by General Fabb
Preparing 3D models for 3D printing is often problematic. They're in the wrong orientation, wrong size, etc. While most 3D printer-specific operation software can do rudimentary orientation and sizing, you'll still have to use other programs to fix errors in the model and slice it into printable form. That will change with the introduction of File2Part.
Tom Davidson, team leader, says File2Part is "everything you need to get from a CAD file to a part". Indeed, it can "load, fix and print" your 3D model, thus theoretically avoiding the multi-program scenario that so often confronts 3D printer owners.
File2Part is apparently capable of generating GCODE for many different kinds of 3D printers, including MakerBot, PrintrBot, BFB, RepRap and others. It also provides sophisticated "fixing" capability at the touch of a button without the requirement to learn complex 3D modeling terminology and concepts.
There are two very attractive advantages to File2Part beyond simply reducing the number of tools: It handles color 3D printing and slices your model very fast. You may not yet have a color 3D printer, but this software will handle it for you.
Is File2Part available? No. At the moment it exists as a KickStarter project, where the team seeks funding to proceed. There are a variety of offerings on their KickStarter page, ranging from USD$39 for the Windows version, USD$49 for the Mac version and USD$99 for a lifetime upgradeable version. Looks like a pretty good deal to us, and they're almost at their goal of USD$8,500.
Via KickStarter (Hat tip to John)