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  1. I am Stefania Dinea, an architect who mixes 3D printing, VR, parametric design and blogging daily and I will share some of my 3D printing tips & tricks with you. This series is my overview about the process and my work-around. Please feel free to comment and add. PREVIOUS POST: THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 01 TOPOGRAPHY THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 02 MASSING THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 03 TOLERANCES AND SNUG FIT THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 04 ENTOURAGE THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 05 HIGH RESOLUTION BUILDING FACADES THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 06 INTERIOR DESIGN 7 STL EXPORT FROM REVIT The most confusing thing that you need to have covered is exporting the stl. Starting with revit 2018.3 Revit had the stl export as an add-in, however for those of you who work in older versions here is how you go about it. Go to the X (the blue and white one)- to open Autodesk app store Search for stl and the following apps will appear: You will want STL exporter version x – corresponding to the version of Revit you own. Remember it will export all elements in the view – if you don't want to see something – hide in view, and if you want to see 1 element of out 1000, you can isolate in view. In the export settings, pay attention to the units the export is done in, that will play a major role when scaling in cura –and it will help you see where you are at. For the site I will use meters. Also, it will be good to be constant, if you start with meters, you need to keep it like that for the whole project so you don't get confused. CURA 1. SCALE We all know in architecture scale plays a big role – therefore this is another aspect that you need to pay attention to. Taking alternative 1 into consideration and our topography/massing examples we know the following: Our example file in x-y is 87x88 m I have exported, as I said using meter units instead of mm And in cura we will see the following: Also, one can use online scale converters such as: http://www.scalemodelersworld.com/online-scale-converter-tool.html We therefore can conclude that our model is in 1:1000 scale at 100% in cura And 200% will take us to 1:500 However, when we talk about site plans, a 1:400 would be desired therefore a 250% scale in cura would be ideal, however the site is a little too big for that, so, we will go back to revit and readjust with the section box. But first, you can use the scale calculator to see what maximum sizes you would need. So rescaling the section box, you get to print in scale 1:400 and fit in the building plate. This is all for this post, I am slowly moving into the Cura tips and tricks (better say my tips and tricks) - as usual feel free to say what works for you, what is your work-around in your main software or in Revit. Also guys and girls, what are your expectations for the summer - should I keep posting or should I take a break until august? up to you! NEXT ON THIS SERIES: 08 SINGLE EXTRUSION
  2. I am Stefania Dinea, an architect who mixes 3D printing, VR, parametric design and blogging daily and I will share some of my 3D printing tips & tricks with you. This series is my overview about the process and my work-around. Please feel free to comment and add. PREVIOUS POST: THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 01 TOPOGRAPHY THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 02 MASSING THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 03 TOLERANCES AND SNUG FIT 04 ENTOURAGE Basic entourage consists of the following: Human figures in scale, trees and vegetation, and vehicles. So what would be the best approach to this? Especially when you are dealing with a sloped terrain – you also have to remember that super glue is your best friend but it does not always give out the best result in terms of optimal efficient solutions. One of my tips is to place holes in the site (floor in revit) and make little support extensions/pins for your entourage of choice. So how thick should a pin be? Remember the 2 mm min thickness I was talking about? Well that would be it – 2mm in scale in 1:400 + offset of 0.3 mm. So in scale that should look like this: Support system diameter: Support placement diameter: This is how the site looks like after perforation: To do now entourage – one option would be to model in view, another would be to use a family to model specific entourage. One thing you cannot use are the families already included in Revit (unfortunately) specially when it comes to entourage. To look for inspiration, there are multiple options, in terms of sketching, and as I said before, you are only limited y imagination. So to get started you might want to use the following keywords in your google search: people silhouettes and architecture tree sketches and you will find example such as: So pick what suits your own project, your style and maybe you even have your own design. Now to continue with Revit, cut a section through one of the placements spots and insert and image of one of your desired human silhouettes once you have decided on one type and click on model in place. The simplest way to go around things is to just trace and extrude. and it might look bulky due to the scale you are working it – but remember that in the final print it will be quite small and fragile. A perspective preview of the result: I would print this item flat, however the issue is as follows: If you check the top view, my base model might be problematic and my single extrusion is impossible. The solution is to alter the base. If your model seems to thick and chinky, you might consider printing it on the side, and cut it in half. Just look how small it is at scale 100% in Cura - it's a game of spot the model (it's the very small yellow dot in the middle ) (it's that very small yellow dot) However, in scale 1:400 (250 in cura) it will look a lot bigger, not by much though. After the first print with recommended Cura setting for extra fine I discovered that my 0.3 tollerence in Revit was too little. So with these general dimensions in Cura, my print pin was just the exact fit of the