New User with first piece and printed model

Hello to everybody,
Amazing software and amazing users in this group. I got Zbrush over the weekend and did this skull in around 2 hours. I have a lot to learn but am amazed at how easy it was to jump right in. I can’t wait to really get into this program and see what I can do. I own a product development studio outside Chicago (www.pardev.com) and I am very exited to begin utilizing this program as a regular means of development. I printed some of the skulls on our Objet 3D-printer to see how well they would translate into reality. 3 of them built in under 3 1/2 hours. I was able to manage with some of the software we have here, but am searching for the best pipeline to convert the Zbrush files into .stl, .iges., .step, and parasolid files but . Any suggestions in this area would be greatly appreciated! skull.jpg

Raaahhh… A 3d printer… The dream…

Good star and superb website¡¡¡
I like very much your site design is very elegant and funcionnaly¡¡

For the format conversion, I would recommend exporting from ZBrush as OBJ, then using Polytrans to convert to STL< IGES and the other formats you want.

You can find out about Polytrans here:



Thanks for looking and thanks a million for the converison info .

Hi sshark,

Good work on the skull, you’ll have to post more photos when you get other ZBrush models printed.

Deep Exploration www.righthemisphere.com is also a good translator for polygonal models and it can batch process files too. Its also very fast even with millions of polys.

Getting a nurbs surface from a polygonal model (which I assume is what you mean in reference to IGS and Parasolid) is a more complicated and/or expensive matter. RapidForm and Geomagic are two expensive reverse engineering packages that generate nurbs models from polygonal models. They both have automated nurbs generation, though in practice I would assume some tweaking is needed to obtain a good nurbs model.

Rhino has the Smurf plugin that aids the process of manually drawing nurbs curves over your model and generating a surface between them. Much more time is involved with Rhino and Smurf than with the two packages above, but then, its less than one-tenth of the cost of the other packages.

FormZ has a Re-Engineering plugin to automatically process polygonal models into nurbs surfaces, and it is relatively inexpensive. You can download the demo of FormZ to test the Re-Engineering function, but you won’t be able to save the model. I have test it soon myself!


Thanks Chris!
I will definitely look into your suggestions and will post more models as I create them. I hope to be prolific.
I have a question for anyone who has experience with Solidworks (it’s our in-house CAD package). There is an OBJ import/export plug-in for Solidworks (www.fpsols.com/obj_import_sw.html) , but the demo version only allows files with less than 50 faces (not a chance with a refined ZB model). Has anybody used this and can you lament on how effective it is at bridging Zbrush with Solidworks? I have found a few good options for getting .stl but I need to also get machinable databases for CNC (.iges, .step, parasolid, etc.). It would be great if this also allowed me to work back and forth between the 2 programs.

Deep Exploration will export an STL that has worked just fine in my machining application, DeskProto, which will handle surfaces as well as solids. The potential issue with STL format is that some apps may expect a solid or enclosed volume. I don’t know if SolidWorks expects this as well.


Unfortunately Solidworks does need to read a solid model and so does our CAM package (Gibbs). Solidworks will import .stl but they are dummy solids and you can’t do anything with them except view. We are trying to integrate ZB directly into our CAD/CAM system if possible without having to buy a string of additional programs to pipe data through just to get it into something useable, but I think I will take a look at DeskProto too. Thanks for all the insight!

Wow the hand is very realistic!!! :laughing:

Serious: Good work, and nice web:+1: