Skip to Content

Can You 3d Print Hollow Objects? 3D Prints Hollow Cube

This article will discuss the different ways in which you can 3D print hollow objects. First, we will review the limitations of printing solid objects and then go over how to address these issues when designing for hollowing out an object. Finally, we’ll discuss some techniques for 3D printing empty spaces inside of your model. 

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s important to be aware of what type of filament you are using so that it doesn’t warp or melt when printed at lower temperatures.

It’s also worth noting that there are many different types of materials available on the market today – each with its own unique properties and benefits.


Can you 3d prints hollow objects?

The short answer to the question of whether you can 3d print hollow objects is yes. A quick search on Google shows that many people are successfully printing hollow objects, but more importantly, there are some great Instructables showing how this can be done. With that in mind, I thought I’d write my own article on how to print solid or hollow 3d objects using your 3d printer software.

One of the first things to understand is there are two types of printing you can do, solid or filled. If you want to print something that’s hollow then filled printing is what you need.

You can think of this as being like making a cake, if you want it to be hollow then you have to remove a section of it, just imagine removing the cake from the tin and then hollowing out that space.

To do this in 3d printing software you need to tell it where not to print.

This can be done by defining a wall thickness and then selecting every other line to be removed or not printed at all. It sounds complicated but it’s actually quite simple and the best way to understand how this process works is with a video.

So here is a quick video explaining how this works.

how to 3d print multiple objects

Can You 3d Print Hollow Objects?

How to hollow out a 3D model in Blender?

One of the fundamental problems in 3D printing is that a model can never be hollow. If you want to print something hollow, the only way is to split it into two parts and then glue them together. Fortunately, there are shortcuts for splitting objects in order to create a shell or a walls inside an object. In this tutorial, we will see how to hollow out a 3D model in Blender.


We only need two basic steps to split any object into shells. Especially for this tutorial, we will use the “Bisect” tool. The purpose of this tool is to split the geometry where you define the middle edge or face between two other edges or faces. We can use it to split an object into two separate parts.

First, we need a model. Let’s say we want to make a vase hollow out, like the image below:

Once we have our model (in this case I created it using blender), we go ahead and add a plane: “Add -> Mesh -> Plane”.

We can now split our model using the triangle, as shown below. You can split any object into two parts using this technique.

We then turn off the original mesh “X” and we make the first copy of it: let’s call this one “shell_01”. This first shell will be around the outside edge of your object. The other part we should name “shell_02”, and should encompass everything except for what is inside our geometry (in order to remove the inner geometry). It might take some work with scaling and rotating, but you can get them pretty close to perfect like in the example above.

We proceed by adding another modifier called Subdivision Surface(normally located under Add Modifier) and increasing the number of subdivisions until we get a clean result. To be more precise, it’s often better to create an extra shell that includes everything inside the outer shell as well as the insides of all holes in the geometry. In our example, this would be “shell_03”. We can now delete shells 01 and 02 from our scene. Let’s also give them different names so we know which one is which. The first shell will have the name “Shell01” and the second one “Shell02”

As you can see on the picture above, there are some lines left between both parts even if they perfectly overlap. This wouldn’t really matter for a real-life application i.e.: a vase, but for 3D printing, it is very common to have this problem. Fortunately, these lines are easy to remove in Blender using the “Remove Doubles” feature of the “Mesh Tools” menu or by pressing ALT+J when they are both selected.

We now have our two shells.

The next step will be applying them to your object/mesh which can be done through modifiers once again: add a modifier, choose “Solidify”, adjust your thickness and click on “Apply”.

Once it is solidified, you can simply export it into an STL file which you can later print on any printer. Since most printer software support open shells (Slic3r and Cura do), you should be able to print your object.

This skeleton makes the object lighter and still fully functional even though it is hollowed out. This method can also be used to create structures inside where internal ribs made of these shells are added to better support the internal structure of the object.

There are plenty of other methods to create such shells, I just wanted to give this one as an example because it’s probably the most simple one and very useful when creating hollow objects. If you want to see more examples, I suggest you check out “Hollow Knight” and even try to replicate their method using Blender or any other software.

can 3d printers print hollow objects

Can You 3d Print Hollow Objects?

How to make 3D print hollow Cura? (.stl files)

The Cura slicer software is widely used by 3D printing enthusiasts because it gives you percentage control over the settings of your print. The default settings often work great for prints, but sometimes you’ll need to make adjustments. In this article, we will show you how to change the “Shell” option in Cura to create a hollow print that’s lighter and cheaper.

Printing a solid object has many disadvantages:

First, it takes much longer to print since the printer must do twice as much work. Second, since printers can only use a fixed width across their print-head, they must also move slower while printing the outer shell. Third, a solid object forces all of its layers together into a single consolidated mass inside the printer. This increases the distance that each layer must travel, and reduces your print’s resolution by forcing it to print slower as well as limiting the maximum speed of the printer as it moves across the printing bed.

However, there are some advantages to a solid object: Because more material is being printed at once, you save on plastic. And if you’ve ever printed an overhang or triangle fan where part of your model hangs in thin air and requires support material underneath it (like this one), then prints faster and smoother than a hollow object. Finally, since less of your model is hollowed out inside, there’s less risk for delicate features getting knocked around during printing and causing errors.

The Shell option allows you to control the thickness of the “shell” on the outside of your print. By default, it is set to 1mm for all models. So if you increase this value, then more material will be printed around your object and thus result in a solid print. However, if you decrease this value, then a thinner shell will be created and more internal space will be left hollowed out inside.

In Cura go to > File > Export > STL for 3D printing

For example:

In the image above we’ve increased our Shells from 1mm thick to 2mm thick. Then click “Export STL” at the bottom right of the screen to send your file off to Shapeways! See below what happens when we reduce our Shell from 2mm to 1mm.

Here’s a list of different shell thicknesses and their effects on printing:

  • 0 mm thick = hollow print (more internal space) – faster 3D print, lighter object, cheaper material cost, less printer time
  • 1-2 mm thick = solid print (less internal space), but most small models look fine at this thickness level with a little bit of a surface finish improvement make the most sense when using Cura slicer software to create your 3D model. You can also increase or decrease your shells, even more, depending on how much it helps you save money! If you need an extra smooth finish for specific parts of your design, then try increasing the Shells first before adding support material.
  • 3 mm thick = the most common shell thickness used on Shapeways for small to medium size 3D printed models
  • 5 mm thick = works great for some large models, but it’s been known to cause issues with certain types of prints and is not advised by Shapeways Support staff – so use with caution! If you’re looking for a smooth finish then try increasing your Shells first before adding support material.

For good results, we recommend using a minimum wall thickness of 0.8mm and testing out different Shell settings to see which one fits best for your model.

For example

We would print this cute piggy bank hollow at 0.8mm shell thickness since it can withstand a little bit of wear and tear and will need a smooth surface finish. However, this Star Wars Yoda bust would likely be better suited with a 3mm thick shell since it’s a large model made of many intricate parts that require extra support material for stability.

can you 3d print around an object

Can You 3d Print Hollow Objects? (cre: quora)

3D print hollow tubular structures with the largest 3D printer onboard:

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space have launched a project for the first commercial Moon mission. From 2 March 2018, the companies will be offering their services to private or public organizations that want to profit from such an ambitious adventure by placing payloads on this lunar surface.

There is already considerable interest in the new moon race, as shown by the fact that five Moon lander startup firms have already signed up with ESA and Airbus for this venture.

The companies working through ESA’s “New Moon” office include PTScientists, Berlin; Part-Time Scientists, Berlin; Team FREDNET, Santa Clara; Astrobotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh and Hakuto Inc., Tokyo.

Each contender has its own spacecraft and 3D printer already in development for this Moon mission, with the first (unmanned) lander due to launch in 2019, followed by the first commercial return of lunar soil samples at the beginning of 2020.

Chitubox hollow precision for a perfect fit.

Chitubox hollow precision fits your every need, creating the perfect form through state-of-the-art 3D printing technology. In order to facilitate their products which are tailored around the individual, Chitubox has designed a system where you can get a cast created of yourself from anywhere in the world. After receiving molds from their partnered labs they use these to create beautiful minimalistic jewelry and accessories that will become part of your daily life.

With 3D printers getting cheaper and more accessible all over the globe, we’re seeing a surge in different kinds of companies pushing this technology forward with new ideas and applications. Chitu is one such company that aims to utilize this breakthrough within the field of jewelry and accessories to produce highly customized pieces that fit the wearer like a glove.

Chitubox hollow precision SRS-001 ring in 90mm / US14, photo by Chitubox They spoke with us about their products and their idea to make our lives better through custom designing accessories to fit us perfectly.


Making it easier for people to express themselves through their appearance is something we feel strongly about. Since we first started off as jewelry designers at university, we have been guided by a focus on ‘expressing yourself’ – this has always influenced our design process.

We also believe that the key to happiness lies within a positive appreciation of oneself from others – so if jewelry can help you do so, it’s our pleasure to make the tools (in the form of jewelry) for you to achieve this.

can you 3d print multiple objects at once

Can You 3d Print Hollow Objects? (cre: dummies)

Filling hollow 3D print withs concrete

DIY concrete lamp inspired by Egg Lamps. The lamp was constructed with 2 shells, one inside for wiring. The hollow part has been filled with concrete mixed with diatomaceous earth (DE).

The latter absorbs moisture and prevents expansion of the freshly poured mixture, thus preventing cracks to appear. We’ve painted it later because we haven’t waited for full drying to avoid shrinkage stripes on the surface. Diameter 15 cm, height 7cm.

