Using Unity I've been producing sculptural forms that look like this. It's made of patterns of cubes that twist around each other using a flocking algorithm. I'm trying to get it into a 3D printable format. enter image description here

From unity I export a PLY that is a list of the co-ords of each cube that looks like:

format ascii 1.0
element vertex 17500
property float x
property float y
property float z
35 2.521441 0
34.72401 -2.06799 4.386663
33.90041 3.202552 8.704146

Then I've imported that into meshlab and run Filters > Remeshing, Simplification and Reconstruction > Surface Reconstruction: Ball Pivoting with the default parameters.

enter image description here

This is the result (different iteration so doesn't match top image but similar) which is ok, but obviously not 3d printable.

Is there a better way of doing this in Unity to create a single mesh? I'd be happy with either a single mesh with individual lines or a mesh that makes a single shape as if it were shrink wrapped.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would it be appropriate to treat the sequence of cubes of a single colour as a spline, then extrude a tube-shaped mesh over those spline points? There's some past Q&A about constructing a tube around a sequence of points here \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Nov 4, 2020 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may also want to consider forming a signed distance field from your points (or segments between consecutive points to avoid a string-of-pearls look), and using marching cubes to mesh an isosurface of that field. That would guarantee you get a water-tight mesh with no self-intersections. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Nov 4, 2020 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've had a look at signed distance fields here (jasmcole.com/2019/10/03/signed-distance-fields) and it looks somewhat beyond my understanding. A tube mesh would work definitely, I haven't managed to find any tutorials for doing that in Unity (it also seems to be called lofting). \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom
    Nov 5, 2020 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there any suitable techniques for wrapping the entire shape? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom
    Nov 5, 2020 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory jsut realised you probably won't see those comments unless I @ you! \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom
    Nov 6, 2020 at 14:22


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