Need some help on a 3D print

Good evening,

I have taken the 3D printing class but have a project that I could use some help with. My son is working on his Eagle Scout project. He is going to build a Gaga Ball Pit for our church youth group. He designed the structure in OnShape and would like to make a 3D Print of it to use in his presentations to his troop committee and the council committee. Here is a link to the file; Onshape

I think our best approach would be to print out each of the 8 sides of the structure and glue them together. this way we would have minimal extra supports that we would have to clean off.

Any suggestions?



Not sure if the design is finalized but if printing in sections, if you can include some registration features to make alignment easier, it’ll make assembly go smoother.

Not what you’re asking for but I built one for our church a couple of years ago. Maybe he could take photos of that one for a presentation or at least get ideas for his project. It’s outside of Christ Lutheran Church at 53rd North and Hillside. It’s pretty basic.

On another note, I can help you with the 3D printing, at home or at the space but I’m not much of a designer yet. I would need it designed and in .stl format.

I think you could also print it all without supports if you glued on the long supports. It might be easier to glue large areas (depending on how big you want to make it )

He did nice work Jerry. Looks like he picked up OnShape pretty well.

Thanks everyone for the input. I am going to try to print the fence panels one at a time with the inside face flat on the table. I think this way I will only have extra support on the one long leg on each panel which should be pretty easy to clean off. The finished product will be used as a visual aid for his presentation to the troop council so I think I can get by without adding any alignment features and just glue them together. Does anyone see anything that won’t work with that approach?

To print just one panel at a time I think I need to reorganize the 3D model in Onshape so I have a standalone assy for each panel? That way I will be able to export just that part of the model easily to an STL file? Or is it possible to export just parts of this model?

Jacob was able to build this pretty quickly with Onshape. Once we get licenses figured out we will probably start using Fusion 360 for future projects which will be more complex.

Brian, if possible I’d like to meet you at the space some evening to work on the print? I need to get more experience going through that part of the process.

Thanks for all the help everyone!


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Jerry, I’m available any day this week after 1:00pm. text me at 316-866-1798 to schedule. The pit I built does not have the buried posts like you show. I used 2X10s 3 high with 2 ea 2X10 “cleats” per section and hinges to connect the panels. The pit was plenty heavy enough to not move and stands firm without buried posts. The hinge pins can be removed and sections relocated as necessary.

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Thingiverse has a .dxf file for a GAGA pit. GAGA Pit, GAGA Ball by KrugsKreations - Thingiverse
There is a dxf to stl converter tool here
Maybe this could be used to get your file to .stl format for 3D printing.

If you don’t want to rebuild, you could quickly craft an extrusion to remove to leave just the part you want… not a great engineering practice… but quick and dirty…

Just select all the bits you want to export together, right-click, and choose ‘export’. Make sure you uncheck “Export unique parts as individual files” and your parts will be put into a single STL that you can import into your slicer as one object.

Thanks for the help everyone!