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Who can print this building for me?

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Hi there,


I would like to print the scale model of a building we're constructing.


It's a theater building, the "tower" would fit in an Ultimaker S 5 if Scaled to 1/50.




There is something specific to it, the Brics are not planar, but placed in a "Chevron" Bric Pattern.


Now modeling is easy, but then I still need to apply the colors...




I Applied paint to the face of a solid in a Revit family object.




I did not code the material, as in reality the Brics have the same material, the color is enamel being applied to only one face.




The brics would measure +/- 2 by 4 millimeter, i Guess this is no problem as a resolution.




But the colors........, I guess its width has to be the smallest resolution to print a color. How much micron would this be?




The coulored face is then 1 mm high.




I am looking forward to any help. 

I can export to .stl from Revit, but I would like to test the complete procedure now, before I build up the parametric model of the complete building, 


-Can this be done?

-Can you do this?

-Can we test 3 of 4 layers of brics?

-We will need three colours.

-At the end you have to print 165.000 of them.


I am looking forward to your feedback.


Kind regards,






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Big project 🙂


For my understanding, you want to print the whole theatre at once or do you want to print each brick and glue them together? I am asking because you wrote:

12 minutes ago, willem said:

At the end you have to print 165.000 of them.


Printing in 3 colors (for the bricks) is nearly impossible - painting after the print is not an option?


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You have to model the 2 colors as solids.  It looks like 3 colors in the photo.  Anyway, for example you could make some bricks one color and some another.  Or you could divide the brick in half along a diagonal or any division you want.  But when you get the colored volumes figured out you then create 2 STL files one for each file.  


Each STL file must have solids (not faces, not surfaces).  In cura you assign each STL file to a different color then select them, right click, and merge them into one part.  You don't want overlaps as it will print twice in the same volume if overlapping (a little overlapping is sometimes okay or possibly desired if you are doing some clever trick).


Does that make it more clear?

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Hi there,


I would need three colors indeed, one for the mass, and two for the enamel which is applied to only one face of the bric.


GR5, thank you for the explanation, I already feared this would be the case.


I do have the option "export" color.......



 but this relates to material, and not to paint.




I could divide a brick, and apply a different material to the enamel.


I wanted to avoid this, because it drains memory.


In this case, which width do I give the enamel? I would like to give it the minimum width the printer needs, which is probably more than 1/50th of the real width.


Are there persons who know an alternative way? Eg . exporting to 3d studio maintaining the paint, and then having some software interpret it, and applying the different colors to .stl?


Kind regards,





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I'm not sure the absolute minimum width.  Whatever you use for line width (I use 0.4mm line width for 0.4mm nozzle but I think default is 0.35) - double that and that's the nominal minimum width.  So 0.8mm.  But in reality you can go thinner if you check the box "print thin walls".  I think there is no lower limit but I recommend you go at least nozzle width (0.4mm).  If you print with a 0.25mm nozzle then you could go down to 0.25mm but you would see the color below coming through a bit.  Also a 0.25mm nozzle prints 4X slower (2x thinner layers and thinner lines) so a 2 day print is suddenly an 8 day print.  Yikes.

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Customer support people around the world tell me that architects drive them crazy more than any other profession that uses UM printers (maybe dentists are worse I suppose).  Now I can see why! lol!


Note that printing just the faces on all these bricks will be a ton of retractions and you could grind the filament up possibly if you don't print enough between retractions.  So I recommend you do these settings to limit retractions.  10 retractions on the same spot of filament is safe.  20 is dangerous but should work.  40 is almost certain failure.


Set "maximum retraction count" to 10 to be safe (or if you are getting failures where it grinds up the filament and stops extruding) and "minimum extrusion distance window" to 4.5mm (the default retraction distance or close enough if yours is a little different).  You might not hit the limit of 10 but better to be safe.  The downside is when it occasionally doesn't retract you *might* get a little string.


That reminds me: Also I hear architects love white filament which strings the most. 🙂

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Hi GR5,


the purpose would be instruction rather than representation, we are a building contractor.


And the long-term decoration of my desk of course......


Reading your explanation on retractions, a diagonal division of the mass of a brick is better indeed.




But my impression is that even then the alternation of colors is to dense, and the machine would jam.


Maybe when I fill the bricks completely.....speaking of Chevrons...



If the filament is .4 mm, which surface do I need to cover at once for good result, supposing that 10 mm of .4 mm results in 4 mm² (correct me if necessary)


And then the cavity between bricks; if its .02mm, I guess the machine just will run through it, or will it rise problems?


Kind regards,





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If you want to print this in full color, then you need (someone with) a gypsum full color 3D-printer. But I don't remember the brand name of these printers. They use gypsum powder that is glued together, and sprayed with inkjet colors. So you can have all colors you want, although a bit dull.


The gypsum gives the walls a stone-like texture and feeling, and a stone-like weight of course. After all, gypsum is a sort of stone. So these printers were often used for architecture. I have seen several buildings and other models in this material. It is not good for technical parts (too hard, too brittle, too rough texture), but it is excellent for models of buildings indeed.


Maybe companies like Protolabs, Materialise, Melotte and Shapeways can do it? I don't know their current range of printers?


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