Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

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Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Fri-11-Jan

I have a friend who works for a development company and he sent me a model of a house that they would like to print for their client, the problem is the model contains all of the internal rooms etc which are not needed and would add tons of time to the print. Does anybody know of an easy way to simply discard all info except for the outer shell? I don't have access to high end 3d software either so if possible I'd like to stick to free solutions (sketchup, blender etc).

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
James
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Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby jolars » 2015-Jan-Fri-12-Jan

I believe MeshMixer from Autodesk will do this, it is a free piece of software useful for repairing holes in files and other simple fixes.

I don't have it at work, but can test this evening to make sure.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby jolars » 2015-Jan-Fri-12-Jan

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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby musk » 2015-Jan-Fri-14-Jan

There is probably no automated solution that will remove internal rooms from a house. Preparing architectural models for 3d printing can be a time-consuming process because architectural draftsmen don't really model in ways that are friendly to 3d printing, they design models to be easily modified during the design process and this is usually counter to achieving a "watertight" model without unnecessary elements or pieces that will be too small to print at a small scale. Also, this means that every time the draftsman makes a revision you'd have to re-prepare the model for printing. It's a rough road.

If you've got the time and passion it'd be a great way to learn about 3d modeling.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby evanalmighty » 2015-Jan-Fri-15-Jan

The easiest way is to convert the entire house into a solid model. Then when you print, set it to print Top, bottom, and perimeter only with 0% infill.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Fri-15-Jan

Thanks for the info everyone.
@Jolars, thanks I'll definitely look into that, haven't done much in meshmixer but I did convert a sketchup model using it so my buddy could plasma cut some sheet metal for me for this project I made awhile back http://pi-fidelity.blogspot.ca/2013/05/ ... ombox.html

@Musk, I actually have experience with some 3d design and I've been doing a lot lately since getting my printer, while I know I could go in and manually fix the model to make it more printable I was hoping there might be a quick fix solution which it seems there might be some.

@evanalmighty, can you elaborate on how to convert a model to a solid? I'm not aware how to do this in Sketchup, or were you using a different program? Also, which printing program/slicr are you using that lets you specify only top/bottom/perimeter? I haven't had much time to yet to try out other tools, I've soley been using Repetier/Slicr. I was planning on giving Cura a shot this weekend, I've also been hearing a lot of people praising Simplify 3D but I can't justify $140 after dropping just over 1K on a printer and a bunch of filament :)
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby jolars » 2015-Jan-Fri-16-Jan

You could also just ask your friend to better prep the model you are printing for him ;)
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby evanalmighty » 2015-Jan-Fri-17-Jan

@jph I'm not exactly sure how it's done with Sketchup as I have not used it in a long time. I use Solidworks and Catia. What file format are you working with? If you want you can send me the model and I'll make it into a solid for you.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby mechanizedmedic » 2015-Jan-Fri-19-Jan

Some of the Cura settings might take care of this. In the expert settings window there are some check-boxes (lower right) that will cause it to fill holes to varying degrees. Some of them are pretty aggressive and might fit your needs.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Sun-15-Jan

@Jolars, :) Yes that was what I did first, however I anticipate this happening more and more so I thought I'd see if there was a simple fix. Also I watched the meshmixer video and I don't think what that person is doing will work, that seems more for filling holes in the skin and combing two objects though I guess I won't know for sure until I give it a shot.

@Evanalmighty I wish I had solidworks but unless I pirate it (which I'm against) then it'll remain way out of my price range forever :) I've been using Sketchup for years and just like how quick and easy it is to use. I export as STL from Sketchup, as for the file I appreciate the offer but I really can't send it since it is from a construction company and I'm sure it's considered IP.

@Mechanizedmedic I've yet to have time to try Cura and get it setup, now are you meaning the standalone Cura program or using the Cura Engine within Repetier?
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby mechanizedmedic » 2015-Jan-Mon-20-Jan

I only use the full version of Cura so I can't comment on it's function with Repetier.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby ThereWillBprints2 » 2015-Apr-Sat-18-Apr

Cura and Repetier are my workhorse combo. As of lately though I noticed Cura adding extra paths that did not need to be there. A simple fix can be switching the model into any other software be slicing. I don't know what happens but in theory each program will optimize the model before allowing it to be configured. Check it again after slicing to compare, there are different paths. Also Cura advanced settings require a spreadsheet and pure attention to detail. Changing even your nozzle width will change the path of how your model is laid down by layer.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby asteinmark » 2015-Jun-Mon-14-Jun

Some modeling programs will let you shell an object. I know Solidworks lets you and I believe the free version of Autodesk Inventor does. This works great because you can select the shell thickness.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby cacb » 2015-Jun-Tue-02-Jun

A hollow object can be made by modelling a solid and slice it with a given skin thickness (e.g. 0.8mm) and using zero infill. I have done it using KISSlicer, it is probably also possible with other slicers.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby frankv » 2015-Jun-Tue-13-Jun

I suspect that you would still need to print the inner walls, to support the ceiling/roof. Or replace them with infill.
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Re: Make any model hollow (ie delete internal components)

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Jun-Tue-18-Jun

Slic3r has an infill when needed option to handle this situation, iirc it will generate infill that slopes out from the inner walls rather than filling the entire object. It would be interesting to experiment with it and see what happens. Tuning your bridging speeds and fan settings should help a lot with minimizing the amount you'll need.

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