Exporting ZBrush File For Milling

I have been on the phone with Synappsys Digital Services trying to figure out the best file, size and format  that my  digital sculpture of Evelyn needs to be in for them to work. This sculpture was created in the computer, will be milled out in foam and then created as a life size bronze.  Synappsys Digital Services will be milling this out for me, but first I need to get them the file.

I have already decimated the individual files, with Decimation Master in ZBrush and I talk about this in a previous post. An important thing to remember is that ZBrush can create some very large files.  Many companies that create output, for either milling or digital printing may not have the capability to handle such high resolution meshes.  I have spoken to Synappsys Digital Services and they can handle 5 million or less.

To upload the file I have called Synappsys Digital Services and asked them to provide server information to upload my files. I must be able to upload them via Ftp. I use Fetch on my mac, which works just fine.  With my FTP information ready, now all I need is the proper type of files.

Synappsys Digital Services can work with many different types of files.  They can work with obj’s but their file of preference is STL Binary.

ZBrush can save in tools in several different formats.
Making duplicates
of all of my
subtools I can
merge them
down to create
one tool that
has all of its parts.

Obtaining OBJ’s are simple.  While your Z tool or sub tool is selected go to Export and several file formats are available in the drop down menu. I need to export this sculpture in 4 pieces-both arms, the body , and the base.  I will also want to combine the pieces and send it as one file. This way Synappsys Digital Services can see how each piece goes together.   The reason why I want to separate the pieces is that if I combined all of them I will lose part of her hand as I realize that as it is placed on the digital sculpture the thumb is inside her body.  I want to work with these hands more closely once I have them enlarged and sculpted.  I need them separate and I need a thumb. They may also be milled at a different percentage to the rest of the body.  They are more defined and so the hand/arm will probably only receive  a minimum of clay on top.

Where as, the rest of the sculpture needs work.

To get an obj of all of my pieces I simply duplicated all of my subtools and then merged down these duplicated subtools together as one tool. Now I have both the subtools apart and one piece put together.

I have exported each an uploaded them up to Synappsys Digital Services but let’s see how the 3d Print Exporter plugin works in ZBrush.

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