Model Decomposition



Hi Guys,

One of the projects that really caught my eye when I first came to the site was the 3d globe project, and I was wondering how it was done.

I am a programmer, and I was thinking that if you haven’t already written a tool for this that I would write a utility that decomposed 3d modes from one of the common formats into arbitrary thickness slices that could then be fed to the GF for cutting. This would then make it pretty trivial to print all sorts of 3d models.

Should I look into it, or have you already written this? The algorithm seems relatively simple, I’d just have to figure out how to plug the output into an API or something that the GF could consume.

Suggestion for GF 2.0: angling the laser. (That would be sooooooo cool, angled cuts…)

PS, I think I work about 5 blocks North of you guys. Small world, eh?


I believe the designer used Autodesk 123D Make to take the solid model and make it into slices which were then processed through Illustrator.

Angled cuts would be super cool! The biggest problem with that is that the material the laser needs to cut through increases with the angle (eg a 45º cut is √2 * the material thickness). Doable, but definitely tricky.

Small world indeed :smile: Hope to see you at our next open house!


I tried 123D Make with a ZBrush model and it didn’t work. I’d love to see an alternative on the Mac.


123d make


I think the more options and tools available the better!