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When I design parts that must fit in each other, I usually keep in mind that prints are 0.2-0.5 mm wider than expected (depending on material) and I size the parts accordingly.

However, sometimes I design the whole part and then I slice it with planes or lines. In these cases I need to push/pull afterwards each contact surface manually by the same amount (0.2-0.5 mm) and that is a time consuming task. Another option is to use a cutter to remove the outer surface layer (basically I remove the rigged surface, making it smooth again) but it's not safe and even more time consuming.

How can I quickly generate said controlled gaps on the contact surfaces between two objects, but not on the rest of the object? to make it everywhere I could use shells, I guess, but I don't need that on the whole object.

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  • $\begingroup$ This isn't an answer exactly, but I'd suggest you skip 123d design and check out Fusion 360. It's easy to use, much more capable, and very well supported by tutorial videos. The way I normally handle tolerances is to add them as parameters that I use in my sketches. The sketches define the 3d geometry. If I decide I need more clearance later, I just change the tolerance parameter and it all updates automatically...that's the power of good parametric CAD. $\endgroup$ – Chris Thompson Oct 24 '16 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ I think fusion 360 is not free... Unless I lie and I say I'm a student. $\endgroup$ – FarO Oct 24 '16 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ No need to lie, use the free startup license. Autodesk has been offering this for a couple years now. This lets you legitimately use it for hobby, fun, or even business as long as you're not using it for a business that makes over $100,000 per year. See here and feel free to confirm with Autodesk. (I'm paying for my license just to maintain my access to Fusion 360 Ultimate, but really Ultimate doesn't offer much more yet.) $\endgroup$ – Chris Thompson Oct 25 '16 at 22:23
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Unfortunately, 123D Design doesn't have such a feature.

You could select multiple surfaces and push/pull them all at the same time though.

Remember, your 3D Printer's slicer should have an option to undersize or oversize holes and walls, to help reduce/remove the effect you talk about. It's called size correction, I think? Simplify3D Has it, atleast. You might have to tweak this for every filament type, though.

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