I have been working at converting game files into 3d files that can be printed, but many of the models have very thin or walls. I was wondering if there was a way to increase the thickness of the walls using meshmixer or meshlab.


Only today, I learned of a solution for this sort of objective, but it uses Fusion 360 rather than Meshmixer or Meshlab. As your question does not include that program, I'll toss the Meshmixer method.

This image is of the model prior to modification:

untouched model

When you load your STL file into MM, use Edit, Generate Face Groups. This will cause the surfaces to change color. Click Accept.

With face groups created:

face groups created

If you can be assured of all one surface, use Select, then double click on the interior. This should turn the entire interior red. If you discover unselected surfaces, simply click on those surfaces until all is completed. If you select a surface in error, use Shift-Click to clear that one surface.

Once selected, the select menu gives you a new edit menu. Use Edit, Offset for yet another menu. As you make changes in the menu settings, you'll see the results on the model. Ideally, you won't have an overly complex model with too many facets/triangles, as it can really bog a machine down.

This particular model has a nearly uniform interior. Double clicking on the inside surface caused the full cylinder (not the bottom) to be selected (turning red).

Low accuracy offset, with surfaces still selected:

low accuracy

For smoothest results, keep the accuracy high. Any protruberance in the interior will give very strange results.

High accuracy results, surfaces selected:

high accuracy

Experiment with the settings, aim for the best result and click accept. As long as you don't export the model over your original, all experimentation is a learning experience and not a destructive one.

  • $\begingroup$ I will try this as soon as I can and will post about how it goes. It may not be soon, though. I have finals coming up and I have been and will be doing quite a bit of studying. $\endgroup$ – Brendan Smith Dec 3 '17 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ If the Facegroup is decent, try using "Extrude - Normal direction" . That has worked well for me. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 5 '17 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @BrendanSmith "finals..." ha ha ha us old folks don't have to take exams :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 5 '17 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ I tried it out earlier today, but it didn't work. It fixed a small bit of the model, but I may have made a mistake. I will see if I have time to post pictures of what the model looks like if I have time later tonight. I'm less busy, but still have studying to do. $\endgroup$ – Brendan Smith Dec 5 '17 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ If it's not proprietary, consider to attach the stl file here. I'd be happy to take a shot at it, but also would then provide the steps which worked. $\endgroup$ – fred_dot_u Dec 5 '17 at 21:18

I figured out how to do it by using the make solid tool.

Edit: I selected the whole model using control and selected make solid. Set the mode from fast to accurate. I set the solid accuracy and mesh density to anywhere from 300 to 500. Then I slowly increase offset distance until the holes are sealed. I leave the minimum thickness at 0 because it doesn't appear to help much. When I'm satisfied, I click accept. I usually use the reduce feature to make the file smaller, but it isn't required. Sorry about leaving an unhelpful answer. Hope this helps people.

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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't help anybody who might have the same question in the future. Self-answering questions is encouraged if you figure out the answer yourself, but please explain your solution in more detail so others can replicate what you've done. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Dec 27 '17 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ Please consider elaborating so that others with similar issues can learn as well. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Jan 14 '18 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ The answer is low quality, but I don't think deleting it would help anybody, as the solution may really be as easy as to click on "make solid" somewhere on the interface... deleting this answer would remove the only valuable clue on how to solve the problem. $\endgroup$ – mac Jan 22 '18 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget to accept your own answer to remove it from the unanswered list. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jul 14 '18 at 13:51

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