diameter whole – therefore inadequate. To avoid going back to Revit and making alterations, I went for a modification in Cura. As follows, by making sure that Uniform scaling is unchecked – in the end, the only thing of importance that needed rescaling was the diameter of the base and not the height. Running a test print and seeing that this tolerance worked I remodeled the initial scalable human silhouette – and took if for another test print. The same principle applies to modelling tress, you can make them as a flat 2D extrusion or a 3D volume. In the image below are two examples: For efficiency reasons I do recommend you model them as a family type, so you can reuse them in multiple projects. And I do recommend you make a parametric family so you can change the level of detail according to scale. But more on that in another blog. For now I will print a little army of trees so my landscape will look something like this: As you will notice in my final prints photos, I am not a patient person, and in this industry is hard to be, as everything is last minute and deliveries have a yesterday deadline on them. No matter how fast the machines are working if it's not instant it is never fast enough. However, please remember the time when everything had to be made by hand and delivery took forever on various materials needed to produce a model – I don't know about you, but I sure don't miss it – not to mention the cost. Nowadays time is generally consumed by 3D modelling – that is why I am a huge fan of BIM – if you have a proper BIM model, adding an extra as a 3D print should take no time at all to adjust, as you will see in the following chapters. Also, how small can you print entourage? NEXT ON THIS SERIES: 05 HIGH RESOLUTION BUILDING FACADES human.stl site for landscape.stl tree1.stl tree-2.stl
  3. I am Stefania Dinea, an architect who mixes 3D printing, VR, parametric design and blogging daily and I will share some of my 3D printing tips & tricks with you. This series is my overview about the process and my work-around. Please feel free to comment and add. PREVIOUS POST: THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 01 TOPOGRAPHY THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 02 MASSING THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 03 TOLERANCES AND SNUG FIT THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 04 ENTOURAGE 05 HIGH RESOLUTION BUILDING FACADES Hello again, I have been away for a while and during this time, being pressed by my two week deadline, I realized that I was spending too much time designing the “Ultimaker house” rather than explaining how to deal with complex projects and hit my end goal – which is to explain my work process. I guess in one way or another we all get carried away at some point and focus more on the fun things. However this is how far I got with it, and I will probably finish it at one point just for fun – but that is a villa and I need some time to patch it all together. However for now I decided to continue these series on the Autodesk Revit sample project which has plenty of everything already in it, and plenty of things to fix and adjust in order to make it suitable for 3D printing. So again, I have to make the site, and create my base. However, I have already explained how I do that in previous posts, so there is no point in repeating. One quick tip though, if you don't want to move the building pad points, one quick solution fix will be to place a vertical shaft/shaft through your site. That way you minimize the number of points you need to add to your floor. To begin, start hiding in view, all the things you do not need: Such as – entourage, furniture, railings. You can do these by either selecting a category in your 3D view, right click – Hide in View – Category. or by pressing V V on your keyboard which will send you direct to Visibility settings. But before you get to serious about these settings, don’t forget to make a copy of the 3D view, dedicated specially for 3D printing. For the easy version, however I do recommend the VV option, deselect everything first. Then begin with the things you want to see, which include – floors, windows, roofs, stairs (in case you have some exterior stairs), doors, columns/structural foundation. Remember, your site is a floor and mass – we will get to that aspect in a minute. Pay close attention to the windows however, you might want to keep just the frame and the mullion for this stage, watch out also for Curtain wall mullions After everything irrelevant was taken out – I am left with this: Here is what is hidden: Now, you might want to look inside the house and see if there are any extra details you might want to get rid of. Remember, section box is your best friend. And as we proceed, we will start hiding in view interior details such as – stairs, interior walls. We will do this to increase the printing speed, taking out unnecessary volume and irrelevant elements that will not be seen anyhow. When you are done with the ground floor, move up a level. You might want to also hide the partition floor as well. The next step is to fill the building with a mass. Why? Because that way the whole building will be considered a solid, and cura will take over by offering the right amount of infill, saving time, increasing quality, and also avoiding epic fails. So you begin by working in parallel – plan and 3D view. In the plan view, Massing and site, In-Place Mass. The outline of the massing, should be ideally be fitted to where the frame of the window begins, that way, when exported to .stl, they will merge as a solid. In the 3D view, make sure you adjust the height of your mass so it fits nicely between the floor and the roof, usually I lower it a little bit more, so it also acts as a base. Before: After: The same thing will be done for the 2 story part of the building, only instead of a plan, I will model the massing in a section. To model a mass in sections – grids may be required, so make sure you have a couple before that. Same principle of the window aspect has been applied for the mass, and in order to get relief details, the massing should be modeled on the center line of the roof and walls. Some small adjustments should be made in plan view and 3D