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File Fixing for 3D Printing

File fixing for 3D printing is an essential part of the 3D printing process. Before you print a 3D model, you need to fix your STL file.

File fixing starts with conversion to STL format. Most 3D printers accept the .STL file format, but you may need to update your CAD application with an add-in so that you can export an .STL file from your existing application.

We can help you convert any 3D format, such as Revit, to STL. However, that’s only the first step in the 3D printing process. Before you print, you need to import the STL file into a file fixing program such as Magics, Meshmixer or 3DEdit. This process involves fixing all errors, filling holes, strengthening or resizing elements and hollowing to reduce material usage. We can help you with these tasks too.

Before you start printing, you need to ask your self the following questions:

  • Is the mesh closed or watertight?
  • Is the mesh properly oriented?
  • How many “border edges” are present? These are edges that are not shared by two triangles in the mesh.
  • How many triangles are not oriented as expected (with respect to the neighboring triangles)?
  • How many holes does the model have?

Use the Get-A-Quote button above to submit a file for a free quotation.

Our File Fixing Services For 3D Printers

  1. STL Conversion (e.g. RVT to STL conversion):
  2. You just can’t “press print” on your Revit model and expect it to 3D print. If you simply import a typical Revit file into a 3D printing software application, it will try to print each individual element. This would require massive “support structure” and many elements will not print because of the reduced scale. First you need to export your 3D model (e.g. in Revit format) and save it as an STL file. Just make sure you select the same units as your Revit file. Now your model is ready to be imported into your 3D printer software as an STL.

  3. Hole Fix:
  4. Having a hole or gap in your .stl mesh is one of the most common errors that will prevent your file from 3D printing. It’s important that your object is watertight (i.e. “manifold”), meaning there are no holes on the outside surface where water would pour out if your model was hypothetically filled with water. It’s a term you will come across a lot when reading about 3D printing. We can solve this problem for you by using a file fixing program like Magics or Meshmixer.

  5. Bad Edge Fix:
  6. Many 3D models include two or more shapes that intersect each other. If two shapes share the same edge, the exported .STL will have what’s called a bad edge – in short, the conversion won’t know how to turn that into a triangle.

  7. Reversed Normals Fix:
  8. Also known as inverted normals, these errors appear when a side of a triangle is flipped when the CAD program converts the model to a .STL.

  9. Strengthening:
  10. Adding fillets (rounded edges) to a design will strengthen unsupported surfaces and make parts more robust by distributing stress over a broader area. While 3D printing is capable of printing 90 degree corners, fillets are recommended to add strength to any part. “Lollipop head” features, where a large mass connects to a much smaller mass, are especially prone to breaking, making them ideal candidates for fillets as well.

  11. Resizing:
  12. There’s nothing wrong with a large file, but 3D files need to be shared or uploaded, and very heavy 3D files can be cumbersome. We can reduce the file size while maintaing the quality of your 3D print. After all, we do not want to reduce the file size in exchange for a lower quality print.

  13. Hollowing:
  14. Creating pockets in designs, also known as “lightweighting”, will reduce print material, making model more cost-effective to build. When creating a pocket, we create an exit hole for un-sintered (SLS and direct metal laser sintering, DMLS) or support (PolyJet) material removal.

To get started, click on the Get-A-Quote button at the top of this page to submit your input files and instructions.