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Stefania Dinea

THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 01 TOPOGRAPHY

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Hello, I am Stefania Dinea, an architect who mixes 3D printing, VR, parametric design and blogging daily. I work in one of the top Architecture companies and one of my work responsibilities is to handle and manage the fabrication lab. Throughout THE ARCHITECTURE FOR 3D PRINTING blog series I will share some of my tips and tricks for achieving good 3D prints efficiently and in a timely fashion from a work-flow point of view. So please feel free to contribute and comment to the following post series. Because sharing is caring. 

 

 

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. 

 

image.png.816e0125fe242026feac875ea107f3af.png

 

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.

 

image.png.7068eb7b976cb66122a5b95601e6b907.png

 

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.

 

image.png.389e710c70f17cc6985dc6757bc6fb3c.png

 

However if the Revit export is done in mm and a section box is used:

image.png.d54dbd97a15dfd5cda6bfe12d67dd69f.png

 You can detect some presence of a topography, however nothing printable.

image.png.613162ed7e41d56502742e00b4f327c5.png

 

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)

image.png.dfbd4a402832dda82b1f86a625da2740.png

 

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

image.png.80fbe3b5162a8d8fd1efbf71949c6966.png

In this step you will edit the structure to thicken the floor:

image.png.6fe2c9435e88747f5860b536d68759e8.png

 

You don't need a lot of layers, just 1, with the proper thickness, in my case 5000 mm.

image.png.5828b363d5a1e3f982738579ad905a1c.png

Result:

 

image.png.fc5cb8934d93fcb5f793b1eb45bbd2a1.png

Cura visibility:

image.png.a8d88923c5e305e9bd32247dd0761353.png

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

 

image.thumb.png.0881ef57cb11910498dfe61e91ee68bc.png

 

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:

 

image.thumb.png.8867e7631bd439e68abe15800512c30f.png

 

Modifying points:

 

image.png.f0137c8deabfb7fdd785d3b70b84fe1f.png

 

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.

 

image.png.cb779de670e50781a7a3d3e76174449a.png

 

So the result will look something like this:

image.png.8f017c45659c3acca2c21ffe494b6eb3.png

However, before you are done, there is an extra step you need to take, and that is to level the

bottom layer.

image.png.58705df40a3210a1969fd93d29f277ab.png

To do that, you need to activate the section box, which is available in the Properties panel of any 3D view.

image.png.8e70e061cfe1aa38b34fad923f3206c0.png

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.

image.png.28261915c9450db63956fc34202144ca.png

The 3D result in Revit:

image.png.56ba4eb1413433417f865f62f7fadb94.png

 

The 3D result in cura:

 

image.png.c81684c82f58692ff15674865bba9bf9.png

 

 

ONE OF THE 3D PRINTED RESULTS:

image.png.816e0125fe242026feac875ea107f3af.png

 

 

UP NEXT :

THE ARCHITECTURE OF 3D PRINTING - 02 MASSING

image.png.f38cae3cec1ad584fb8dd1ea46af8e98.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alternativ 1.stl

Edited by Stefania Dinea
added 1 downloadable file
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@kmanstudios and @tanveer77 Thank you for sharing first of all, second, I have to admit, I never had students as a focus when I started this process - but of course they are an important part of the process - if they have a good grip during their education, of course they will go off into a working environment inspiring others in return. I will be posting one every two weeks and Ultimaker is going to launch a contest soon so please share that as well when it comes out. :D Also, inputs are always welcomed. 

 

//S

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17 minutes ago, Stefania Dinea said:

@kmanstudios and @tanveer77 Thank you for sharing first of all, second, I have to admit, I never had students as a focus when I started this process - but of course they are an important part of the process - if they have a good grip during their education, of course they will go off into a working environment inspiring others in return. I will be posting one every two weeks and Ultimaker is going to launch a contest soon so please share that as well when it comes out. :D Also, inputs are always welcomed. 

 

//S

I always figured that everyone was a student if they were the type to be curious. What contest?

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