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Thread: 3d Printing from Revit

  1. #1
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    3d Printing from Revit

    I was curious as to any experiences you all had with 3d printing from Revit.

    Is it painless when using the STL exporter from The Factory?

    What 3d printing tech do you use?

    How much training / setup was required?

    Is there anything I should know that would inform a go/no go discussion about harnessing 3d printing for use in visualizing revit based design problems?

    Thanks.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    We have a 3D printer here, and have been doing a bunch of stuff out of Revit. Its not as easy as Export to STL and throw it to the printer, and there are some limitations to the STL exporter. Our guys focusing on the 3D printing initiative are finding they actually prefer to export to 3DDWG and make the STL out of Max.

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    Which machine do you use? How much setup time does it require to get a slice of Revit to print?

    Overall, has your firm found the ROI to be worth it?

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    I dont know about cost. But my office has at least 30 models there were printed on our 3d printer. From what I ve seen it dosent take a lot of time.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    I dont recall the exact model number, but i can get it later.

    How much setup time, prep time, preprinting time, and postprinting time depends on how nice of a model you want. Im sure if you make the model small enough, and just want to get some generic massing out of it, you can do it pretty quickly. Our guys are working on the creating a great workflow for checking the STL in an STL editing program, gap-filling, element resizing, slicing and pinning the model as required to assemble it after the fact, etc, and then doing the cavity cleanout and whatnot after printing, so we can work efficiently.

    There is also: Making sure the powder can get out so it doesnt weigh down things like ceilings, and break them... Dealing with mullions that you want to see, dont want to make cartoonish, but are too small to print, etc... It takes time.

    Is it worth the ROI? Definitely. We have the models now, whereas before we wouldve been paying a hefty price for them. Any of the shops that do a really good job with the 3D printing will do a bunch of processing, and will charge you a bunch for them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3d Printing from Revit-image1.jpg   3d Printing from Revit-image2.jpg   3d Printing from Revit-image3.jpg  

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    Twiceroadsfool

    These look great! we currently have a filament printer which has its limitations. Big ones when it comes to fine detail. I'm hoping that i can convince my managers to invest in a powder printer soon and avoid the costly hand made (beautiful as they are) that we currently have produced at project completion.

    So STL into Max? 3DS? We are about to bring in Revit (in design suite ultimate so including 3DS Max) so wondering how Max 'slices' the model to produce a file that is readable by the printer?

    Currently I STL export from ACAD, run through Cura suite, export the resulting GCODE and print.

    I you could send details of your printer model and cost (I appreciate your post is quite old but can google none the less) i would be grateful

    Many thanks

    J

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    Autodesk JeffH's Avatar
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    We have a Makerbot at the office and I use Revit to make some stuff on it. I have been exporting from Revit to an SAT file and then using Inventor to check the model and generate the STL. That has generally worked for me. I do not have a great way to check the thickness of stuff or "printability". That is more trial and error. The things I am printing are not architectural in nature either, more me just fooling around.

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    Member JeffreyMcGrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffH View Post
    We have a Makerbot at the office and I use Revit to make some stuff on it. I have been exporting from Revit to an SAT file and then using Inventor to check the model and generate the STL. That has generally worked for me. I do not have a great way to check the thickness of stuff or "printability". That is more trial and error. The things I am printing are not architectural in nature either, more me just fooling around.
    There is a STL exporter for Revit, too: STL Exporter | Autodesk Revit | Autodesk Exchange Apps

    We've gotten decent results with it, but it doesn't have much control over curvy things.

    But exporting to either Max via Linking or Inventor via SAT, and then re-exporting to STL gives you a lot more control over the process.

    I've done some 3D printing out of Revit to Z-corp machines via Revit -> Max. It works pretty well honestly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffH View Post
    We have a Makerbot at the office and I use Revit to make some stuff on it. I have been exporting from Revit to an SAT file and then using Inventor to check the model and generate the STL. That has generally worked for me. I do not have a great way to check the thickness of stuff or "printability". That is more trial and error. The things I am printing are not architectural in nature either, more me just fooling around.
    Well be bring in Inventor also as part of BIm approach so will look to utilse that for possibly exporting our models to print. Currently we have an ultimaker which is pretty much identical to a makerbot, save a few additions/omissions depending on age etc

    Many thanks

    J

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    Autodesk JeffH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy_D_69 View Post
    Well be bring in Inventor also as part of BIm approach so will look to utilse that for possibly exporting our models to print. Currently we have an ultimaker which is pretty much identical to a makerbot, save a few additions/omissions depending on age etc

    Many thanks

    J
    I did have some scaling issues as well when I first started. Things coming into the maker bot software really huge. You need to have some idea of how big the final product is supposed to be (max dimensions) in order to scale it. At least in the Makerbot software. With some trial and error again I have found if I draw something in Revit in CM then it comes in to the Makerbot software scaled down by a factor of 10. So 10cm in Revit becomes 10mm in Makerbot. That actually work out good for me because I am building really small stuff which Revit does not like to draw, so when I draw in CM I can usually get what I need. I just have to remember it will convert to MM when printed.

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