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Evolve For 3D Printing

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I found evolve to be really good for designing. I am not a designer, but a programmer by profession. I want to use Evolve to create few products and 3D print them.


I am facing an issue where I created a model with nurbs and exported as STL. However, when I upload the same STL file to 3D printing services like shapeways and imaterialize, the model looks broken.


Here, I am attaching the evo file and also screenshot from shapeways which shows broken model. 


PS: I have as well uploaded examples given with evolve, like Twist-2.evo and exported as STL file. It worked totally fine in Shapeways.



1) Is there something missing when I am exporting NURBS based surfaces as STL to 3D Print? 


2) If there error is at the Shapeways or such services, I will talk to them as well. But, it will of great help if someone has tried 3D printing from evolve models.


Thank you.



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Hi Karim,


The model you have uploaded has a self intersecting portion(surfaces intersecting each other) Attached is an image showing the problem area,


In order to impart thickness to a surface, use the surface offset tool with the 'Thickness' option. 


  1. In your existing model, delete the last 2 objects  - Surface extrusion#2 and #3.
  2. Use the surface offset tool and create an offset of 0.2 mm and check the 'Thickening' option in molding tool panel.

Also see the image from Shapeways website.


Few tips on using STL export:

  1. If you save a model as STL - the window with STL options can be used to set the minimum edge length, angles so on. The smaller the edge length, the more detailed the 3D model will be.
  2. You can also use the advanced tessellation tool to create the STL inside Evolve before exporting.- See this video : 

Please let me know if you have doubts.






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Thanks a lot Arjun. This helped me a lot. Few more questions, if you don't mind:


1) If i do offset more than 0.2, it fails. There is red color all over the object. Any reason for this?


2) On a separate note instead of opening a new thread(since you are from the company team), I wanted to ask if there is a way to generate curves, surfaces in Evolve? I mean, let say I want a curve y=x^2 or a parametric 3D figure. Is there a way to do it? I can't find it in the documentation.

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You are welcome,


  1. Offset depends on the shape and curvature of the surface. In your case, the surface in question has many changes in curvature. It is possible that a suitable geometry cannot be created at an offset distance more than 0.2. When an operation fails, Evolve lets you know by turning the failed object red. In the world browser(right side of screen where you see all elements of scene) the failed object has an '!' next to it as well.
  2. As of 2014, Evolve does not have standalone 3D curve creation. We definitely want to address this topic in our future release. But there is a way to extract curves from surface data using 'Extract Isoparametric curve' or 'edge extract'. You can find this in our help.

Hope this helps,



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