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3D printing questions - anyone else 3D printing designs?

3d printing solid walls 3d Sketchup Sketchup Pro

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#1 Mike Smith

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 08:05 AM



We are a production home builder using Softplan 2020 to create all our construction documents.  We are very skilled at using Softplan to create 2d construction drawings.  However, we aren't as skilled using the 3D aspects of Softplan.


We are trying to 3D print models of our 12 base floorplans.  Our workflow for 3D printing is Softplan 2020 -> Sketchup Pro -> STL file for 3D printing.


The problem is when we export a design to Sketchup it is not manifold (watertight).  I've attached a picture showing one example.  Instead of solid walls that can be printed, the Sketchup export has hollow walls that are 1/2" drywall on interior, and 1/2 drywall and 1/2 siding on the exterior.  We are printing at a 1" = 10' scale (1:120), so the walls become .004" thick, which is too thin to 3D print.


Obviously, we could spend hours to manipulate the walls in Sketchup to make them solid, but there has to be a setting in Softplan that creates solid walls.


Is anyone else 3D printing designs from Softplan?  If so, would you mind listing your workflow steps?


Thanks in advance,


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#2 Steve Haarmann

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 09:13 AM

I have not printed 3d but SoftPlan has.

They have demonstrated it at the National Home Builder Shows.

I am sure that you can get some help from Tech Support.


In the meantime, you can easily create a new wall using a solid material such as concrete.

Copy a concrete wall definition and change the thckness as needed for your model.


Hope this helps.

#3 David Zawadzki

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 11:11 AM

Here's a link to the demo:



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#4 Mike Smith

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 03:08 PM

Thanks for the replies.  I've asked a general 3D printing tips question to Softplan support and didn't get much help.  As I'm digging deeper into it I will ask them more specific questions.


I manually edited the walls to solid walls in SketchUp.  I then ran Solid Inspector 2 (a SketchUp extension) to look for errors.  The attached image shows all the manifold errors that a Softplan -> SketchUp export produces.


Hopefully Softplan support can provide some additional help.


David - I see you are in Boise.  I'm in Fruitland.  I'll have to connect with you further.  Always great to meet other high level Softplan users that are local.


I'm currently 3D printing the file with the errors.  I'll provide an image of it after it completes in another 6 hours or so...

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#5 Heath Foster

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 08:28 PM

In the past I think they said to export the clay 3d view for 3d printing.

#6 Mike Smith

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 04:35 PM

I thought I would provide updates in case others try to 3D print.  I changed the 3D type in Softplan to "Clay Model".  The results are much better.  Here is the Solid Inspector 2 error report for the following 3D types:



Stray Edges - 4

Surface Borders - 61

Internal Face Edges - 849

Nested Instances - 97


Clay Model:

Nested Instances - 75

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 3d printing, solid walls, 3d, Sketchup, Sketchup Pro

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