wolly Barabash said...

Thank you for these instructions. Saved me time! I immediately converted a large gear and printed it on my 3d printer. Worked like a charm! I also print VEX IQ robotics parts as almost all are in .dat format now.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Stephen Ellwood said...

Worked perfectly for me. Managed to convert a rare piece for Lego Friends so I can print multiple copies for my daughter.


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