Split Meshes for 3D Printing

I’m trying to split architectural models into parts for 3d printing using rhino. I import FBX files from software like Revit and Sketchup, and I don’t have control over how the software groups meshes. I’d like to split these models into parts, but i’m having trouble getting clean cuts. where can I learn how to do this?

Those meshes seem simple enough to split OK - Rhino’s mesh intersection/trim/split algorithm isn’t the strongest though… Can you post a sample file to look at?


3dcl2015-03-11_ModelReview_Forum.3dm (2.1 MB)

Here’s the file to have a look at. Someone else modeled it in sketchup, and the company who hired me wants to get a quote for 3D printing. Looks like there are tons of non-manifold edges, but I can probably sort that out. please try to make some slices through the model, and let me know your process if you have any luck. thanks, LImbatus

Hi Limbatus- these are pretty messy… lots of self-intersections, duplicates, degenerate faces. I guess a lot of the tools under the Mesh menu > MeshEdit tools, Mesh Repair tools will be needed. Run Check to see what to work on. The MeshRepair wizard may also come in handy on these.


Life working with Architects…
This is pretty common for the level of modeling at local design firms. Are there any programs that will Boolean all parts / solidify the whole model, so that I can shell it? I bought Zbrush hoping it would do this, but one of the developer reps said it won’t help me. What are some other good mesh repair / manipulation tools?

You might want to try the new Rhino3DPrint plug-in from Mecsoft… --Mitch

I use Netfabb Pro, it works pretty well for shelling, splitting, and boolean functions.

I tried CadSpan many years ago, which is geared toward architectural models. At the time it was relatively new, and there were some issues I was having with very small details that hopefully have been worked through. Its definitely worth looking at. Maybe the have made some fixes, or maybe the issues I was having would not be a problem for you.