Pep Models to 3D Printing Models?

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by Aiden26, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Aiden26

    Aiden26 Member

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    Hey guys. I just wanted to ask if it was possible to take a pepakura model and change it up for 3D printing? There's some stuff I really want to make but modeling them would be to difficult for me. Thanks!
  2. laellee

    laellee Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It can be done, but there will typically be three problems to deal with:

    1: Most pep models are not water-tight, and since they have no wall thickness, they can't be printed. This requires going in and adding the wall thickness (or making the entire object watertight, essentially solid) so that the printer actually has volume to print. These modifications would require 3d modeling software, as they can't be accomplished in Pepakura.
    2: Besides the need for the model to have volume, the geometries have to arranged in a way that a 3d printer can use; a lot of pep files are split into multiple parts, sometimes overlapping and sometimes spaced apart, so these issues have to be addressed as well. Separate pieces will need to either be stitched together and cleaned up, oriented individually so that they can be printed properly, and/or cut down to size to fit the printer's bed. There is software (like netfabb and meshmixer) out there that can accomplish a lot of this stuff, or these corrections can also be done in modeling software such as Blender.
    3- So let's say you've got a pep file, and it turns out you got lucky and it will print if you plugged the model into a 3d printer. Pep files by their nature are low-definition, with less details and fewer polygons, giving them a blockier and more faceted look. This is just because the lower the definition, the less folds/cuts/etc in paper have to be made, making an easier pep, where high-res would be the opposite. And every pep model is different, a paper pep model of a plain cube would 3d print awesome because it's 6 sides and they're all flat, where as the curved top dome of a helmet would only print as smooth as the pep model was, so you'd likely get a bunch of flat surfaces and not a smooth dome.

    Hope that helps. Pep files can be smoothed and made high-res for 3d printing, but it does take a bit of 3d modeling usually.
    Fawbish likes this.
  3. Aiden26

    Aiden26 Member

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    Thanks for the help! I actually have Blender and been watching a lot of tutorials and been practicing.
  4. xroninx

    xroninx New Member

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    Did you ever succeed in doing this? If so do you have pictures of the final results? Any tips you can offer for converting pep to 3d print? Thanks!

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