More Processing fun with Toxiclibs

Powerful tools for programmatically generating 3D models for export as STL files


Last week I showed how you can use CodeThread to create GCode files for direct control over your 3D printer. Today I look at more portable solution.

Toxiclibs is another set of libraries for Processing that allows you to create 3D models through programming. Unlike CodeThread, which is designed for experimental printing, Toxiclibs has many, many uses including a function that can export your creation to an STL file. That means you can print the result on any home 3D printer you might have, or upload it directly to your Personal Factory.

One user, Nikolaus Gradwohl aka Guru, used Toxiclibs to create this tentacle:
Printed tentacle

I used his script and made my own STL file that I brought right into ReplicatorG:
Tentacle in RepG

How to install:

  1. Download and install Processing
  2. Download and install Toxiclibs
  3. Download the tentacle example
  4. Start Processing
    • – Open your processing-1.2.1 folder and run processing.exe (or the appropriate executable for your platform).
    • – Click File –> Open and navigate to where you saved tentacle.pde.
    • – Open tentacle.pde and click the Run icon in the toolbar.
    • – Press “s” to save an STL file in the script’s folder.

What will you make?

Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.

One Response to “More Processing fun with Toxiclibs”

  1. toxi Says:

    Hi Derek, thousand thanks for blogging this and spreading the word! Much appreciated! 🙂 Due to the nature of that website, the examples on are not really dedicated to digital fabrication, but here’re some more links to a few more fabrication projects the libraries have been providing the essence for:

    Voxel Posse (for Universal Everything)

    Type+Form sculpture (for Print Magazine)

    HEAD Geneva workshop (a 3D visualization of Justin Bieber tweets)

    Printed Lattice:

    Generative wheel designs:

    There’s also a new sister project called Flatworld which is using toxiclibs to unwrap 3D meshes for fabrication with sheet materials. It’s still early days, but things are moving along swiftly and the system is designed to work with a variety of materials and provides customizable mount edges…