3D printing a model with nested instances?

Need some advice before 3D printing my pushbutton switch. I ran the solid inspector and it reports stray edges and nested instances. I’m able to fix the stray edges but not the nested instances. Is this still a solid model and would this cause any issues?

Can you post your model here to check.Anyway with Susolid plugin you can check and fix all nested instances.

There is a number of extensions for 3D printing that can correct the issues in your model including the one we developed :slight_smile: which is called MakePrintable and it should solve the issue for you, would love to hear your feedback in case you tried it out.

Here is a link to it:

@mikey_c nested instance just means you have a group of groups.
If your.model is made up of several solid groups or components that you have then wrapped together as a group/component it will say it is nested.
If you open the group for editing and use solid inspector on the groups within it will tell you which of those are solid or not.
Most 3d printer software will recognise multiple solids as a printable structure.
Learning and understanding what makes things printable will save you time in the long run, resorting to plugins may help you in the short term.

FWIW, when you make a group or component, you are effectively putting the contents into a container or wrapper. You would get nesting if you have a group or groups in a larger container. You can see that easily in Outliner and you should be able to fix it without a plugin. A Plugin might be useful but it’s worth learning how to do it without.

Box wins! :wink:


right, I understand now. turns out I hadn’t made the cap a group, after I did that, ran the inspector again on the group and then on the whole and it turned out shiny :wink:

so what that means is that my 4 tab/guides are nested within the cap group. I thought it meant that my 4 guides were not touching the main cap component. That process gave me problems,
I wish there was a “snap to face” utility or something ensuring its sitting right on the face
and also, I had to set at least 10 guides it would be nice if we could change colour on different sets of guides.(just some thoughts…)

Explode all of the groups until you have loose geometry again. Then select it all and make a single group so all of that loose geometry is in a single container. Run Solid Inspector again.

that makes sense, I will do that. thanks Dave

Dave’s suggestion is good, but a suitable nest of solids will print.
Sometimes trying to make a single solid is more trouble than it is worth.
Run outer shell is another option.

Its strange, if I explode all the groups, select all and run the inspector, no faults occur, if I make it a group I get internal & reversed face errors…

If you explode all the groups and run Solid Inspector, there’s no group or component that could be considered “solid” for the extension to look at. In other words, there’s nothing for it to do.

The internal and reversed faces is why I suggested you run Solid Inspector after you make the whole thing a group.

It all depends on the final triangulation and the software used for slicing. Some slicers might generate wrong layers even if the object is made up of multiple intersecting solids and sometimes you might end up with non-manifold as well when two solids are next to each other “think of minecraft” this all depends on the exporter and whether it will merge vertices having the same location or not.

I haven’t tried solid inspector yet but I will! However, you can check the below link as an example of what I mean “note that this is a case happened with one of our users, the article is not in English so you might want to translate it”.

If you understand how to model for printing you don’t need plugins.

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I totally agree on that :wink:

Personally i believe all plugin authors should have Vendor as the title next to their user name. This would help people understand that the information in their posts may be biased .

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I did that again exploded all the groups and ran the inspector after I made it a group and it worked just fine. Guess I’m ready for 3D printing. Btw, you guys have any idea of how much this should cost?

I’m trying not to use any plugins so I can learn all the processes.

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It looks like you have some reversed faces towards the right. Fix those. Only white front faces should be visible.

As for how much it’ll cost, upload it to a 3D printing house. They’ll tell you. iMaterialise has an extension in the 3D Warehouse to do it automatically.

I would upload it to http://www.shapeways.com/ and check. You get price quotes instantly.

I suspect those are just the default shading in this case.