Know what you're printing and how much detail you want. FDM Printer VS. SLA Printer
SLA prints the highest level of detail at .025 microns(micrometers)
1 micron = 3.93701e-5 inches
FDM printer is better for bigger prototypes
We use the Form Labs Form 2 printers at UCF that are available to any students that are majoring in certain majors like Digital Media, Engineering(don't remember all the majors).
If you are printing small objects I would recommend that you don't hollow out the middle of the object, but you can if you want to. Its personal preference and if you do hollow out the model you will save time and cost of resin material.
The Form Labs Form 2 printer comes with its own software to check the model to make sure it is print ready. It accepts STL. and OBJ. file types. I'll have some images below of how I check the model.
Here is the Wooden Crate I made this week
Here is my process for checking my mesh in Zbrush to make sure it is print ready. I also want to say that I won't be going much into hollowing out the mesh in this post.
1. If I'm able to I try to dynamesh my mesh when I'm done with everything because that creates a water tight mesh and closes any holes that could be in the mesh and could cause issues later.
2. Next, right before I'm about to export to Preform. In Zbrush I go to Geometry>MeshIntegrity> CheckMeshIntegrity(if Mesh integrity test completed successfully skip step 3)
3. Click Fix Mesh integrity if the check failed in the last step(Image Below)
4. Now time to export the mesh. I believe that the best way to export the mesh is to export as a STL file because it doesn't store certain info that an OBJ stores. But, if you want to export as an OBJ then you have to remember to go to export in the Tool menu and uncheck Grp(Image Below)
5. If you export as STL go to Zplugin>3D Print Hub>Export to STL(Image Below)
6. You are now ready to bring your mesh into Preform if you are printing on the Form Labs Form 2 Printer.