Rhino 8 and shrinkwrap and 3D printing

Upon reading about suggestions to help VisualARQ models be 3D printer friendly, I find the suggested steps to be a bit onerous.

As a result, I was wondering, would it be much simpler to install Rhino 8 and use the shrinkwrap command/feature to create a watertight model for 3D printing?

Is it possible to use VisualARQ in both Rhino 7 and 8 on the same computer?

Any and all comments are appreciated. Thank you.

I can’t speak to visual arq, but you can 100% run rhino 7 and 8 on the same machine with zero issues.


Yes, you can definitely run both. I’d say, this sounds like it’s worth giving a try!

The overall workflow would look like this:

1 - Explode all VA objects and clean up geometry.
2 - Export relevant building geometry to new file.
3 - Import geometry into Rhino 8 & run Shrinkwrap.
4 - Scale geometry & send to Slicer.

Please post your results! I’ve been mulling over a similar workflow but haven’t had a chance to test it yet. I guess it largely depends on how good Shrinkwrap does its job.

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Thank you!

@theoutside @Clayton_Muhleman

Thank you both for your responses!

I will definitely try the suggested workflow. Just got the 3D printer and itching to print.

Got curious over lunch and decided to take a swing at this.


  1. Explode VArc objects
  2. Copy/Paste into Rhino 8 WIP
  3. Explode Blocks and edit: DON’T Boolean Union all parts of building
    a. select all walls together and explode at the same time in order to preserve edges & connections
    b. do the same to the walls.
  4. Run Shrinkwrap


Left to right: exploded VA NURBS, Shrinkwrap geometry, MESH command

This works pretty good, however I can’t see a reason to not just use the “MESH” command. This makes a more predictable mesh object with much more lightweight geometry for Cura to work with. Althought, it doesn’t seem to mind since we’re way past the resolution threshold for what it cares about for cleanliness.

Shrinkwrap Geometry:

MESH command Geometry:

Shrinkwrap Feet for Bed Adhesion:

Hi @Edward_Sager

Are you talking about these? Tips to create a printable 3D model - VisualARQ
I wrote these tips some years ago, but I think some of them might be still useful for turning your VisualARQ model into a 3D printable model.

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I cannot see a difference between the red models with either the shrinkwrap geometry or the Mesh command. I imagine that is a good thing for using shrinkwrap.

Great idea to include feet.

Thank you for experimenting and sharing your results.

I will be trying this within the next few weeks. I am uncertain when my filament will arrive.

Again, thank you.

@fsalla Yes, that is the page I was reading and trying to grasp at about 4:00 AM.

I must admit that I try to stay from mass “Explode then recombine,” as I have had bad experiences with it and get a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of lines/curves/faces/etc. which Explode creates.

My models often have naked lines/orphaned curves and other nonsense from a lack of cleaning up the models as I go along and I have, at times, resorted to re-creating the entire model or searching for the saved Rhino file version (I always have many incrementally saved files) which was saved just before messing up my model.


I am hoping that VisualARQ will help reduce my messy models.

I am looking forward to learning more about it, as well as 3D printing over the next few weeks.

I’ve never seen that doc! That’s 100% the right way to do it.

3D printing takes the work of physically modeling a building and pushes it towards digital work. Using the existing parameters built into the model to make the building work at the resolution of whatever printer you’re using would be just about as efficient as can be imagined.

@Edward_Sager Yes, that’s a good thing for shrinkwrap, but the MESH command has fewer opportunities for failure. The both might be useful for different buildings, but my money’s on MESH.

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If you’re running ShrinkWrap on the exploded blocks you can skip the boolean union work and just explode and then wrap. Shrinkwrap will union it all.

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@Trav Of course, shrinkwrap just wraps the whole thing, regardless of what it’s attached to. Very cool!

Edited post just in case anyone reads that in the future.

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@Clayton_Muhleman @Trav Thank you both for your responses. I am printing the model without having used Shrinkwrap or Mesh and then I will try it again, once with Mesh and once with Shrinkwrap.

I had a difficult time deciding which answer to mark as the solution. I would really like to choose more than one post as an answer or as a contributing answer.

Again, thank you!