Dynamo can write to two common 3D geometry file formats: Stereolithography (.stl), and ACIS SAT (.sat). The STL file format is most frequently used as a solid model file format for 3D printing and rapid prototyping. SAT is a commonly used format in conjuction with Revit's Massing tools for hosting Revit elements to geometry imported from other software.
- [Voiceover] Dynamo can write two common 3D geometry file formats, stereolithography or .stl which is most frequently used as a solid model file format for 3D printing and rapid prototyping. The other one is ACIS SAT, which is a commonly used format in conjunction with Revit's massing tools for hosting wall, floor, roof, and curtain system elements that geometry imported from other software. The STL data format supports only solids and surfaces, not curves, points, or any other data type. Keep in mind though, that if you're creating this STL file with the intention of sending it to a 3D printer, you want to make sure that you're only exporting solid geometry.
The process is really easy. First make sure that the only geometry you'd like to export is visible in the background preview. To change whether our geometry data is visible, you can right click on the node and click Preview. I recommend running a selection window across all the parts of the graph that you don't want to export to see if there's anything in the 3D preview that turns blue. I'm not seeing anything turn blue in the background preview. I think we're all good here. The only geometry that's visible is the final solid that we built up and that we want to export. To run the export, all we need to do is click File, Export to STL, and give the file a name and location on your computer or server.
When you click Save, Dynamo's going to save whatever is visible in your background 3D preview add to an STL file format. And that's it, we didn't even need to place any nodes. Now let's try the SAT file format. We'll want to open the SAT Export exercise file. The only data types that can be exported to SAT are surfaces and solids, not points or curves. And we can only export geometry, not any additional data like layer information or parameter values. Unlike our export to STL, we do need to place a few nodes on to our workspace to export to SAT.
I'm going to recommend that before we place any geometry export nodes, we change the settings in our execution bar. Make sure that it's set to Manual, so that Dynamo only runs our calculation and writes SAT files when we click on the Run button. For fairly small amounts of geometry, Dynamo can probably write the files to SAT within a second or two, but it can take up to a few minutes if you're writing larger amounts of data out to an SAT file. Changing the setting to Manual is the best way to make sure that it only tries to export when we want it to. If we navigate to the Geometry, Geometry section of the node library, we can find a few export to SAT nodes.
I prefer to use the first one in the list, because it allows you to choose the geometry's units from a drop down menu. This node takes two inputs. One for the geometry to export, and another for the filepath. For this example, I'm really only interested in exporting this single surface, so let's plug that surface into the geometry input. For a filepath let's drop in a filepath node. When we click on the Browse button, we can browse our computer or network to find the file location that we want to save to.
Once you're in the correct folder, just give your SAT file a name and then the path with .sat. Then I'll click open. You can double check that it's saving to the right location and with the right name, by checking out the node preview at the bottom of filepath. Now I'll go and plug that into our filepath input for export to SAT. Next we just hit Run, and we're done. And that's it. That's two very common last steps in Dynamo graphs that you might write for the purpose of constructing solid or surface geometry.
- Placing and connecting Dynamo nodes
- Understanding Dynamo's data types
- Performing math functions
- Creating number lists and text strings
- Writing data to an Excel spreadsheet
- Creating points, curves, surfaces, and solids
- Analyzing geometry
- Linking a Dynamo-driven SAT into Revit
- Placing Revit families with Dynamo
- Creating Revit views and sheets with Dynamo