Is there a way to make a Daz file for a 3D printer?
Yes. Here is what you need to do.
Download and install Meshlab, netFabb and Sculptris - all are free downloads.
When you have your figure in D|S, export it to .OBJ format. Use the D|S units setting and export at 20% scale.
Once you have the .OBJ file, import it into Meshlab. Unify duplicate vertices if you get a message asking if you want to do that.
Then export the model as .OBJ once again.
Import the model into netFabb. Click on the red cross button and then select Close All Holes from the repair menu.
Once that is done, use the surfaces editing tool to remove things like eyelashes and other small details that would not be able to be 3D printed. After that has been completed, do another repair. Make sure that you don’t have any holes, flipped triangles or degenrative faces. Do additional repairs as required, just keep the tolerance to a low value ie, 0.005 to 0.0001. Start with the lowest value and work your way up. This could take a while before you get an optimum result.
ALWAYS REMOVE THE OLD MODEL after applying a repair.
When you think you have the best model possible, save it as .OBJ once again, there may be a box indicating that there will be errors on export. If so, select a tolerance of 0.0001 and do the final repair. Also save this file as .STL.
Note that at this point, the original D|S mesh will be totally obliterated. That is to say, the geometry will be totally different from the original mesh files and what you have now will be the equivalent of a bunch of fruit tossed into a blender. It will have a similar shape to what you started with, but due to the requirements of producing a good 3D print, the original meshes are essentially destroyed. If you are looking to make an EXACT copy of your D|S design for 3D printing you will not succeed.
The resulting .OBJ and .STL files will be very heavy, that is to say the number of triangles will be well over 250,000. Sometimes it is possible to reduce this number to around 60,000 triangles - still heavy but much easier for 3D printing. Here is how to reduce the file weight.
Use Sculptris to load the .OBJ file. IF IT LOADS you can use one of the tools to reduce the resolution of the model. I believe it reduces it by 10% each time. It could take a while to accomplish this task, but the final result of around 60,000 triangles is much easier to 3D print. Of course, with such a reduction in triangles, the resutling model is blocky. A lot of detail is removed and the surfaces are not very smooth. At this point, any resemblance to the original D|S meshes are pretty much removed. It will have the same general shape, but the quality has been trashed. Save the model as .OBJ once again and use netFabb to do any final fixes (once again!) and save the model as .STL for 3D printing.
If you can’t get Sculptris to load the file, you will be stuck with a VERY heavy model for 3D printing. Sometimes they print OK, sometimes you get strange results and sometimes the printer will bomb and you will only get a partial print.
All in all, this process can take several hours for a novice and the results are not guaranteed to 3D print properly.
And, to echo Richard “3D printing aren’t available so the EULA doesn’t allow it”. However, I am not 100% sure if that pertains to people who have their own 3D printer and thus the original meshes are not redistributed to anyone else. From my understanding of the EULA, the primary concern is around the redistribution of the D|S meshes. And, I am sure, we can all understand that the developers and PAs don’t want their intellictual property distributed and, potentially, copied. One PA that I have corresponded with has told me that they have no issue with me 3D printing their content, as long as it is for my own PERSONAL use. For commercial purposes, I will have to buy the 3D print license. I am still waiting for DAZ to list these licenses on the DAZ store.
So, yes, you can use my method to produce a 3D printable file. BUT until there is a very easy to understand statement from DAZ, ie “You may print 3D models derived from Content for your own PERSONAL use” I would not suggest doing any 3D prints.
For commercial 3D use, you will have to buy the 3D print license - no dobut about that.
Of course, if you are just looking to print little people and such, keep in mind that you can use Makehuman and Blender to create humanoid figures. These free programs allow for commercial use without a license.
For that matter, if you are a student, you can go to Autodesk and download the Educational versions of Maya, 3ds Max, and Mudbox for free. Autodesk also has a free education series on how to use these programs. These programs allow for NON commercial use only.
As to myself, I am just waiting until the 3D print license becomes available. It was suggested that such licenses would be available before the end of April 2013.