Do surface normals affect quality of a slicing?

  • I have a programmatically generated fractal mesh and it's not easy to get an accurate normal for a given triangle. I was wondering if there is any benefit to producing an accurate normal for a triangle in an STL file, vs just populating with the right hand rule derived normal or leaving the field blank.

  • MatterHackers

    Hey @fabricatedmath

    While I think the answer in short is going to be Yes, I wanted to back up and ask what software are you using to make these mathematically generated models?

    One thing to remember is that the model has to be a solid body for most slicers to be able to slice the model for printing.

  • Hey @michael-petitclerc,

    It's all self written, but I'm sure it's one connected model and it's air tight with decent thickness in all spots. It's just an odd case where it looks super faceted with the right-handed normals and it's smooth with the normals explicitly calculated (at least in 3dsMax and MeshLab).

  • MatterHackers

    Hey @fabricatedmath

    You are right at the edge of my knowledge and I understand what you are saying but man... LOL.

    Alright, so the best thing we can do is load the model into the slicer and see what it gives us. If all else fails we could give MeshMixer a shot and see what it produces.

  • MatterHackers

    The polygon winding may affect the renderer, but in the slicer there is no problem with polygons being wound either clockwise or counterclockwise.

    You should see good results no matter what.

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