Print Model in X11 - Where did it go???


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47 minutes ago, solver said:

That's not what the Print Model function was for.


Eric,  I think you might be wrong.  This would likely work better than anyone could imagine. Have not researched the required file formats but this could open up a lot of creative new ideas.




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I thought Print Model printed paper that you could cut out and use to create a 3D model.


Print Model
The Model Maker allows you to print scaled drawings of wall and roof surfaces in your plan that can be assembled into a 3D model. Three types of prints are created: walls, roof planes, and a floor plan wall layout template for each floor.
The system arranges as many wall or roof sections as possible onto a single sheet. For larger scale models, a printer with a larger sheet sizes is helpful. If any wall surface, roof surface, or floor plan view covers more than one sheet, it prints by itself on the number of sheets required. Models with large surfaces may require a lot of paper.

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Just now, solver said:

I thought Print Model printed paper that you could cut out and use to create a 3D model.


Yes but just think if you did not need scissors and could cut it out of 1/4" mahogany plywood with laser precision in half the time.

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Yes, I know. Years ago I used the function to print on poster board. With the advent of new technology, I was hoping to rekindle my use of the function. While researching the latest in 3d laser printers, I was thinking the function could be used on the wood media to create models. Seeing how the printers work, it should be possible. 

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STL is the format 3D laser printers use


in the reference manual do a search on STL


another choice might be EXPORT COLLADA - which is a .dae file 


I have been on this forum since 2004 and the paper "Print Model" was discussed - maybe - a dozen times


not a very widely used feature





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that may be a reason to keep X10 installed if anyone needs that feature


X8 is needed to open the old plan format of .plo,.pl1 etc from ver 9 and earlier

or the X8 client viewer


if STL doesn't work for this - then I may need to keep X10 installed


as I did have some plans to print foam models of the historic Buttery Elevators at the Niagara Whirlpool

and the Buttery Sawmill in Niagara Falls and in Silvermine CT

and Terrapin Tower at the brink of Niagara Falls




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We deprecated the Print Model feature because it was very fragile and rather expensive to maintain.  And, to be perfectly honest, it really didn't work very well.  We had a long discussion about whether or not we should rewrite it or get rid of it and you can see that we decided to deprecate it.  The general feeling was that it was not cost effective to rewrite it based on the very few people that actually used it.  More people seem to be interested in using the modern 3D printers that work with an actual 3D model instead of the old 2D printer which required you to manually cut out and assemble a model.


If you feel strongly that this was a feature that you will miss, please feel free to contact our tech support team and voice your concerns.  Or, you can post something on the suggestions forum asking us to bring it back.

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13 minutes ago, Dermot said:

More people seem to be interested in using the modern 3D printers that work with an actual 3D model instead of the old 2D printer which required you to manually cut out and assemble a model.


Thanks for responding Dermot. 


I have not seen much in the way of positive presentable results from 3D printers at a reasonable price point yet.


This new technology may tip the tables by providing the choice of materials and precision required to modernize a very old technique.


It would require some research to know the level of compatibility but if Chief was to buy a laser cutter and offer a few choices of materials people who are designing their own homes or Architects that are getting started could use the service before investing in their own machine.

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While it has been a while and I wasn't specifically an architectural modlelmaker all the time, I still have enough experience in it to have some idea. I think fussing about this being missing is scratching things that don't (or shouldn't) itch.

  • We still can export for 3D printing which appears to be where the model making industry  has headed at least for better presentation models.
  • Based on tests I tried out of curiosity the software doesn't generate I would want to build a model by hand if it were more than a simple box with multiple stories.
  • If building from scratch using boards I'd be working with detail from view and making some adjustments. With acrylic or bass wood I only want dimensions since that is table saw work. Same goes for massing models made with closed cell foam.
  • Lasers-there are plenty of options to outsource laser (or water jet) cutting in most localities. I'd been doing that since the mid 80's. We never used it for facades, more like scrolled railings, complicated surface details, and it could be useful for terrain contours. Thicker materials start to have a slight bevel on the edge creating issues in assembly. At first we just sent line art, later we sent dwg. Again you can get that from detail from view.
  • For smaller outfits that have a need look around for an old school architectural modelmaker, many are in need of any work, might get a deal.
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