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I have a 3D CAD design that I remeshed into blocks. I would like to be able to export or convert the voxelated object in such a way that it is composed of distinct cubes that I can edit etc. individually. My end goal is to have a CAD file that is made up of loads of cubes and nothing else, not one complex shape made of cubes.

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    $\begingroup$ Check out this answer $\endgroup$ Sep 20, 2018 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ I can't see how particle systems would help. Care to elaborate? $\endgroup$
    – alex.l
    Sep 20, 2018 at 13:34

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Remeshing creates no subdivision of volume, just a sampled surface.

There is a 'Grid' option in particle systems, that enables you to set a resolution of the grid intersections, and the size of the objects placed on them.

If, rather than re-meshing, you make your object into a particle emitter from volume, and set a cube as the particle dupli-object, you can voxelize it.

In the example here, (we're on frame 1 in the timeline) Suzanne is the emitter, and a cube is duplicated to the particle system. All the other particle settings are at their defaults.

enter image description here

If you go to Suzanne's modifier stack, and hit 'Convert' on the particle system, the particles become real instances of the cube. Here I've scaled out all the positions of the cubes so you can see the inside ones...

enter image description here

In the Particles > Emission panel, the 'Resolution' setting divides the longest side of the bounding box of the emitter, and the 'Size' field of the Particles > Render panel will scale the cube-dupli.. (probably best set to 1).

So to make your voxels exactly fill an emitter whose bounding-box longest side is 3.5, with Resolution set to 10, and Size set to 1, your cube would have to be 0.35 on the side.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reply. I am trying to replicate your result with my imported CAD object but my particles are looking a little sparse. See here: imgur.com/a/7y6lN5Y Also, once I get it to look the way I want, how will I export just the cubes? When I delete the main object the cubes go away too although if I am not mistaken there is some "make duplicates real" command that might help? Will these cubes then save as separate elements? $\endgroup$
    – alex.l
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ The modifier > 'Convert' makes the cubes real instances, sharing mesh data. If you need to unlink them, select, and hit 'U' > unlink mesh and data. Your example has fine details - if you want to pick that up, the the cube will have to be about half their size, and the Emission> 'Resolution' wound up to fill the volume. Uncheck the Render>'Global' setting if you want the paricles to sit on the emitter. $\endgroup$ Sep 20, 2018 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ How can I figure out what size to make the cubes so that the model is watertight? $\endgroup$
    – alex.l
    Sep 24, 2018 at 6:38
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    $\begingroup$ @alex.l .. see edit. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2018 at 20:20

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