– Tools & materials-

Concrete: because this is not a very precise application so you can use whatever quantity you want 🙂

As much as you want basically. We’ve used a standard bag of ready-to-use concrete.

Concrete for printing: this special resin cures at room temperature, is non-toxic, and works not only with water but also with all kinds of liquids you normally pour into your 3D printer (and that includes concrete!). A liter costs around 10€ and it should be enough for this project even though we’ve added 2 liters of water to the mix: 1/3 bottle + 2/3 water.

For our first prints, we didn’t even use the whole bottle so if you don’t use any other liquid except just plain water then you can do without buying such expensive resin as making your own casting resin is very easy 🙂

Diatomaceous earth (or DE): the concrete won’t harden if it’s in contact with water so to prevent cracks you must add this special powder that absorbs moisture. It costs less than 2€ for a bag.

– Preparation of printing plate

– 3D printers are extremely precise machines but they can be tricked 🙂 You can press your hollow object into wet concrete and slowly pull it off again. If at first, nothing happens, put it back in for another minute or two until it comes out cleanly after you’ve pulled on the claw hammer handle thingy (do not use your bare hands 😉 ).

After that you have to prick any small indents left behind by the printer nozzle, then wash everything thoroughly. Don’t worry about the “dimples” that will be visible after finishing the lamp. They will spread out once you’ve added the liquid to cure it!

– Filling the 3D print space

– We’ve used 200 grams of concrete per liter of water, filled this into a glass jar to prevent spillage, and poured it into our hollow object. If you have made sure that there are no bubbles left under the surface you should set this aside for at least an hour so it can properly level itself.

We recommend turning your object upside down once or twice during curing time because any irregularities near the bottom always show up first later on which is just unfair 😉

Once everything is leveled nicely mix 1 part Diatomaceous Earth with 2 parts dry concrete mix (the whole bag in fact) and fill this into the object. We used a ladle and a spoon to press it down firmly without disturbing the layer underneath too much.

Try to level it as well, although this mix tends to make some bubbles due to the chemical reaction. As you can see in our first attempt one corner was left untouched because our print plate wasn’t flat enough.

– Finishing touches

– When you’ve made sure that everything is solid enough for your taste you can turn your lamp on 🙂 There are 2 ways of doing it: 1. drill a hole through the bottom part near an edge so you can run wires outside, or 2. if your hollow space is wide enough then simply cut off all but 1 edge (Ø15mm) using wire cutters.

This way you only have to run 1 cable through the middle of your lamp (if it’s not too large) and attach this somehow to an E27 lamp socket as we did.

can you 3d print in different colors

Can You 3d Print Hollow Objects? (cre: all3dp)

Can you 3d print Warhammer 40k?

Can you 3d print Warhammer 40k?

Yes, yes you can. In the article below it is proven that a Space Marine from the tabletop game Warhammer 40k CAN in fact be printed. The white and blue prototype shown at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year was created by Threeding.

The 3D model of the White Scars Chapter Space Marine known as Gorlacon has been converted into reality thanks to community member Cathexis and an Ultimaker 2 3D printer.

This extensive work has caused Gorlacon to hit our screens today in full glory! Not only does this one-of-a-kind piece look beautiful, but it also works perfectly for tabletop gaming.

Gorlacon was printed in PLA with 0,2mm layers at 100 microns on the Ultimaker 2 3D printer by Threeding. The Ultimaker 2 is a versatile desktop 3D printer known for its high-resolution prints and accuracy. Gorlacon’s dimensions are 40cm x 23cm x 12cm (15.7in x 9in x 4.7in) while his weight is clocked at 600 grams (21 ounces). Now that’s what we call an intimidating miniature!

How do you make a ZBrush model for 3D printing?

  • -First, make sure that Decimation Master and 3D Print Explorer are installed in ZBrush.
  • -Next, decimate your model to a level needed for MakerWare.
  • -Then set up 3D Print Explorer and export the STL file to it.
  • -Finally, optional steps can be taken if there are multiple models that need to be printed or modifications made to the STL file before exporting again (for example avoiding supports).


3D printing is a revolutionary technology with the potential to change industries and make our lives easier.

It’s also one of those technologies that seem like it will be around forever because we’ll never run out of things to print! In this blog post, you learned about how 3D printers can create hollow objects by using an infill pattern. If you’re considering buying a new printer or want more information on what your options are as far as materials go, check back for future posts in this series where I explore other aspects of 3d printing.

Further Reading: 

Tags:  it is generally a bad idea to hollow objects yourself,  you can design a hollow object and print it,  all objects that are being created,  object will,  printed hollow, could,  embedded youtube video,  youtube video session,  video session html,  printing single-walled objects,  free sample part,  youtube video persistent,  video persistent html,  stl files, wall, sculpteo, data