Preparing to Print Your Model

Preparing to Print Your Model


We will print our models at Boston Laser ( To do this you will need to set a few parameters in 123DMake for the printing company and then email Phil Lonergan ( the DXF file.   Here is how to do it:


First look through this example that gives clear instructions with images of 123D Make.


Next you will need to do it to your model and change the size of the model and the size and type of material that it will be printed out of.

Here are the steps:


  1. Open up 123DMake and import your Model you saved from Meshmixer
  2. Now we will set up the sheet parameters for the material you will be using to manufacture your model. Do this by going to step 3.
  3. Click on the gear shaped icon next to “Manufacturing Settings” (upper left)
  4. Go down to the bottom of the screen to set the size of the sheet you will be using and change the units to “inches”
  5. Down on the bottom of the screen Enter the Width as 48” (inches). You must use inches instead of feet or it will throw off your model! Enter Length as 98” (inches) (Be sure to use inches). Enter Thickness as 0.185, and fill in 0.00 for both the Slot Offset and Tool Diameter.
  6. Now go to Object size (upper left) and units should be “in”, Height should be 4 feet. Click the button “Uniform Scale”
  7. Now select your Construction Technique from the drop-down menu. Do not use “Stacked Slices”, Folded Panels or 3D Slices as it will be too expensive. Choose any of the other planar choices.
  8. Skip the part about defining the Diameterand Location of the dowel holes to build the model.
  9. Go to define a different Slice Direction for your model by clicking on Slice Direction then dragging the blue cone.  We want dynamic compositions so change the direction to make it dynamic.
  10. Go to the Slice Distribution menu (Upper Left ) and change the number of slices to get biggest number with out using more than 3 sheets of cardboard. You will need to stay within 3 sheets of cardboard. On the upper right you will see how many sheets you are using. Be sure to have the Layout Arrangement (lower Left) set at “Nested” because you can get more pieces in a sheet.
  11. Make the most dynamic composition you can by choosing the construction technique, number of slices and direction that all fit in three 48”x96” sheets. Play with all three veraables. By increasing the number of slices in one direction and decreasing the other direction you can maximize the sheet and make the form more interesting.
  12. The final step in the process is to Export the files as a DXF To do this click on “Get Plans” (Lower Left) and then in the center bottom file type choose “DXF”
  13. Then hit “Export”. You may need to log into Autodesk. “Save as: (Put your last name)”. Save this to your desktop (or somewhere on your computer). Be sure it is a DXF file.
  14. Now go to your email and attach the DXF file
  15. Send it to Phil Lonergan (

Problems you may encounter:


  1. Problem: The menu on the bottom disappears which allows you to select the size of the sheet and the DxF file type before you export.


Solution: To get this back click on “Get Plans” (lower left).


  1. Problem: The menu to select the size of the object is partially covered up (Upper left).


Solution: To get the menu back you have to go back to “Construction                                Technique” and click on “3D Slices” which will bring up the gear symbol and the ability to select the size (4′). Then you can go back to the slice                                you wanted.