How To Convert Blender Files To Stl | How To Export Stl From Blender For 3d Printing

3D Printing Professor

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How To Export Stl From Blender For 3d Printing


How do you take the models that you’ve made in blender and export them for 3d printing? I’ve had a number of students. Ask this of me recently, and I thought, okay, It’s obviously time to make a video about that. So here we go. I’m going to show you two methods to export your models, but before you export them. You have to make sure that they’re ready for export now. I also wanted to take this opportunity to show you this adorable Spocky Octopussy, spoctipus model that a student of mine made. I think it’s absolutely adorable, and you might notice that it looks a little bit splotchy in the 3d view. Here, I’ll tell you why in just a minute But notice that the spoctopus is made up of lots of different parts. There’s the head there’s hair, it’s got eyes. Each leg is separate the mouth and things. And then it’s got this mesh, which brings it all together using a whole bunch of Boolean modifiers. And this is the way that you want to do it. You want to make sure that you use the boolean modifier to make this mesh manifold or at least as manifold as you can, let’s take this model into local view and immediately. Oh, look at how much cleaner it is that cleans it up because it doesn’t have two models fighting for the space in the 3d view that are exactly overlapping because they’re they’re in the same space. The Boolean modifier took one and the other one, and it’s still showing them both local view. This is pretty this cleans it up good, but if we go into wireframe view, you’ll see that like the legs here where they dip into the base. They disappear inside the base. That’s what you want, that’s a good manifold model, but if you were eagle-eyed, you might notice that there is a problem with this mesh. Two of the legs extend up into the head and are creating incorrect geometry inside the head. Now we could try to clear this up, and in fact, I could clear this up real easy because in Blender 2.92 or one blender added an exact boolean modifier. Just a little switch on. I think I could probably open up any one of these and show. Yep, there. It goes fast or exact. The old one is fast. The new one is exactly if I switch all of these, or at least the ones that are working on the legs to exact or the head or something, it’ll. Clean it all up. But I’m not gonna do that because I want this to be bad, because occasionally you just can’t clean it up and occasionally you have to export a bad mesh and we’re going to show you how to clean it up after exporting. So we’ve got the mesh that looks good. Make sure you’ve got that mesh and only that mesh selected. So if I go out of local view, you’ll see. I haven’t got anything else selected just this unified mesh that brings it all together. Method number one file export under my head here, SDL. Then you just name the file in the in the menu right here, and now here’s the other thing that you have to do, see this. Check box right here. That says selection. Only you have to check selection. Only this kind of bugs me a little bit because blender way far back didn’t have this option. Instead, it only it only exported what you had selected, but then somebody in the blender team said well. We should give people the option. Maybe people want to export everything in the scene in their stls. I don’t know why anybody would want to do that. But they said, let’s make it an option, so they made it an option and then they turned the option off by default. They made the default, not the way that it used to work Grrr that just just turn it on by deep or at least make it easy for us to turn it on by default, so it stays on, I’m complaining, but make sure you click selection only and then hit export your STL. There’s another method. Here’s the second method. First of all, you have to have the 3d print. Toolbox plugin enabled so edit preferences. If you don’t already have that enabled search for 3d and then there we go, There’s 3d print toolbox. Turn that on, make sure to save that so that it’s always on or turn on auto save, but now in the sidebar here, which you can open up within, there’s a 3d print tab. And if you click that, we’ve got all sorts of cool options. Uh, we’ve got statistics and stuff. We don’t really need that. We’ve got cleanup in here. Theoretically, this can automatically make it manifold and I want you to experiment with it, but I’m not going to today because the first thing you have to do is apply all of these modifiers, and I’m okay with doing that. Just don’t save after you apply if you want to be able to edit it later with by changing the individual objects, But I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with that. Make manifold button. It sometimes doesn’t work the way I’m expecting and I want to show you these other tools, so we’re not going to touch it. Instead, going down a little bit, Here’s the export button, one button exporting. But you gotta understand something. You don’t control exactly the way that it names the file the way it’s going to name the files. First, it’s going to name it after the source and then a dash and then the name of the object. So if you haven’t named your object, they’re all just circle cylinder sphere, whatever you’re going to be confused, so taken on, take a moment, take this object, and and we’re just going to give it a name