how to print using zprinter 650?


I have an wire mesh file made from alias studio 2009 that I would like to print out using Z-printer 650.

I stitched the shell in alias studio 2009 and turned it into iges file and imported it into rhynoceros. Uising rhynoceros, I turned my iges file into stl file. Now zprint software recognizes the external shape however it keeps recognizing it as a hollow model, not solid, and print comes out as groups of thin foil.

What am I doing wrong?


The issue is that your model isn’t ‘watertight’. What this means is that even though you stitched your model in aliasstudio, it may have tiny naked edges, resulting in the volume of the object not being calculable. This is the difference between a solid object and a polysurface. (many surfaces joined together).
Since you imported the model into rhino with IGES, it wouldn’t have imported with the surfaces joined…and then you exported those unjoined surfaces as an STL file, which resulted in X number of meshes being exported, X being the number of surfaces in the object.
Try reimporting the same IGES file into Rhino, and join all of the surfaces by selecting all of the surfaces (CTRL + A), and type ‘_Join’ and press Enter.
You should be left with one object. Look in the command line at the top, and see what the command messages for the join command you ran are.
The output that you should see is “X surfaces or polysurfaces joined into one closed polysurface”. If that’s what you see, then you’re good to go for export to STL for printing.
If it says “X surfaces or polysurfaces joined into one open polysurface.”, then your object has holes in it. To fix the holes, either step back to alias and make sure that there are no holes by remodeling the object, or:
Export to STL anyways, and then re-import the STL back into Rhino, and run the command ‘_FillMeshHoles’. Then re-export to STL.

Sounds complicated, but it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to make sure that it’s all good to go.
Hope this all helps.


Thank you so much for explaining me what the problem was.
Per your advice, I joined the model and result is that “32 curves joined into one closed curve and 6 open curves.” So I had exported the file into stl and reimport it.
Now I typed command “_fillmeshholes” and it asks me to select a mesh. I thought it was going to choose entire mesh at once and join it however, instead of that I had to type the command several times and pick different meshes piece by piece. Is this normal?

Are you in Alias Studio Flavor OR designStudio?

You probably dont need to leave Alias for this. Alias has a good STL export (File > Export > STL). when you stitch it, in the Prompt line it will tell you if it is a closed shell. easy.

If it is not. i would probably would take the Stitched Shell and Convert to Mesh. (Palette>Mesh> Mesh tessellation > nurbs to mesh). Then im pretty sure that there is a mesh hole fill option in the Mesh cleanup menu. once the holes are filled. There is a super cool feature called mesh offset. It will basically make the part thickness that you are looking for. BAM. take the offset mesh and then export as STL all in Alias.

for 2010, there is now a Export > Rapid Prototype. its basically a wizard that stitches the part to what ever tolerance you want > converts to Mesh > and then has a Part thickness directly in the export. on top of that it now supports .ZPR files with full color and texture support.

Right on.

No, this isn’t the ideal situation. It sounds like it created one watertight object, and 6 open polysurfaces. Run the ‘SelClosedPolysrf’ command to select the object that is a printable object, and then run the ‘hide’ command to temporarily hide it. What you see leftover in the viewport are all of the objects that were still considered open.
If they are important to the print, you need to figure out why these are still open (missing surfaces or bad seams). You can try fixing them in alias or try your hand at rhino. (if the holes are planar, run the ‘cap’ command to automatically seal them, otherwise, it’s the standard surfacing process to get them good)
If they aren’t important, select them and delete them, and then run ‘show’ to get your good object back in the viewport.
If you’re still having trouble, PM me with an FTP or link to the file, and i’ll see what the issue is.


Thank you so much.

In my earlier reply, I stated that the model joined into one closed polysurfaces but those were curves. So from Rhyno after join command, it reads: “32 curves joined into one closed curve and 6 open curves.”

With selclosedcrv, it selected only 5 curves.

I’m gonna try to fix the model myself. If not, I would like to show it to you for your examination. Thanks a lot for your help.


I went back to my alias file and reworked on surfaces. I re-exported the new file to stl format according to your instruction and the result looks strange.
Any advice?
I uploaded my alias file onto rapidshare in case you would like to look at it.
Thank you so much.

Your model is not build for RP export (nor CAD btw).

The stitched model in Alias (pic 1) gives some clues about gaps in the model and duplicated or untrimmed surfaces (see all the pink lines in the model).

Check Model (from the Evaluate tab) on the un-stiched model shows the gaps in the model (pic #2).

Pics #3 and #4 show areas that should be intersected and trimmed to help defining a hollow model. The small red circle in pic #4 also show that some surfaces will need to be more properly edfined and intersected.

A model build with a Surface Modeler, whether it be Alias or not, needs to be build as a closed hollow volume for proper exports to both, RP and CAD. Otherwise the applications have no clues to what is part of the model, and what is not.

Hope this helps.

I fixed it for you. just needed to re-skin a few surfaces and make sure there are no intersections. i saved it as a .ZPR which should work good for z-corp.

Also. focus on creating only 1 slice of the pie. for 5 spoke you just need 72degrees.
i think there is a wheel tutorial on the community site. tutorials are good there.

get the files here.

Thank you so much.
So strange! I extanded the spoked surfaces into the rim and trimmed them so there is no way I would have left gaps between them.
Have any idea how this happened?

I don’t know how to thank you for your help. I got the model printed out and it came out beautiful.

Could you tell me how you fixed this model?