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Making Things See by Greg Borenstein

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Reduce Polygons in MeshLab

Regardless of whether we’ll be fabricating our model on a MakerBot or through Shapeways, the first step is to reduce its polygon count. To accomplish that, we’ll use MeshLab again. Launch MeshLab and import an STL file you created with the improved version of our scanner sketch.

Like it does every time, MeshLab will prompt you to Unify Duplicated Vertices. Click OK.

As I explained when I introduced it, MeshLab is basically a graphical interface for running a whole series of geometrical operations on 3D models. In this case, we want to run an operation that will reduce the number of polygons in our model. To do this we’ll use an operation called Quadric Edge Collapse Decimation.

To run this operation, open MeshLab’s Filters ...

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