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Although the graph of a parametrized surface can be viewed and manipulated on the computer screen as a surface in 3D, it is not quite suitable for printing on a 3D printer since such a surface has zero thickness, and thus it does not correspond to physical object.

To produce a 3D printout of a surface, it needs to be endowed with some "thickness".  To do that, we move every point from the surface in the direction of that point's nomral vector by the amount ±T/2, where T is the desired thickness.  The locus of the points thus obtained forms a thin shell of thickness T around the original surface, thus making it into a proper solid. The result then may be saved into a file in the STL format and be sent to a 3D printner for reproduction.

The worksheet attached to this post provides a facility for translating a parametrized surface into an STL file.  It also provides a command for viewing the thickened object on the screen.  The details are documented within that worksheet.

Here are a few samples.  Each sample is shown twice—one as it appears within Maple, and another as viewed by loading the STL file into MeshLab which is a free mesh viewing/manipulation software.

 

Here is the worksheet that produced these:  thicken.mw

 

 

Featured Post

We are currently in the process of updating the support FAQs at https://faq.maplesoft.com. We’ve been working on updating the existing content for clarity, and have added several new articles already.

 

The majority of our FAQs are from questions people ask us in Technical Support at support@maplesoft.com, but we’d also like to like to add content from other sources.

Since we have such a great community here at MaplePrimes, we wanted to reach out and ask if there are any articles or questions that you'd like to see added to our FAQ.

 

We look forward to hearing your feedback!



The gathering grid

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