Creating good walls

I have a mesh file of a car. It is made up of many different meshes but not joined. I want to offset these meshes to create a wall so that I can 3d print this file hollow. If I offset these meshes too large some ends will protrude through to other walls. I plan to 3d print this file large but right now in a smaller version the windows and roof don’t come out with a thick enough wall and just cave in. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could solve this problem. Any input is greatly appreciated

In general this workflow can be time consuming with many special cases as you begin to establish your thickened parts. I’d suggest using the Join command to join meshes together. Then check them with ShowEdges>naked edge display to see if you have any gaps. OffsetMesh with the solid option is probably what you’re using already but that will produce an offset while also creating the edge polys needed to make it closed. The command MeshRepair will also be useful to fix small gaps or unify normals. Again, depending on the input mesh, this may not be easy but the up side is you’ll learn a ton about meshes.

Check out these tutorials too…

thank you @BrianJ. I have already learned so much more about meshes I didn’t before. I also thought that joining meshes would ease the problem a bit. unfortunately the meshes in this file have separate colors and when joined I loose the individual colors and everything becomes one color. for this 3d print it is important that I retain the colors. it has also been time consuming when I did actually sit to take the time to offset mesh solid with each individual part.


Here is another thing you may try: you would need my script to join meshes and retain color from the other thread, and the Rhino 6 WIP. There is an interesting new feature of adding thickness to objects (render-mesh based) that can be extracted later on (you can dynamically change the thickness). Looks like Rhino retains mesh vertex colors with OffsetMesh command and also with the new feature, which is nice and should help.
Still, not sure how good this will work on a complex model like the car, but worth a try.

See the sample workflow video:



@jarek We are working with Rhino V5 currently. I’m sure I sound like just a newbie and I’m sorry for that, but I am. I’m going to look further into this.

I very much appreciate your assistance.

Hey, you are welcome. As for V6 WIP it is not critical to use - you can get the same result in V5 with offsetting the mesh, its just one-time deal vs. changeable property of the object, but the ‘thickness’ property is most likely just regular mesh offset that is done under the hood of Rhino.

Good luck with your project–


Another command you might like to try on your project is ComputeVertexColors. This will bake any texture map color values into the vertex points of the mesh. You can then join meshes without losing the colors. For a solid color on a mesh, switch to Rendered display and make a new basic material in the Materials panel. Then add a Single Color Texture to this material (one of the standard choices in v5) and change it’s color value as needed. Assign the material to a mesh and run ComputeVertexColors to bake the color in. If you delete the material the color should still be visible.

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