view. Now, the question is how to split this model up? 1. You can print it with site 2. You can printed in multiple pieces For projects like this, if you don’t own an UM3, and you do not have access to a PVA accessible printer, things can get really complicated. For safety reasons, I will always recommend splitting it up. Since this section focuses on creating more high resolution building facades, which should highlight window and access placement, I think it is safe to export the building as it is illustrated above. And this is how it looks in Cura, clean, easy to print. This layer section is made to specially highlight the reason why the building was filled with massing, which is a considerable time and material saver. Not to mention you don’t want fragile mullions and dripping floors from lack of support. Having an UM 3 or above, does come in handy, whether you are a fan of breakaway or PVA it does save a lot of time and cures a lot of headaches – the same model can be done with a single extrusion printer, but not as nearly as easy. For this scenario I used PVA support, which is my favorite, mainly because I only drop it in the fish tank when I am done, and no extra work is required on my behalf. To save time and material (again) I only use the Support touching the build plate function. Also a preview of the site plus building model attached if you feel like printing the file with the site. I will come back with some photos of the results as soon as I get them out of the printer. ? RESULTS: Now, as you can see from the photos, the mullions are not obvious - so one thing I have mismanaged was thickening the mullions. That is something you also need to watch out for. You start by selecting all in a 3D view > go to filter > select just the Curtain Wall Mullions > Modify > Unpin >Properties > Edit Type > Create a new profile. Right now the profile is 40 mm which in scale will be 0.4 mm - a detail so small it will not be perceived as an obvious feature. I will change it to be 2 mm , therefore I need 100 mm on each side of the profile. Remember to do changes like this on a decentralized file, you don't want you actual BIM project to suffer. Here are my new settings: This is the result, it may look chunky in a 3d view, but I believe in a 3D print it will be just right. If you have parametric windows, you might consider doing the same for that as well. The Revit result looks like this, now time to export and see how it performs in Cura. So now, it looking more to where I wanted it to go. Again, will come back with updates as soon as I get to print it. If you have no patience, I have attached the file below: Autodesk house complete - v2 The result with the improved mullions: NEXT ON THIS SERIES: 06 INTERIOR DESIGN Next time on the blog it will be the last blog that has 100% Revit content. BIM families are excellent however they have an issue, when scaled down they become invisible. Check these screen grabs from the unaltered Revit model, and tell me – what’s wrong with these pictures? Autodesk house internal.stl autodesk house with site.stl Autodesk house complete.stl Autodesk house complete - v2.stl
  4. THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING A manual intended for public use with the scope of offering tips&tricks for the architecture community passionate about digital manufacturing. Printer used throughout this process is Ultimaker 3, however more than 90% of the examples can be done with and Ultimaker 2 as well, the main idea is the work-flow process. Software Packages used within this series: Autodesk Revit, Rhino, Grasshopper, STL exporter, Cura The goal of this exercises and blogs is to make custom profiles that can be used at a general scale for generic scenarios within the architecture community that is focused on 3D printing and expand the knowledge pool. Connect and have a relation with the Ultimaker Architecture contest about to launch, so you have a starting point. REVIT For the purpose of this experiment and journey, in order to not step on any toes, we will begin by making a custom house, on a random fantasy plot, so the conditions will be challenging and content specific. Also, for this experiment, the proposed design will be modeled as closely as possible to a real case scenario, so therefore some random issues you may encounter along your design and print process can be illustrated. 01. TOPOGRAPHY Topography is one of the most complicated issues in Revit to print out, mainly because unlike every other type of category and geometry within this software, it is not a solid, just a mesh. Project constrains: A plot, a plan outline – to make it more fun and challenging I chose the U from Ultimaker as a plan outline, programmatic wise, we will do a house/villa. Photo 1.1 - site plan view, the plot and the outline of the volume. Just to prove that a simple Revit topograpy can't be printed we will export an STL (see export chapter for more information) When the um-1 file is exported and imported into Cura, you can notice that the site has not been exported, and/or it was too thin to be recognized. However if the Revit export is done in mm and a section box is used: You can detect some presence of a topography, however nothing printable. To transform the topography there are two ways to go about it a. Use a script through dynamo, however this requires a particular skillset and can be quite a hassle. b. Second and most common choice is to re-do the topography from a floor. And in first instance it will look something like this (the highlighted straight floor contour) Next step, you would probably thicken the floor to 3-5 meters, depending on the scenario, for 2 reasons: a. You will add height points, so the thickness should be greater than the difference between your highest point and your lowest point, I have a height difference of 3 m in my example. b. The floor will offset when you add height points, and you will like to be able to have a flat base. That being said, you begin by selecting the floor and clicking Edit Type In this step you will edit the structure to thicken the floor: You don't need a lot of layers, just 1, with the proper thickness, in my case 5000 mm. Result: Cura visibility: As you can see the topography is flat, however it is printable