Prepare your 3D object for 3D printing

Summary​

  • 1.1. Getting started and setting the units
  • 1.2. Insert a 3D shape
  • 1.3. Activate the editing options for your 3D shape
  • 1.4. Give dimensions to your 3D shape
  • 1.5. Duplicate your 3D object
  • 1.6. Check the stability of your object
  • 1.7. Split your object
  • 1.8. Smooth your object
  • 1.9. Add Emboss to your object
  • 2.1. Load image
  • 2.2. The camera feature
  • 2.3. Scan option
  • 3.1. Merge your 3D objects
  • 3.2. Simplify feature
  • 3.3. Simulate the result of your 3D print
  • 3.4. Save your file for 3D printing

Let’s go back to the example we used in the paragraphs 1.1 to 1.9. There are two separate 3D shapes: a big vertical box and a smaller shape. These objects, it is possible to edit them as a whole or individually. You can choose how to do it simply by selecting them one by one or both of them at the same time.

In the current photo, there are two different objects because there are two separate windows, one for each object in the right menu.

However, if you want to 3D print your object, you should merge the two different shapes into one. This is something useful to do, as some 3D printing technologies do not accept files with multiple objects.

To do so, go to the “Merge” button. Select the “Merge” option that is under the “Edit” button from the upper menu.

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Now both objects are merged. You understand that now there is only one single object in the workspace, because of the single window on the right side of the menu. Also, notice that the blue stroke around the object has changed and it is unified to include both 3D objects.   

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In order to have a 3D model  that will be successfully 3D printed, you should mind the complexity of the “Mesh”. The more triangles that are created during the 3D designing procedure, the heavier the 3D file gets. This makes the 3D printing procedure more difficult. So, polygon reduction is an essential step for preparing your 3D model for 3D printing. To achieve polygon reduction when designing for 3D printing, you can use the “Simplify” feature. 

To do so, go to the upper menu and select “Simplify” under the “Edit” button. 

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Once the simplification is activated, you see the number of original faces. You should set a number of faces lower than the number of original faces. To do so, drag the Faces count bar to give the value of polygons you want. 

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Let’s say for example you want your polygon mesh to be 4604 instead of 5990 that was the original. 

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You will see a window appearing with instructions and options about manipulating the object. 

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Validate the action and return to the main workspace. 

Now the mesh of your 3D model is significantly lower.

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Now, let’s simulate the result of your 3D print. For this experiment, you can use the Sculpteo logo that you created in the paragraph 2 of the tutorial.

Go to the left menu and select the option “3D print”.

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You will get this window: 

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Select the “Material” button. You will get various options for the 3D printing technology and color to choose for your print.

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Once you choose technology, material and finish option, you can see that the estimated cost for your 3D print changes dynamically in the lower left corner of your screen. This way you can get an idea of the cost of your 3D model that depends on many factors: 3D printing technology, material, finish, size etc.. 

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This is an excellent simulation tool to preview your 3D model with different textures and colors before sending your 3D object to the printers.

As you already may know, you have to save your 3D file to the right format in order to 3D print it. To do so, go to the left menu and select “Save As”. 

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There, the suggested format to save your file for 3D printing is the .STL format, or the .OBJ  format. 

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Select which one you want and save your file.

Now you are ready to upload your 3D file to our online 3D printing service and send it to our printers! We will 3D print it for you and send it you the soonest possible!