top sculpteoSo your 3D design is done and you are ready to have Sculpteo 3D print it. But the design does not pass Sculpteo’s immediate solidity check process, which means that the company can’t recognize your design as 3D printable due to some complications. The most common complication here is that your design’s walls are too thin and won’t print properly. But you realize that and you are still wanting to go through with the print. Never fear. There are ways to override the solidity check and press on with your printing plans. Here Sculpteo explains a few details about using its tools and “print it anyway” policy since you might be dying to see how your design prints, regardless of the outcome.

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When you are first preparing to upload your design to the Sculpteo website, you can always expect a few things: the design will stay private unless you decide to make it public; you will immediately get a price quote on 3D printing your object; and, finally, Sculpteo will test the object’s printability using its immediate solidity check process. This process checks to see if wall thinness will obstruct a successful print. In the above picture, you can see that the orange and yellow parts of this seflie design are too thin. But if you switch to printing with a different material, you may be able to eliminate those thin areas, and prepare the model for printing. It might be as simple as switching materials.

Your next option is to use Sculpteo’s instant wall thickening tool, which “reforms” your object using a “system of complex geometric algorithms” to determine how to push and pull your object’s walls to its necessary printable state:

“The model is placed into a space where millions of points on an XY&Z plane are documented. An algorithm then determines which point away from the thin area would make the object sufficiently thick for the given material. The algorithm then creates a new mesh around the points, thickening just the areas that need it.”

thin2Sculpteo describes this process as “reforming your object,” because in order to get the wall thickness correct, the fundamental constitution of the object might change. It may result in an object that looks different than the initial design — even one that you decide not to print. See the example at right for the selfie design after the wall thickening tool has been used on it.

In order to get the wall thickness right in the selfie design, the arms turned into Popeye arms, rendering the design most likely unprintable since it barely resembles the initial design’s arms (or legs).

Another solution is to increase the print’s overall size until everything turns green (see below photo). In this case, you end up with a larger figurine, but the proportions match the desired proportions of the initial design — making it 3D printable. But this is assuming that you approve of the idea of having a larger sized model that will certainly cost more.

Finally, if you decide you still want to go ahead and print your initial design despite not passing the solidity check, you can email Sculpteo with your registration number at contact@sculpteo.com. They will be able to tell you what to expect if you do this. Some of us take risks in life, and 3D printing is one of them, right?

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