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Thickening an .stl for 3D Printing

Message 1 of 3
3221 Views, 2 Replies

Thickening an .stl for 3D Printing

So thankfully I finally found the extrude tool in Meshmixer which has been giving me pretty good results in thickening some very thin 3D print files.


I have this helmet which I want to thicken. It is for a 1/6 figure so the inside doesn't need to be perfect. However when I go to extrude after selecting in orange, the colour changes from the normal orange highlighted area to this red colour. It won't thicken/extrude !!


What does this mean ? and 

What can I do to prevent it or make the thickening/extruding work correctly ??


HELP !!!


Message 2 of 3
in reply to: andrewhoodless

Before doing Extrude: Is there an interior surface inside the helmet or is the object the exterior only with an open boundary?


IMO Extrude isn't the best tool for this task . Even if the tool is set to extrude along the surface normals (Direction set to Normals) it might result in self intersections. SELECT/Offset instead tries to get rid of such intersections . Make sure its Connected option is on.


Anyhow Extrude should not fail!

Red surfaces as a result of a tool means the tool failed to do the operation.

Did you run ANALYSIS/Inspector before? If Inspector finds more issues (in case theres only the exterior shell) than the main open boundary click all markers but the blue one pointing to the main boundary.


Gunter Weber
Triangle Artisan

Message 3 of 3
in reply to: MagWeb

I've found the "non-compute" red surface does seem to stem from intersecting surfaces (such as raised areas like ribs etc). I've tried offset, however this does not work any better. As an adequate work around I have found if I select flat areas and not the raised "complex areas" it works fine. 


My workflow is therefore as follows,

1). Select flat areas in a big patch at a time and periodically hit D to see if it will extrude.

2). If the extruded area is shown OK, press escape to get out of the extrude function and continue highlighting area.

3). Of course complete extrude and save from time to time.


I have found you can get pretty close to the ribs so as not to have a thin section which could tear due to it still being thinner than the thickened area.


Hopefully this can help someone else as well.


Screenshot 2020-02-15 at 12.52.42.jpg

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