Available in Pro and Premium versions
The planar cutting tool allows you to cut a 3D model into several pieces according to a cutting plan. It will enable, for example, to print models much larger than your 3D printer can print, cut them in different orientations to facilitate the printing process, or remove unnecessary sections.
The process is quite simple and takes place in several successive steps. However, some may be optional: placement of the cutting plane, selecting the elements to be cut, and then validation.
Once the objects have been cut, they can be manipulated like any other 3D object and can, for example, be hollowed out in 3D, have an island detection, be oriented differently, and much more.
Lychee Slicer’s chicken, cut into too many pieces!
Usage constraints #
This tool transforms a 3D model to create other models, at least two. As a consequence, some features of the original model will not necessarily be transposed to the resulting models:
- The 3D hollowing, if dynamic, will be applied to the model definitively or deleted, according to your choice.
Note: it is possible to reapply a hollowing after the operation.
- If Hollowing Blockers are used on the model, in combination with a 3D hollowing, they will also be applied to the hollowing, or the software will try to put them back in their original position.
Note: Sometimes, a hollowing blocker may be duplicated, depending on your choice.
- The already detected islands will be deleted. You will have to recalculate them.
- If the model has supports, then these are preserved. The supports remain connected according to their initial position and will consequently be connected to the different new parts. The supports connected to each element, i.e., from object to object, are also preserved, although this may cause problems when moving one part in relation to the other.
It will potentially be necessary to modify your supports according to your cuts, often to add more on the cut parts.
Another constraint concerns scenes saved in the native Lychee Slicer Lite (.LYT) format: the original object being transformed, 3D files corresponding to the cuts will be saved simultaneously as the file when the scene is saved.
The Planar Cut tool is located in the Tool sub-section, on the left toolbar, in the Layout Workspace.
The Planar Cut tool location in the Layout Workspace
To cut a model, do the following steps:
- Select the 3D model to be modified in the Layout workspace.
- Select the Planar Cut tool. Depending on your model, you will get an information panel telling you that some data may be lost or need to be transformed, such as those for hollowing. Make your choice among the possible options, then continue.
- The application interface will change to show only the actions specific to the Planar Cut tool. By default, you will be in the step that allows you to define the position of the cutting plane.
- The first step, called “Define Plane”, is to place the cutting plane. Using the manipulation gizmo, define its orientation and position.
You will see a preview of the cuts that will be defined later.
The plane itself is infinite and cannot go outside the object’s bounding box.
- The second step involves the selection of the cut-outs, determined in the previous step. To do this, click Select Cut Border: all cuts are selected in green. Click on the ones you want to deselect and thus choose the parts to cut. You can change the selection at any time within this step.
- If an outline appears in red, it is in error and cannot be cut. In some cases, you will have to select other outlines so that the cutting can be done and not have those in error.
In the example above with another model, we can see a selected cutout in error on the left. It is then necessary to choose the other cuts for this one to be valid, as shown on the right. Without this, the physical cutting of this model would be impossible.
- At any time, if you notice that the cutting plane is incorrectly positioned, you can go back to the first step and change the initial position and orientation.
- Finally, validate the cuts by clicking on Apply. You can also cancel the tool at any time by clicking on Cancel.
- The tool will apply the cuts and perform a brief animation to allow you to view the different parts generated.
- Do not hesitate to restart the tool several times to make new cuts of the same 3d model. The first image in this article shows the chicken that has been cut out four times in a row.
Additional information #
- When the operation is complete, some parts may appear in red, indicating a structural error in the 3D model. Feel free to use the Lychee Slicer model repair tool. If the model cannot be fixed, 3D printing can likely be done without problems.
Use the Clipping bar to see if anything unexpected pops up and if it does. Then your print should generally go well.
- It is possible to use the undo function once the tool is finished. You will then return to the tool with the cutting plane at its initial position. However, be careful, the number of undo operations is limited.
- The objects resulting from the cutout no longer have any relationship with the original object. They have become totally independent objects. Using the 3D model replacement function, located in the Layout workspace, will not recreate the cut applied to the original model.
- The name of the generated 3D models is based on the original name but with an incremented numbering. Cutting an object from a previous cut will again add numbering after the previous one.
- Although the tool has been developed to meet the most common cutting needs, it will not be able to perform curved cuts or cuts in a specific shape. Don’t hesitate to use software like Blender or ZBrush for this type of operation.