[Chimera-users] Export options for x3d2stl

Greg Couch gregc at cgl.ucsf.edu
Mon Dec 16 12:06:17 PST 2013

I assume you meant just run outside of Chimera.  x3d2stl would 
presumably always be run outside of Blender.

And to answer your question, right now there is no way within chimera to 
give options to x3d2stl, nor any of the other converters -- X3D output 
is the only completely native format.  So you need to first export the 
X3D output, then run x3d2stl separately with the options you require.

As you may have deduced, the -r option sets the tessellation resolution, 
roughly the number of vertices per unit area, and -c says to cap all 
primitives.  Since the sphere and cylinders intersect that chimera 
generates to represent atoms and bonds, the STL triangles also 
intersect.  And intersecting triangles cause problems for some 3D 
printer software, so you might need to limit the output to just 
surfaces.  Some 3D printer software takes VRML input, so for those 
printers, I'd recommend using Chimera VRML output, and let the 3D 
printer software do the conversion to STL.



On 12/16/2013 10:55 AM, Hurt, Darrell (NIH/NIAID) [E] wrote:
> Hi Chimera friends,
> Here's the second question of the day. Thanks for your patience with me.
> When I export the scene as an STL (for 3D printing), I think what happens is that Chimera outputs first an X3D file and then runs the utility program "x3d2stl" to create the STL. The X3D file is about 5 MB, but the STL is about 100 MB. I understand that much of this size inflation is because the "primitives" in X3D have to be converted to mesh objects for STL. However, when I look at the STL file, the meshes derived from the primitives are finer than I really need.
> I find that I can "get away with" a coarser meshification by using x3d2stl on the command line:
> x3d2stl -c -r 2 -o sticks.stl < sticks.x3d
> If I want to export the scene via the command line within Blender, is there any way to issue options to x3d2stl? Or should I just run x3d2stl outside of Blender?
> Thanks,
> Darrell
> --
> Darrell Hurt, Ph.D.
> Section Head, Computational Biology
> Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch (BCBB)
> 31 Center Drive, Room 3B62B, MSC 2135
> Bethesda, MD 20892-2135
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