In response to several nearly simultaneous queries, I’ve been working this week on generating a 3D plot and creating a mesh file from within Maxima that is suitable for exporting to a 3D printer.
As a guide, I used this 2012 article from the Mathematical Intelligencer by Henry Segerman. The idea is to draw a surface using traces made from parametric tubes, then export that to a .PLY format file.
Here’s my prototype for the process of generating the surface, reading in the resulting gnuplot data file, identifying faces appropriately, and writing into a .PLY file.
That isn’t yet ready for the 3D printer, but I could load it into the free program MeshLab, and from there convert to .STL
Here’s my figure from Maxima:
And the resulting .PLY file loaded into MeshLab
Here’s a few seconds of video from the printing process
And 2.5 hours later, the low resolution first-try 3D printed object: