A clean model with no non-manifold edges

When it comes to outputting a file for 3D printing, it's critical to check to see if a CAD file or scanned image is saved as a valid, or 'watertight,' STL file, and if it's not, repair it.

Most technicians who 3D print have experienced a failed print from time to time, and a frequent cause of those failures relates to inputting a "non-maniflold" STL file.

Now the makers of Emendo, a utility from Avante Technology, LLC, say they can save time and improve printing success rates for complex repairs. The Emendo Automated STL File Repair and Validation software package is a platform which automatically analyzes, repairs and validates STL files to ensure accurate technical representation before printing.

As STL files define the surface of the part to be printed, they need to be free of holes or inconsistencies like the dreaded "zero thickness wall," and Emendo gives users a 3D view of their files which highlights the location and type of errors found in a given file.

It works like this: Drag and drop a file to the Emendo application and it automatically checks and validates the STL file. If the file needs repair, a dialog box presents the user with the option to repair the file. When the user selects "repair," Emendo automatically repairs the file and presents a graphic display of the errors found, and it does that according to location and type. When the user saves the repaired file, they have the option to re-name it as a separate file or replace the original STL file with the repaired version.

First previewed at 3D Printer World Expo Bellevue, WA last August, the new Emendo Automated STL Validation and File Repair software is now shipping at $49.95 per copy.

Automatic model repair in progress
Automatic model repair complete

"We've managed to automate repair operations that typically require manual use of a repair toolkit," says Bob Zollo, CEO and Founder of Avante. "Commercial versions cost hundreds to thousands of dollars and require some training to become useful, but our state of the art algorithms provide an automated approach that combines two powerful repair methods to get you a printable STL file nearly every time using only a single 'Repair' button."

Zollo says that, in the rare event errors remain, Emendo automatically presents the user with a more powerful repair operation which completely rebuilds the mesh representing the surface and provides a 3D printable manifold STL file nearly every time. While the more comprehensive repair operation takes longer, it can produce a printable file out of even 'basket case' files which might typically require significant manual repair operations by a skilled technician.

You can get a copy of the software and an end user license via download at Store.Proforma3DPrinting.com and Avante says a Windows version and an SDK are currently under development.