that means something so that when we hit export that STL file has something useful, that’s actually super useful If you’re making a base model that has a bunch of objects in it, you can name the objects and engine export export export and each of the files gets a relevant name. I actually kind of dig it once. You know what you’re doing? The downside is, though, if you’re, you know, just doing a quick edit to a model and you do this, and you haven’t saved the blender because you weren’t actually planning on saving it, which I do a lot of this. This button doesn’t work very well. Instead, you’re going to want to go through and do the file export, but, okay, we’ve exported our model, but as we’ve discussed, there’s something wrong with this model, And if you try to 3d print it, it might cause problems. So how do we fix that? I’m going to show you two ways first way? If you have Windows 10 it comes with a program for free called 3d builder. Now you might have to install it. It might already be there and it doesn’t. Windows doesn’t now like to open up 3d files in 3d builder by default, so you may have to change that behavior, which isn’t difficult, Just right, mouse. Click open with and then hunt for 3d builder. But once you do, this is 3d builder and 3d builder. You bring in your model notice. Once you load the model, it’s it’s trying to make an assumption about units because we didn’t export it in 3MF because blender doesn’t have a 3MF exporter, And if it did, I would be saying use that, but it doesn’t so instead, Blender is trying to guess at what the units are. Stls don’t have any units and it’s trying to do that. Based on the size of the model, well by default, it should be millimeters, but this student didn’t consider scale when they modeled it. And so it’s really, really tiny. We can take advantage of this then and scale it up by just choosing a different unit. Uh, centimeters. We’ll make it what 10 100 times let me see? That looks like that easily. Looks like 10 times, bigger and inches will make it 25.4 times bigger, because that’s the difference between inches and millimeters, but Im. I I think centimeters is going to work for this. So let’s hit centimeters, import that model and notice that 3d builders immediately complaining at you and it’s drawing a red circle or a red square around this, and it’s saying it’s invalidly defined. Click here to repair. Okay, I’ll just click there and it will chew on this model a little bit and it will try and find the places where it’s bad and it’ll try and make a guess as to what you want and its guesses are usually pretty good. It considers the external geometry as kind of being like the dominant geometry, which can actually get in your way. I have sometimes made 3d prints that had an internal cavity that I I modeled the explicit shape of and it didn’t touch the outside like something that would you know, have a hole through it And so 3d builder said. Oh, well, the only thing that matters is the outside shape, and it got rid of my internal cavity, so just be aware that it might do that, but otherwise look over your model, and if it looks good, then it’ll probably print good and all you have to do is hit Ctrl s and save it and you’re good to go, but what if you don’t have Windows 10 or what? If you can’t for some reason use 3d builder? Well, the exact same, You know, math that goes into making your 3d model. Look, good in 3d builder is available on a free website that is called. Let me pull it up here. So you just open up a web browser and you go to cloudnetfabcom and like I said, this is the same map that is being used to make your 3d model. Look good in 3d builder. I think that you know Microsoft bought this and then took that out and put it into 3d builder. Now you have to be aware that with cloudnetfabcom. Or I guess It’s now servicefabcom. They both work the same way. You are going to have to set up an account. It’s an Adobe account, and if you don’t already have that, you’re going to have to sign up for an Adobe account, but once you do, you can upload your model. It will automatically go through the process of fixing it and then download the fixed model. This is in my opinion, the best way to fix it because it does as little as possible to change the geometry of the model. It just finds the parts that are bad and cleans them up for you. It’s the sort of cleanup that I would do if I were doing it by hand. So there you go. You’ve got your model all cleaned up. It’s ready to import into your slicer of choice. Add supports for those legs there and 3d print, and you’ll be good to go so. I hope that this helps you and I hope that now you’ll be able to take your 3d print models from blender to your 3d printer and make some really cool stuff and remember, jump onto my discord. Link is in the description and show me on the what you making channel. What you’re making with blender and 3d printing or just anything. I love to see that I’ll probably be hanging out there and I’ll happily chat with you guys, because you’re awesome and I love hanging out with you. Guys, take care and we’ll see you next time.

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Transcript: Hey, how's it going, guys? Just, uh, thought I would share with you. A project I've been working on. This is my master chief or your halo mark 6 helmet. And this was 3d printed on my ender threes. Uh, so I've got an Ender, Three and Ender, Three pro. And,...

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