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Everything is printable in 3D if it is “waterproof”.

But what does that mean? Conversely, this means that there are also 3D models that seemingly can not be printed in 3D. But why is it like that?

3D models, no matter which 3D CAD program, are generally not easy to print 3D, if the design does not pay close attention to the subsequent production in the 3D printing process. Depending on the process and material, this requires certain wall thicknesses and above all flawless surfaces and transitions.

It usually takes several hours to prepare the 3D drawings in order to obtain a so-called “waterproof” (which is urgently needed in 3D printing). For this, too thin walls and overlapping surfaces have to be corrected, as well as wrong normals. The filling of cavities and holes takes a lot of time. And if the scaling factor of the 3D print model also deviates from the original data (for example, if the 3D model is originally several hundred meters long or long, but should be printed completely in a space of 15 * 15 * 15 centimeters 3D), is frustration even more preprogrammed, since the scaling down the entire game with the preparation starts from the beginning.

Conclusion: To make a 3D model 3D printable, you have to make it “waterproof”.


To get a waterproof 3D printable 3D model, you can do the following things:

cur3d 3d printable-house

Option A: Even before the 3D design starts in the CAD tool, you think about the later production process and consider the following question:

  • Which 3D printing process is used?
  • Which material is used?
  • What minimum wall thickness does this 3D printing process require?
  • Which final dimension must the construction have?
  • Can the final dimension be printed in the 3D printer at all?
  • For what purpose is the additive part made?
  • Does the 3D part have to have special physical properties, such as weather resistance?
  • And after answering the last two questions, we start again from the beginning.

Conclusion: That’s right (because you understand what is important in additive manufacturing)! But rarely practicable. In most cases, 3D models are not designed for 3D printing, because what should be 3D printed is often only an illustration of the final product (keyword: “something to understand”), for example in architecture. Each additional step costs just then a lot of money. Have you ever worked with a visual model maker in a visualization office?

cur3d 3d printable-car

Possibility B: As usual, you work on the construction, without worrying about the question from option A, and then have to reckon with the following additional work steps:

  • Scale the 3D model to the final dimension to be produced.
  • Manual thickening of the wall thicknesses for the respective 3D printing process.
  • Manual detection and filling of holes and cavities that have been created accidentally – mostly by simple Boolean operations – during construction.
  • Manually locating and correcting overlapping areas that the slicer can not interpret.
  • Manually locating and correcting wrong normals (physical / optical alignments of surfaces in 3D space) that the slicer uses as an opportunity to render a 3D model completely 3D printable.
  • And if you then conclude that you have completely ignored the topics of purpose and physical properties (see option A), you can just as well start again with the construction.

Conclusion: So we imagine the 3D printing right? So I draw something and the 3D printer makes my dreams come true … you think so! But if exactly THAT fits your imagination, we recommend a look at the possibility C.

cur3d 3d printable-anatomy

Possibility C (like “cured”): You also construct the 3D model as you learned it and then do the following steps to get a finished 3D printable, ie waterproof, 3D model in just a few minutes:

  • Export the 3D model.
  • Automatically cure the exported model in seconds by CUR3D. (… and it’s even so easy that our mothers can handle it!)
  • Slice in any slicer and start with 3D printing.

Conclusion: done. You have not used more time than usual for a 3D construction and yet you are at your destination. It could not be easier. You do not believe us? Try it out. Free!

cur3d 3d printable-human

Yes, I want to make everything 3D printable!

Then we recommend that you take a look at our 3D printing software CUR3D. In conversations, we like to call you “the first real 3D printing pre-press” or “the PDF for 3D printing”.

At the same time, CUR3D sees itself as a middleware and as a 3D printable exchange format.

What characterizes CUR3D can be found here: https://www.ruhrsource.com/cur3d/

Make an appointment today with us: we will provide you with a free 14-day demo version that will save you thousands of euros and give you a crisp online briefing on the use of our software (completely free of charge! ).

Conclusion: questions cost nothing! Not with us. Just take a look outside the box. You will not regret it.

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