Sometimes you need to make a complex part and you can't find them on Bricklink or the like. This tut will explain how to capture data, OpenGL-style, from the LEGO Digital Designer (or other 3D apps).
Step 1: SOFTWARE REQUIRED:
Dassault 3DVIA PrintScreen (no longer offered/supported): https://www.dropbox.com/s/rorc9jnw7hfq8rl/3DVIA_PrintScreen_Setup_2.3.exe?dl=0
*You will need all of the above installed before you continue.
Step 2: PROCEDURE:
- In LDD, you need to turn off "outlines on bricks" in the Preferences menu. I don't know if it matters, but I also have both of the "high-quality" boxes checked.
- Close LDD. 3DVIA seems to not capture if it is opened after the program it is capturing from.
- Start 3DVIA. An icon will show up in your tasktray and provide you with the hotkey (F10 by default).
- Start LDD again. Place only the item you want to extract. You can use the color/shape codes in the back of the instructions, or you can use /most/ Bricklink numbers. If Bricklink provides a funny part number, click on the "View 3D" button and look at the DAT file it is loading. If none of those are available, you are stuck with a text search or digging through the graphic menu system in LDD. Sometimes parts have cryptic names or pictures in LDD, but after a while you get a feel for it.
- Hit the 3DVIA hotkey (F10).
- Your text editor should pop up automatically with the part info. If not, RMB on the 3DVIA icon in the tasktray and "show results" and find your file. Delete everything in this file except the numbers between <VertexBuffer> and </VertexBuffer>. Save that puppy off as a TXT or DAT. If you save it as a DAT, this file will be overwritten in the next step.
- 3dxml2dat provides you with only an EXE. Drag your TXT or DAT file from above onto the 3dxml2dat.exe icon. This will take several seconds and will provide an LDraw-style DAT file.
- Now you can follow the instructions here: https://grabcad.com/tutorials/lego-03-using-data-from-ldraw and convert it like any other LDraw part. Depending on software and versions used, you may need to scale to get the part you want.
Step 3: CONCLUSION:
You already have the other tutorials. Go make some parts!
Step 4: *DISCLAIMER:
I take no credit for any of this. This was all made possible by others and by members on the LDraw forum. I simply weeded through forums and installed programs until I got the data I was looking for. Please, thank them. I just put it in a list for you :)