and more importantly readable in Cura. The next step you are interested in is to get the right curves in your topography. Select the floor > Modify Tab > Add point The idea is to add a floor point for every elevation point you have in the topography and also to Modify sub elements in order to place them at the same level. Adding points: Modifying points: Compare the existing topography line with the top of the floor. Once you are satisfied with the result, select the topography and hide it in view. So the result will look something like this: However, before you are done, there is an extra step you need to take, and that is to level the bottom layer. To do that, you need to activate the section box, which is available in the Properties panel of any 3D view. With the section box than you can virtually cut and control the size of your future print. Remember this tool because it is very relevant in all the processes. In order to better control the section box cut, I would recommend setting it in a side view. The 3D result in Revit: The 3D result in cura: ONE OF THE 3D PRINTED RESULTS: UP NEXT : THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 02 MASSING alternativ 1.stl
  5. I am Stefania Dinea, an architect who mixes 3D printing, VR, parametric design and blogging daily and I will share some of my 3D printing tips & tricks with you. This series is my overview about the process and my work-around. Please feel free to comment and add. PREVIOUS POST: THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 01 TOPOGRAPHY THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 02 MASSING 03 TOLERANCES AND SNUG FIT Now that we know we will be printing in scale 1:400, would be good to be able to use one site for all 4 previous versions. To print in scale 1:400 we need to alter the site, for that a simple edit in place of the floor slab we just did will do, or even easier, make a section box. To print in the specified scale, we need to know how much will that translate to in scale 1:1 , also take into consideration the printing size - 180x180mm for the UM3 dual extrusion mode on. All is left to do is introduce the factors in an online scale converter – or if you are up for it, old school math. This being said, I will make sure the section box will be adjusted to box 72 x 72 m. Tip for this action is to work in parallel with the plan and the 3D view. So how much is that in cura? As a percentage? We will export again in these settings, and as said in the cura tips&tricks section, you will see that if you use the xtl exporter and you set it in meters as export settings you will need a 250% scale up. But this topic is about snug fit, for a snug fit you need to allow a tolerance offset, just like in reality. In the case of 3D printing it is between 0.3 and 0.5 - a skill you will learn to master by experience, trial and error. For this exercise I will use a 0.3 offset in scale 1:400. As you footprint might remain the same, and your design will probably change specially in concept stage, begin by offsetting from your border line. The result will look something like this: However, you are not done yet, I generally recommend that the bottom is not let empty, but also as a part of the site, for that we will do another floor to cover the area under the proposed model. In my case, it so happens that the new floor is placed under Level 1, and Level 1 is my zero floor, which works for me. If the scenarios would have been different I would have just offset the new floor in a + or – direction from the Revit Properties menu bar. This is a section from Alternative 1 – you might want to check all alternatives just to make sure you don't need any extra information input. I have noticed that the sides of my new cut-out are at level 0, therefore an adjustment is needed as well on the edges. Same routine as when you did the sloped floor – Modify sub elements – and add the desired point height. The new result will look something like this: So now you are ready to export the site and each option individually. The site will be exported from Main Model, in meters as units. The same will be done with all the design options, one way to export any Revit element individually, for 3D printing is to Isolate Element in view. Once your model looks like this, you are rready to export. Repeat the same rpoceedure for all elements. However in the case of option 4 we have extra space between the volumes, you might want to fill in those extra gaps now. Place the new floor components also in Design option 4. Don't forget to adjust the height and also to place the offset mentioned before. Isolate the elements in view and again, export them separately from the rest. 3D PRINTED RESULT: NEXT ON THIS SERIES: 04 ENTOURAGE FILES FOR DOWNLOAD: site.stl alternativ 3-4.stl alternativ 2-4.stl alternativ 1-3.stl alternativ 4-3.stl alternativ 4 - extra site.stl site.stl
  6. MASSING Massing is the easiest thing to control in Revit in regards to 3D print, and the most fun to play with. As also demonstrated in the topography when a massing is present the only thing you have to think about is to keep a minimum thickness of 2 mm (in scale) for best results, other than that, volume study and fast prototyping is the game you play in this setting. When you want to produce a one piece model, you don't have to worry about being able to extract the mass out of the site, they can be one piece, however that is another modeling option we will discuss in the next chapter: TOLERANCES AND SNUG FITT For cutting and controlling the volume you can use void forms instead of solid. Like in the example below. So, for our tests we will run the following 4 alternatives based on the same plan layout. Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3 Alternative 4 3D PRINTED RESULT: !!!Downloadable files below!!! You can print them together with the topography or separately. And the best part of 3D printed parts is that you can draw on it. Next time: THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 03 TOLERANCES AND SNUG FIT PREVIOUS POST: THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 01 TOPOGRAPHY alternativ 4-1.stl alternativ 3-1.stl alternativ 2-1.stl alternativ 1-1.stl
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