Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  

Options for printing larger than build volume

Recommended Posts


I'm currently building a helmet model to be printed out by a friend with an Ultimaker 2 (we went halves on it)

It's an organic shape, so there aren't any really obvious joins where it could be separated, and it's much larger than the build volume.

I've seen a few articles about chopping things up, Makerbot applying for a patent, plugins for Autocad/Inventor.

I just wondered what the options are for prepping the model so that it can be printed in pieces and glued together.

It's being built in 3DS Max as a poly model, then subdivided - it's easy to chop into cubes but I wondered if there are any better solutions for doing this.

I'm thinking split down the middle for starters - I think the discs on either side could be printed separately so they don't have seams...

For the rest, I'm just wondering if it's better to try to follow some of the curves/edge loops when splitting it up, or just dice it in straight lines. (Link to concept art below)





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably also depends on your quality of post-processing, if thats good you can just focus on minimizing overhang and don't care where the seems are.

When I see stuf like this (pussykrew), I know there's a lot to learn on postprocessing this stuff is also printed in multiple parts.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the guy putting it together is a prop maker, so I don't think seams are a problem.

I think it's more a case of it being easier to fit together/slightly stronger if the seams flow along the curve rather than just vertical and horizontal, in addition to any keys.

I'm pretty sure it's going to have a mold anyway afterwards.

Just interested in how people are approaching larger than build volume prints - seems like the sort of thing that would be useful to have in Cura.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need to split in two parts you can do like this in Cura:

Cut object bottom: X mm (half of the object height when positionned)

Rotate the object to the best printing position

Print part 1 then rotate 180° and print other part.

In meshmixer not sure if it's the best way to do this but here's how i do:

Plane Cut the object, export the remaining part in STL.

Undo plane Cut, rotate 180°c, place cut again and export the part to STL.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

can be done easier..

do a plane cut, but choose slice instead of cut from the drop down menu.

It looks like nothing happened, there is still one item in the Object Browser, but if you select 'separate shells' then you have two parts.

This also can be detected: use select tab and hit a part of the object so that a piece of surface turns orange. Hit the 'E' key and the rest of the part is selected.

(Move an object: hit the 'T' key)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Our picks

    • Ultimaker Cura | a new interface
      We're not only trying to always make Ultimaker Cura better with the usual new features and improvements we build, but we're also trying to make it more pleasant to operate. The interface was the focus for the upcoming release, from which we would already like to present you the first glance. 
        • Like
      • 130 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!