Beginner with 3D Questions

Forgive me but I’m rather new to the 3D model & 3D printer design world. I’m watching all the tutorial vids for 123D and reading up on the topic. So much to take in. I am determine to create my own models however until I get there I may have some pretty lame :confused: questions. The first one is the wafer, criss cross pattern inside solid printed models. Is that automatically generated via Cura for solid models or does one have to design that in the 3D model program.
GunZ :slight_smile:

That’s called infill and it’s generated by your slicer (so Cura, Slic3r, etc). There are different types of patterns you can pick from when you’re getting your model ready to print. You don’t model it yourself though - you can model the objects as a solid and then using an infill of less than 100% will fill the inside of your object with whatever pattern you pick. It’s usually done for speed & cost (less to print so it’s much faster and less plastic is needed).

You can see some examples of the different types in the Slic3r manual here:

Infill…DOH! :blush: That sounds way better then wafer & criss cross. I have seen the term used in my readings but didn’t make the correlation until you kindly responded. Thanks for that. So if I was to make a basic solid cube in 123d and drop it in cura it would print the cube at the default infill setting ( 20% or whatever) and not solid( unless set at 100%) correct? So on a solid how is wall thickness set. Is this set by cura too?
Thanks again

Exactly. A solid cube would come out hollow (but with some type of infill pattern) if you sliced it with a 20% infill. You’ll have to play around with the settings for different objects since sometimes you may want a nice high infill so you get a strong, mostly solid object. Then there are items that may be more decorative or simply don’t need the extra strength/weight, so you’d use a much lower infill like your 20% example.

I don’t work with Cura much (I use a TAZ 1 and until somewhat recently, Slic3r was the recommendation…so I’m just getting up to speed on Cura), but in Slic3r, it was called perimeters. If you set it to 3 for example, it would essentially outline your model with three solid passes of plastic and then anything that still needed to be filled in would get whatever infill setting you had.

If I remember correctly, Cura actually has a “wall thickness” setting though, so you may want to Google around on that for Cura. It should be a pretty obvious setting in there, but I don’t know off the top of my head exactly where it shows up.

Thanks again. I will take a look at cura settings for this. In the mean time I’m just going to create a few simple shapes and print them taking note of infill & wall settings and see how this translates to the print. I just wanted to be sure I was not going to print a solid hunk of plastic on my first try… know what I mean… :unamused:

Go to thingiverse and download a few simple toys. Print those. It’s fun and a great learning experience.
There’s a search feature. Type in toys, or trucks, or yoda… :smiley:

Also, with CURA and with Slic3r & Pronterface there’s a preview of what you’re going to see layer by layer BEFORE you print. Always a great way to feel more confident before you actually print something the first time.

Thanks edlink. Have been printing models from there.

Loaded my first profile in expert mode and printed at 0% infill. Had some problems at first with the auto level on mini but sorted now. I’m learning…slowly. I should be out of your hair by June …2018 :wink: :open_mouth:


I’ve managed to learn a few tricks the past few weeks with 123D, Meshmixer & Openscad but have run into a bit of a road block. When I render a model in openscad then try to edit it in 123D I can’t. Tried looking through their respective forums and a few Googled key word searches with no luck. It would seem a model rendered in openscad is considered locked or grouped when in 123D? No faces or edges appear. One big solid model? Is there some way to add faces, edges or break the model apart so one could at least chaffer the edge? I’ve tried “split solid” in 123D and this won’t work either.

One the file is an STL file is exported from OpenSCAD, it’s basically a 3D mesh and no longer a parameterized solid model that tools like 123D (or other engineering type 3D tools) can work with. If you want to modify the mesh, you’ll have to use a tool that can work with meshes such as Blender.

It looks like FreeCAD has a somewhat convoluted process that can make a mesh into a solid so you can manipulate it, so that may be something to try:

It’ll be easier, less frustrating, and probably better results if you can do all of your modeling in OpenSCAD or in 123D. If you’re hitting some limitations with those apps, FreeCAD (Free) and Cubify Invent ($50) are good apps that are are advanced, but don’t have the crazy licensing costs like SolidWorks, so you may want to give them a look as well.

  • Adam

I purchased Cubify Design ($200) and I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t know how Cubify Invent differs, but it might be a good option. I tried FreeCAD but it kept crashing on me. You can get a 30 day free trial for Cubify Design and try it out. It takes a while to get up to speed but I like it. Once you have a 3D model you can easily chamfer or fillet any edge. You can also combine multiple 3D parts to create 3D assemblies in Cubify Design which is very helpful for building complex 3D models to see how everything will fit and work together, and this has helped me catch numerous design errors before printing stuff. Now I know a little about 3D mechanical design I might try FreeCAD again because I think you have to know how to use it before you can, I don’t think it’s a good learning tool. OpenSCAD is good but Cubify Design is more visually oriented where OpenSCAD is more algorithmic, and you can do amazing stuff with both of them. I also use Simplify 3D for my slicer and I like it a lot too, but it’s not free either.


Thanks for your reply. Makes sense even from a beginners perspective. For the simple models I’m working with it might be worth my while learning how to bevel &chaffer in openscad. I will look into your suggested alternatives too.

Thanks for your reply. I pull vac formed molds from my prints so having a draft of 5 degrees or so really helps on the release.
Most of my models are primitive due to the limitations of vac forming and undercuts (Overhangs in the 3D print community?)

I have a lot of hand drawn designs so mainly I render 2D to 3D. Openscad with Inkscape are my apps of choice and seem to work fairly well for what I’m doing thus far. As I mentioned to Adam I might need to read up on adding the code for the chaffer. Will check out your suggestions.
Thanks again

My visit to the Cubify (inventor) website did not yield a lot of real information, at least on my IPad anyway. What file formats can it use both input and output? Thank You. I went back and found the info, so who usess Inventor?