Java 3D tool chain to 3D Printer
For a first 3D print, I wanted something beautiful and easy to print. A Koch snowflake (please see the glossary below), with just a few iterations, can be approximated with boxes. It only takes highschool math to construct. There are powerful apps, like Blender and Meshlab, which can combine as a tool chain from Java 3D to 3D print.
Java 3D is very powerful; it gives complete programmatic control for visualization. After using Java 3D to visualize the flake, I put in code which outputs a .x3d version, which can be imported into Blender, a wonderful free 3D visualization app, which exports .stl.
As the diagram below shows, I played with snowflake visualization, punched it out into .x3d, and then used Blender to resize and punch out the image into .stl. Meshlab was used to smooth and align things, then ReplicatorG was capable to sending the .stl to the the MakerBot.
I'm a member of that great playground, TechShop, and used the MakerBot at the old Menlo Park, CA location. Please visit our new San Carlos, CA location.
Once it was in .stl format, I loaded it up into the Thingiverse as: thing:80440.