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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:46 am 
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Since the source is available, I have to wonder how difficult it would be to remove the dependency on .NET and XNA in order to make this program usable on non-Windows systems.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:18 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
Actually, if I select one face from a part, I get the following dialog box when saving as STL: http://prntscr.com/1kt87l - have you tried selecting the part before hitting save as?

Oh my gosh, Tom. I actually didn't know that existed. I've been doing "insert body into new part" for years. This should save a lot of headaches in the future!

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:56 pm 
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very cool, Tom!

is there any benefit in getting higher density than 10%?

-D


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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Derek Bosch wrote:
very cool, Tom!

is there any benefit in getting higher density than 10%?

-D


Of course, you get a 50% discount for volumes above 20cm^3.

Which means that if the total volume is less than 20cm^3, one should not bother packing efficiently.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Derek Bosch wrote:
very cool, Tom!

is there any benefit in getting higher density than 10%?

-D

Testing suggests no. I packed a puzzle to 10.2%, 13%, and then 15% and the price was identical in all three cases.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:30 am 
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Derek Bosch wrote:
is there any benefit in getting higher density than 10%?
Not at all, once the 10% density is reached the 50% discount kicks in for all volume over 20cm3. However, if the calculated density is very close to 10%, due to the algorithms Shapeways use, they might see it as less than 10% and so you don't get the discount. I always ain for at least 10.5% to be sure.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:30 am 
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Is there anything other than volume and density that is used for the price calculation? Because one of my puzzle that I stacked with the "exploded assembly" technique have a volume of 101cm³ and a density of 6%, and with Tom software I stacked the same puzzle with a density of 9%... Surprisingly, the price is the same for both. With a density increase of 3%, I hoped that the price would have dropped a little. :(

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:15 am 
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There's a hard cutoff at 10%. The base price of a model is 1.5+1.4*volume but if the density is at least 10% and the volume at least 20 then 15.5+0.7*volume is used instead.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:25 pm 
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I have done a spreadsheet to help with the calculations
Attachment:
File comment: Shapeways calculator
Shapeways Calculator.xls [25.5 KiB]
Downloaded 30 times
Just customise it for your local currency and tax.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:03 pm 
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I have even found that 10.00% density does not earn the discount.
Density must be strictly greater than 10.00 but not equal or less.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:12 pm 
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JasonSmith wrote:
I have even found that 10.00% density does not earn the discount.
Density must be strictly greater than 10.00 but not equal or less.

Do we know how Shapeways computes the volume of parts? The volume of an arbitrary solid seems non-trivial. I figured they just voxelized the space and counted enclosed voxels. Perhaps there is a smarter way to do it?

With the voxel method I don't think we can know EXACTLY what Shapeways thinks the volume (and therefor density) is.

Edit: perhaps there is a good way to do it: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1406029/how-to-calculate-the-volume-of-a-3d-mesh-object-the-surface-of-which-is-made-up

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:00 am 
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Hi Tom, I tried out Partstacker on a puzzle but unfortunately, no matter what I do, the program always crashes. The triangle count is just under 1 million and the model contains about 111 parts. What might be causing this?

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:44 am 
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The easiest way for me to diagnose any problems is if you're willing to send me the STL files.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:25 am 
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benpuzzles wrote:
Hi Tom, I tried out Partstacker on a puzzle but unfortunately, no matter what I do, the program always crashes. The triangle count is just under 1 million and the model contains about 111 parts. What might be causing this?


Are you using windows 8? I have used PartStacker on a Windows 7 laptop and it works just fine, but take it to a Windows 8 laptop and it either crashes or it just takes *literally?* forever. The same STLs were used in both cases.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:41 am 
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rubikcollector123 wrote:
benpuzzles wrote:
Hi Tom, I tried out Partstacker on a puzzle but unfortunately, no matter what I do, the program always crashes. The triangle count is just under 1 million and the model contains about 111 parts. What might be causing this?


Are you using windows 8? I have used PartStacker on a Windows 7 laptop and it works just fine, but take it to a Windows 8 laptop and it either crashes or it just takes *literally?* forever. The same STLs were used in both cases.

