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stl files and labview

Ok here we go

Purpose: 3d micro/nanofabrication of collagen matrixes via multiphoton excitation.

What this means: A laser is driven by two mirrors attached to galvanometers and controlled by labview. When the laser passes over the collage (several times) it becomes crosslinked. The result is a potential micro scale cell scaffold that has potential in tissue engineering.

The goal: As of now we have limited capabilities for creating 3d structures. Lines rectangles and circles are easy enough but anything larger..or deeper requires the movement of an xyz stage which is also controlled by labview. The goal is to be able to be able to simply create an object in autocad (or a similar product) output the file to labview and run the galvanometers, which incidentally, move according to how much voltage is passed through them.

Ideas: Let's say we wanted to create a sphere. The laser only has one plane of focus so to create a 3d object requires slicing. Divide the sphere up into several hundred slices, which, when stacked loosely resemble a jagged sphere. Slicing can be done in a program called Magics RP. This is where the .stl file comes in. From magics rp we should be able to get an .stl file that describes the coordinates of these slices (in ascii or binary format) and from here transfer the job over to labview.

Problem: NO IDEA how to go about doing that last step. Does labview have anything built in to handle .stl files?? Any advice appreciated.
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Hi Jimbo2,

The only mechanisms for creating 3D plots in LabVIEW are using the 3D Surface Graph, 3D Parametric Graph, and 3D Curve Graph. I don't know if these graphs will fit your application, you could probably better determine that than myself. Also, to my knowledge there is nothing inherent to LabVIEW to directly handle .stl files. However, you might be able to find a 3rd party program that will display .stl files. If the 3rd party package has an ActiveX control, you can embed it into the front panel of your VI using an ActiveX Container and call methods and properties to the control using the property nodes and invoke nodes in the ActiveX palette in LabVIEW.

I hope this gives you a couple of ideas,
Travis H.
LabVIEW R&D
National Instruments
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thanks for the help. ill give that a try.
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