Shrinkwrap, Make watertight and 3Dprint

I have a client who needs help to make a architect model watertight for 3d-printing. The models contains thousends of polysurfaces and blocks and they are originally exported from Revit. The problem is that the objects doesnt intersect and edges sometimes overlapp each other and some of the objects are non-manifold, - There will be many hours of cutting, extending, trimming and joining.
I have read some other topics about this in the forum but it doesnt seem to be a quickfix for this. I know there are software who shrinkwrap the object or objects to make it solid (or a solid around it) , someone suggested a 3D-drape command could be useful.
My question is; Any new tips or tricks in this subject?

Egad…no there’s no quick fix. Some CAD programs have a ‘shrinkwrap’ feature, but I presume that’s a lot easier to make work on a native parametric model than on some random pile of surfaces vomited from Revit(and I guess I’ve visited guys who deal with this for their job and have Solidworks, and no it doesn’t work.)

If the model was made up of individual pieces that are closed, then good slicing software should be able to handle that without you having to turn everything into one solid, but that’s only one of the issues, the end result may not even form an actual solid, many of the features will be so small they’re just getting in the way, etc.

You can also try to contact a printing company (like Materialise, or Shapeways), as they often have high end 3d print software that can deal with a lot of issues. As a test you could upload (part of) the model and see what you get back in their automated checks.


I can confirm that it is worth asking around different 3D printing companies as they have different levels of technical skill in handling dirty geometry.

The solution generally involves some redrawing from scratch.


Thank you all, as I supspected…
While cutting and joining surfaces on the model I was thinking of possible worksflows and tools, and one idea I had was to explode the model and to extend all the outher surfaces in UV directions then do “create solid”. The problem is that this model contains approximately 40-50000 surfaces and it would by hand probably take several weeks to finish it with a uncertain result. Maybe it would be possible to do a grasshopper definition or a script to perform this?

You need the client to suppress everything unnecessary in the model to get what you have to do down to something feasible, then more than likely basically rebuild it as a much simpler model.

This is a problem I have all the time… We get models from architects (generally as revit) and have to prepare the Mass Timber components (CLT Panels, Glulam Beams, etc) for fabrication / machining.

Pretty much end up rebuilding the model in Rhino, using the Revit imports as guides / etc. There’s a decent plugin (visualARQ) which might help with the import if you can get your hands on the native revit file. Then again, if you can get your hands on the native revit, then I suggest doing as @JimCarruthers said, and strip everything out that isn’t necessary for your print / fab. Then export just those pieces to rhino. And then, more than likely, rebuild it as solids.