cannot thicken surface to print

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by stephensg, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. stephensg
    stephensg New Member
    I've been having problems getting a 3D object to print economically.

    I essentialy have a surface made of 3D faces, I want to thicken it to the minimum 0.13" so I can print it, but I cannot get this to work.

    If I turn the 3D faces into a surface, it will not allow me to thicken it due to self intersecting faces.

    I can extrude the faces and create a solid, but that is much too much material to print.

    I simply need a 0.13" thick 3D object of the surface.
    I have added 3 images for reference.

    Any suggestions or help would be great. I can turn this into any type of object if needed.


    Attached Files:

  2. christopherlowe
    christopherlowe New Member
    what program are you using?

    this is a simple project if using the proper programs...

    does this represent something?

    post a usable file and i or someone else will be happy to fix it for you...
  3. stephensg
    stephensg New Member
    I am using Autocad 2012.

    I have attached a .DWG file with two versions of the object in it. One as a solid, one as simply regions.

    If I run Solidedit/Body/Shell it also fails.

    The model is a topographic surface.

    I will be pouring silicone overtop of the printed model to create a re-usable mold, so it does not matter what the inside looks like, but the surface needs to be correct.

    I need to have minimum wall thickness of 0.13" for it to be printable.

    I need to try and get the printed cost less than $100 (material does not matter). so If it is more than that I'll need to scale it down.

    Thanks for any help!

    Attached Files:

  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    If you can save it as a 2005 or newer I can help. I'd look for either a shell command or a thicken sheet body command in AutoCad. Those are the tools I'd use in Keycreator.
  5. pfeifferstylez
    pfeifferstylez New Member
    I imported the DWG to Autodesk Inventor, but...

    Shell command doesn't work, because it is just a skin without any volume,
    and thicken/offset doesn't work because of the geometry.

    You could try the scale the "simply regions" version a little bit down, put the scaled down variant inside of the big variant, and close the gaps between both on the bottom side...
  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    To do the shell command I would create a surface for the bottom and stitch it into a solid before performing the command.
  7. dizingof
    dizingof New Member
    I think it's time a "Veteran" designer reveal one of the "secretes" how to create thickness for surfaces...

    for a precise wall thickness and for lowering 3D Printing cost...

    1. Google Meshlab and install it (its free)

    2. load your surface model, better be an obj, stl ,wrl (DWG not supported)

    3. click on the Filters tab--> Remeshing simplification.. --> Uniform mesh resampling

    set the Precision parameter to 1.0%
    set the offset value to 53.0%
    check the "Absolute Distance"

    seconds/minutes later you'll have some "meat" on your surface.. (exact X mm thickness)

    if you check the "multisample" too , it will enhance the resolution of your new shell but could also crash the software..

    when done, export to your 3d tool for cleaning and smoothing or.. learn how to do it on Meshlab too.

  8. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Thanks Dizi, I'll have to try that out for some of my new models that I'm building in new software that I haven't used before.
  9. christopherlowe
    christopherlowe New Member
    this also can be achieved in blender. the hard part though is getting it into blender, but because you have autocad you can export it out in 3ds format.

    after importing it into blender and setting it to the right size it is just a matter of adding the right modifier...

    that is the solidify modifier. it has all you need to adjust distance and whatnot... there are also some nifty parameters that will color the edge according to the materials that are attached to the object...

    by the way MAX has a very similar function if you prefer that route... it is the shell modifier.

  10. stephensg
    stephensg New Member
    Thanks for all the help!

    I exported it from Autocad into Meshlab and followed the steps posted. I checked the wall thickness with Netfabb Studio and all is well.

    Now I can scale down my original and repeat the process until I can stomach the cost of printing.
  11. stephensg
    stephensg New Member
    Hello again.
    I am still having trouble with this one model.

    When I follow the steps above it does thicken, but it adds a lot of dips and errors in the surface.

    When I am in Autocad typically I can just thicken the surface to the desired thickness (0.15") but it wont allow me to do it one this one, i get an error about intersecting edges.

    I'd like to keep the surface looking identical, but simply thickin it on the "inside". so essentially I have a 0.15" thick shell.

    Can anyone have a look at this file and tell me what I can do.

    Thanks a lot!

    Attached Files:

  12. JACANT
    JACANT Well-Known Member
    I extruded all the faces internally, then used the slice command to trim all the external overlapping faces. The inside is a bit of a mess. You may still have a problem here were the walls separate from each other . These spaces may need filling in.
    I was a bit confused with the scale when imported in netfabb it came to 6mm. I don't know if you work in inches or mm, so I scaled everything by 25.4. Thats how many mm there are in 1 inch.
    If you want the repaired files give me a PM
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012