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Do 3D printers prefer particular topology? In case I'm not using the word quite right, I'm specifically wondering if I should make the faces in my models:

  1. triangles
  2. quads
  3. n-gons..

1 Answer 1

The most common file format in 3D printing is STL. This file format is using triangles only so when you export an object from your CAD application to STL then exporter has to transform all n-gon faces into triangles.

Once the file is created then it is usually imported by slicer application (or module) which performs slicing using polynomial calculation to find intersection with next surfaces. Here is good example of such intersection finding in javascript.

So answering your question:

  • no - it doesn't matter as you usually use file format in which faces are triangles but
  • yes - it matters as all your n-gon faces needs to be transformed into triangles