I am trying to reproduce in blender the sample surface imaged by atomic force microscope (AFM). I found the link below but cannot get it to work yet. Here is what I did (in windows environment):

  1. Convert the AFM images to ascii files in the same format as the example in the attachment in the link below.
  2. Copied the 'io_import_mesh_afm_ascii' folder to addons folder.
  3. Run the .py files by the text editor in blender.
  4. Import -> ascii text option

Now I see the error 'init.py' line 61, "system error: parent module '' not loaded". Any idea what the problem is? Also, is there alternative ways to do this?

Thanks in advance! JT


  • $\begingroup$ The download link on that page is no longer available. If you place the addon into your addon folder then you can enable it in the preferences. It is possible that it was written for an older blender version and hasn't been updated for the current version, you could try an older version to match what it was written for. Look for bl_info in teh .py files for a blender version that was supported. $\endgroup$ – sambler Oct 12 '14 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ i've updated the blog post to link to a valid file and new instructions. $\endgroup$ – zeffii May 15 '16 at 18:24

Probably long time since this is done but here goes: open your AFM data with Gwyddion.net, export as ascii txt file, use open SCAD to plot the data and export as STL file. Import STL file into blender or your 3D printer slicer (to get the gcode for example).

Gwyddion and openSCAD are python scryptable as far as I remember. Will work better on *ix systems than windows.


i wrote that add-on (4 years ago! - judging by the link times stamp). The zip on the original blogpost is indeed no longer valid. The code is now stored elsewhere on the internet. Surprisingly it still works.

Installation goes as follows:

  • download this zip instead ..
  • this zip can be installed using 'install from file'.
  • open user preferences / testing tab and find "AFM"

enter image description here


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