When I first got my 3D printer, and before I started designing my own models, I thought it would be nice to make a print of the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower,  and I know how impressive and complicated it is, and I wanted to print a version that reflected that.

It was easy to find a number of different Eiffel Tower STL files, and I tried several of them.  I quickly learned that the Eiffel Tower is a difficult model to print, primarily because the bottom half (up to the second level platform) is comprised of a large number of slanted trusses, and slanted geometry is difficult to print. Also, the bottom arches require bridging near their topsSo I was making a number of different adjustments to my slicer settings to accommodate this.

Even after I established settings that worked pretty well all my prints failed for one reason or another. The most common problem was the railings on the first level platform – they were so thin my printer couldn’t print them. Another problem was the trusses that support the first level platform. These are very tight, complex structures that would get tangled up because there just wasn’t enough clearance between them.  So after a number of failed attempts I just gave up on the idea.

Fortunately, someone recently posted in the FaceBook 3D Printer group a link to this file: Eiffel Tower Fixed. I read the description and the author said he fixed the lower deck’s railing problem and made a couple of other changes to make the print easier to complete. This is the STL file I used for this print, but I scaled it up to be 280 mm high. At this size, and with a layer height of 0.200 mm, the print took 25.5 hours.

When I ran the file through my slicer (Craftware) I noticed that the railings looked good (meaning they had enough thickness to be printable), but the top of the tower had disconnected loops inside that looked like they couldn’t be printed. When I mentioned this on the FaceBook page I got a reply that suggested I should change Craftware’s Extrusion Width value from 0.400 mm (the nozzle diameter of my hotend) to 0.200 mm. This is something I had never done before, but I tried it and it worked – the disconnected loops at the very top were now connected, so I decided to make the print.

As you can see it came out quite well. I’m considering printing another version, this time scaled up to maybe 350 mm high. A larger version will be easier to print and probably wont take that much longer.

Last Update: 12 Mar 2017