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Printing a model that has not been designed for 3d printing?


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Posted · Printing a model that has not been designed for 3d printing?

Hi all,

I am a new user of Ultimaker 3D. I used another 3d printer (Zortrax) in my previous job, but i used it for other purposes.

Now, among other things, I would like to print non-functional mockups of some devices (machines) starting from the 3D engineering models.

When scaling a model (i.e. 1:10) some elements geometries become too small to be printed (i.e. the thickness a tubular structure). Since the mockup doesn't need to be functional, I don't need to reproduce all the details (screws, fittings, hollowness of tubular structures, etc.).

Is there any tool that simplifies a 3D model in order to make a more consistent miniature? Or shoud I create a new model for 3D printing?


Thanks in advance.

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    Posted · Printing a model that has not been designed for 3d printing?

    It sounds like you want to merge all the parts that are touching into one part (e.g. nuts merged with bolts).


    I'm not sure but netfabb probably takes care of that.  netfabb free repair service is here (you have to create a free account first):

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    Posted · Printing a model that has not been designed for 3d printing?

    In DesignSpark Mechanical this can easily be done in CAD in the model itself:

    - Make a backup and work on that (never on the original).

    - Select and delete all internal geometry you don't need.

    - Select and delete all screws etc. that you don't need. This may leave gaps.

    - Select and delete the gaps.

    - Select and pull any remaining walls that are too thin, into a thicker wall.


    Other method:

    - If the model would contain too much internal geometry to delete one by one, you can select only the outer surface and copy that surface only. That will remove all internals and leave you with an unprintable thin shell.

    - Then delete all gaps until the interior is one solid block again. This is what I did in the quick test below, from left to right: original with lots of internal geometry, copied surface-only, deleting the gaps, after the last gap is deleted it becomes a solid block again. Since this consists only of selecting and deleting (often possible in bulk), it goes quite fast.


    Maybe other editors allow a similar approach?




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