Applying matrix to solids for reducing 3D printing material


I want to print a solid model I created in Rhino but I don’t want to use as little plastic as possible because I’m just prototyping the size, shape, and feel of the product.

How can I apply some sort of 3D matrix structure to the solid body to reduce the material needed to represent my model? An additional bonus would be a thin outer-shell to give it the look of being solid.

Any help/suggestions/resources appreciated!



These are the sorts of things that can best be done with the 3D printer software if it allows that. For example Stratasys FDM machines can print a honeycomb structure in the areas of the model that are above a minimum wall thickness to save material. The main problem is if you have a solid outer and a honeycomb inner with other types of systems (Z-Corp, SLS, SLA, etc.) the material you hoped to save will be trapped on the inside anyway. So you would need to provide openings to the inside to let this material out…

One other way to approach it would be to cut the model in two in a logical place, then shell the parts to a minimum wall thickness and print it in two hollow halves, then glue the two parts back together after printing.



I’ve not tried this program myself, but Uformia’s MeshUp or Symvol sounds like something that might help.

Glancing their requirements, the Rhino plugin doesn’t appear compatible with 64-bit Rhino 5, though… and PC only.

Uformia MeshUp