Converting Revit Models for Printing

I am interested in converting Revit models for 3D printing. I’m just learning about mesh editiing tools like meshlab and meshmixer. will any of these programs boolean all parts, and shell them out? Has anybody been printing building models with the form1?

There are many options including those. I have printed a few models from grabcad that come from revit I believe.

There are not a lot of great automatic tools that handle all cases but if your geometry in revit is generally ‘manifold’ in each of its individially parts. AND it has sufficient structural integrity that it will hold together once printed, you may be able to load directly in the preform software (preform is free from formlabs and uses netfab’s sdk).

You can also roll the dice and use Microsoft’s free model repair service that is also based on netfab.

Certainly meshlab and netfab tools can help bit require a bit of learning and u may need the netfab upgrade for their tool to be really useful.

I am interested in this particular area so I would be happy to help further.


There is a plug-in for revit to export stl files but in my experience the best way is to export as fbx into 3ds max (fbx uses feet not metres, check this link out for advice -

Once your model is in 3ds max fix it (there will be inconsistencies with verts and polys) and then save as obj. I use zbrush to shell my models then run them through the model repair service at to ensure they are 100% error free.

I e-mailed the OP to offer help, but no reply.
@JasonSpiller I use the STL exporter and export in INCHES. It really would be helpful to sellout walls as they export solid all the time. But then again depending on the scale of the model you may not want to shell them.

I have just had 3 days of revit training - I’m sure people do print models from it but it must take them ages to fix their models!

Will check out the plug in mentioned by Jason, but a usual workflow is to model it again - in a suitable peice of software.

Its certainly not uncommon to have several versions of the same building in different software packages, such as specification, visualisation, and prototyping.

You will learn after using the software (revit) for a bit that if you setup the project / model properly and most importantly model properly there is very little clean up if any at all. So not it shouldn’t take forever, It all about the views. If there is one thing I can advice, is memorize the shortcut “VV” or VG" lol.

^ I guess it depends on your office’s work flow. My projects starts and end in Revit.

I’ve used Rhino to convert models for a Z-Corp powder printer. The process was always really tedious. I think it took me about 3 days to clean up this model during schematic design so that I could print it. it would be really nice to have some sort of software that could make a uniform shell inside all the meshes exported from revit and hollow out the middle. I’d like to try to print models like this with my Form1.

To Automatically hollow large structures try zbrush - I’ve been using it purely for that purpose and it is by far the best tool for the money.

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That’s good to know Cecar, will look further into that.

There is free software called Netfabb basic which could Boolean a model together to make it one solid model.

There is also very costly software called Magics by a company called Materialise. That’s the go to printers software to fix and prep models for such applications! Until you can afford that (£7k+) its manually deleting triangles in rhino!

Hi Edward,

Can I ask how many triangles (and separate files) you would typically print that structure in?

Also - in Revit do yo usually dimension wall thickness such that some “parts” do not need hollowing, while other “parts” of the structure are sufficiently thick that they need to be hollowed?

By “party” I mean a chuck of geometry that is topologically connected and generally “closed” or airtight.

Thanks - I’m very curious about this problem as it relates to architectural models.



No, everything is modeled as a solid. Depending on the “part” may need to hollow them.
Also modeling practices come in play somewhat if you plant to print - even more so, when using Revit to model you are usually modeling the way it is actually constructed in real life and sometime those conditions are not 3d printer friendly.

I hope this answer helps.

I’m not having very much success. I decided to just print a simple shell to learn the process, but even that is proving difficult.

Send me your model (RVT) if you can and I will send you a form file you can try to print - if you want.