Actually, I'm using windows 7...weird.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:31 pm 
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benpuzzles wrote:
Actually, I'm using windows 7...weird.

I've managed to run the program out of memory. 2GB of userspace memory just isn't enough for complex models. With the 1M triangle limit though I suppose most of the time the Shapeways limit is below the 32bit limit.

Can you reproduce the error if you just set one copy per part? If so, try removing parts until you figure out which part or combination of parts are causing the issue.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:10 pm 
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I feel dumb right now...I only learned a few minutes ago that you're SUPPOSED to import each part type and the program will stack each one...oops :oops:
Well, now it works just fine!

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Alright, so I uploaded one of my packed sets of parts to shapeways and I'm getting a very strange problem. Here is what the Shapeways rendering looks like:
Attachment:
problem 2.jpg
problem 2.jpg [ 290.89 KiB | Viewed 2970 times ]

You can clearly see parts that are merged with each other/clashing.
Here are the parts from the SAME angle in partstacker:
Attachment:
problem 1.jpg
problem 1.jpg [ 231.15 KiB | Viewed 2970 times ]

You can clearly see that there are no such issues.
I'm not sure what to do. Is this just a graphical glitch, a problem with the export process, or something else?

EDIT: I noticed another strange occurence-partstacker reports the density being 10.7%, but when I uploaded the file shapeways determined the density as being 9.92%.

I also got this message after uploading:
Shapeways wrote:
Advanced Printability Warning Message(s):

Fixed Parsing problem: File size does not match the expected size for the given number of facets. Given 629922 facets for a total size of 31496184 but the file size is 45489084


I wonder if this helps pinpoint the issue...

DOUBLE E EDIT: It turns out I was overwriting a file when exporting. When I saved it as a separate file, it worked correctly. Now I can stop bugging everyone...

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Last edited by benpuzzles on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:10 pm 
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How strange, I haven't had this happen...

Doesn't shapeways immediately reject uploads that have seperate bodies merged inside each other?

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:19 pm 
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benpuzzles wrote:
DOUBLE E EDIT: It turns out I was overwriting a file when exporting. When I saved it as a separate file, it worked correctly. Now I can stop bugging everyone...


Saving a file using read/write mode when opening the file handle instead of write mode is definitely a bug.


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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:25 am 
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Hold on, how come on one of my computers, PartStacker has a 'minimum clearance' feature but on another it does not? Was there a new version?

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:51 am 
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Yes, it's a new feature.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:12 am 
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Ok. I finally managed to get 10% by reducing the minimum clearance to 0.7mm.

Great!

EDIT: I must ask, does the program produce the same packing everytime with the same settings? It does seem so.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:21 am 
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Yes. No randomization is used.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:57 am 
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Could you make the program display more decimal places? Because it rounded off 9.96% into 10% and it took 30 minuts to finish so it is kind of annoying. :?

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:04 am 
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In the next release it will always round down. Thanks for pointing this out.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Just to counter all of the beta testers negative (I don't mean that in a bad way) remarks, this is a great program and it will save me loads of time prepping for Shapeways. Thanks Tom.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Gus, I didn't mean for my feedback to come out in bad way at all.

It did help me alot with packing parts! :D (from $150 to less than $100)

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:02 am 
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Man, I just used it on a puzzle I was NOT looking forward to packing, and after a few iterations with different box sizes, it got 14%. Tom, thank you so much for releasing this.

Guys, if you're using this, Donate at the bottom of Tom's page!

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:44 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
I'm running 64 bit Windows 8 and I was able to get the program installed but when I try to run it nothing happens.
Ok... I haven't had a chance to play with this since last weekend.
TomZ wrote:
Okay, I've uploaded a new version of the application, which hopefully should fix this.
Ok. Old version uninstalled and new version installed. Nope... still nothing.
TomZ wrote:
Could you make sure that you have the most recent .NET framework installed? http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download ... x?id=17851
Ok... ran this and still nothing. Not even an error message.
bmenrigh wrote:
I found the problem. You have to have the XNA framework installed:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20914

Leave it to Microsoft to fail silently and not leave any hint at all of what the issue is. Not a single reference to XNA or any other missing library in the event log, much less a dialog box...
FIXED!!!! Thanks SO much guys. It finally opens for me now. I haven't played with it yet but at least now I can.

Quick question... I recall a conversation about you making this packing of the Multi Gear Cube kit for me:
Attachment:
MGCK_packing.jpg
MGCK_packing.jpg [ 70.12 KiB | Viewed 2644 times ]

I scanned my email and I didn't see it so maybe it was a conversation we had at the DC IPP (then again maybe I dreamed it). Anyways I recall you forced it to place the bigger parts first and then to fit the small tiles in the voids left behind. You said without this all the tiles were places next to each other. Is part placement order something we can change in this version or does it now automatically place the biggest parts first.

Thanks again SO much for making this available and for this thread which helped me get it running,
Carl

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:58 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
I recall you forced it to place the bigger parts first and then to fit the small tiles in the voids left behind. You said without this all the tiles were places next to each other. Is part placement order something we can change in this version or does it now automatically place the biggest parts first.

The order from biggest to smallest is automatic.

I've done a bit of testing and I think sometimes there are parts that aren't the biggest that you actually want to place first. It would be nice to place parts in the order they are listed in the list box. Perhaps a up and down arrow can be added so that the user has control over their order? By default they'd import in sorted by volume order and then you could manually adjust the order.

The other feature that I think could make a big difference is controlling the starting a maximum bounding box for X, Y, and Z, not just a single value that defines the max cube. AFAIK Shapeways allows the bounding box to be any cuboid. For puzzles that are very hard to get to 10% I think having this additional control will help.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:36 am 
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May I ask what the "Section view:" check box is for? I didn't see it explained on the website and I'm playing with it now and I haven't yet noticed an effect.

Thanks,
Carl

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:50 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
May I ask what the "Section view:" check box is for? I didn't see it explained on the website and I'm playing with it now and I haven't yet noticed an effect.

It changes the invisible plane that cuts off the view so that you can zoom into and see the internals of the pieces. If you haven't noticed, you can click and drag in the 3D view and the mouse scroll wheel allows you to zoom in and out. Section view matters the most with zooming.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:28 am 
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Well, it is possible I am doing something wrong but I can't even get the program to start. I have attempted to run the program on two computers both updated and have had no luck. The program installs, but the program will not run.


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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Muffet wrote:
Well, it is possible I am doing something wrong but I can't even get the program to start. I have attempted to run the program on two computers both updated and have had no luck. The program installs, but the program will not run.

.Net is failing silently on missing libraries. See http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=304829#p304829

Download and install the XNA framework from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20914. This isn't the whole dev studio, just the client libraries to get code compiled against XNA to run.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:15 pm 
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TomZ, this is awesome!

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:14 am 
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Sorry for the bump but when I import an stl the triangle count works fine but the volume shows as zero, and this leads to nothing being shown in the viewing window. Help please :(

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:55 am 
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Are you using ASCII or binary stl formats? I know that previously the program was getting confused with ASCII files because it was misinterpreting the decimal points and I was getting infinite volumes, but Tomz fixed this for me.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:58 am 
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I'm using binary.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:35 pm 
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JackRTully wrote:
Sorry for the bump but when I import an stl the triangle count works fine but the volume shows as zero, and this leads to nothing being shown in the viewing window. Help please :(

Sounds like you have non-manifold parts with a hole in the mesh. Upload a part to Shapeways to see what their checks say.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:40 pm 
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I did upload it to shapeways, it worked fine. I had a density of 5.23% which is why I wanted to use PartStacker.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:42 pm 
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JackRTully wrote:
I did upload it to shapeways, it worked fine. I had a density of 5.23% which is why I wanted to use PartStacker.

If you can, send me the stl files and I'll see if I can open them myself. It's worth a try...

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Will do, I'm just adjusting the fillets on the outside of a small piece. There was a VERY small space for a sticker to go on.

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 Post subject: Re: PartStacker - automatically packs puzzle parts efficient
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Since there was a bump...

I've packed about a dozen STLs this week with partStacker.
Thanks again Tom! Such a huge time saver.

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