Blender 3D Printing Essentials

Blender 3D Printing Essentials
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Design beautiful, colourful, and practical objects in Blender to print or export
  • Master Blender's special 3D printing tools to maximize print quality and minimize cost
  • Consider requirements unique to 3D printing such as structural integrity and stability

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 114 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : November 2013
ISBN : 1783284595
ISBN 13 : 9781783284597
Author(s) : Gordon Fisher
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Designing Objects for 3D Printing
Chapter 2: Measuring and Texturing Techniques for 3D Printing
Chapter 3: Making a Blender Model that's Ready to Print
Chapter 4: Making Strong, Light Objects with the Solidify Modifier
Appendix: 3D Printing References
  • Chapter 1: Designing Objects for 3D Printing
    • Opportunities to use your 3D printer
    • How a 3D printer works
    • Types of 3D printers
    • Basic parts of a 3D printer
    • How is a 3D printer controlled?
    • The Peachy printer
    • Modeling dimensions
    • File sizes
    • Polygon sizes
    • Factors affecting precision
    • Controlling printing costs
    • Materials for 3D printing
    • 3D printing and your health
    • What happens at a 3D printing service?
    • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Measuring and Texturing Techniques for 3D Printing
      • Precision modeling in Blender
        • Using the Ruler/Protractor
          • Using the Protractor
          • Measuring the thickness of an object
      • Preparing the model for coloring
        • Leaving the object uncolored
        • Vertex colors
          • Vertex painting
        • Building texture maps
          • Choosing colors for printing
          • UV unwrapping
        • Painting the texture map
          • Exporting the UV Layout for use in an external paint program
          • Painting your texture in Blender
      • Summary
      • Chapter 3: Making a Blender Model that's Ready to Print
        • What is special about 3D printing?
        • Installing the Print3D toolbox
        • Introducing the Print3D toolbox
        • Introducing the Mesh Analysis panel
        • Setting up the units of the scene
        • Making a 3D model that will print
          • Making a watertight model
          • Making a manifold model
            • Inspecting objects to see if they are manifold or non-manifold
            • Finding problems that make a file non-manifold
          • Fixing noncontiguous edges
        • Typical problem areas with a model
          • Fixing distorted polygons
          • Blunting sharp edges
          • Fixing the junction between blade and hilt
        • Economizing when 3D printing
        • Summary
        • Chapter 4: Making Strong, Light Objects with the Solidify Modifier
          • Optimizing wall thickness
          • Using Solidify for proper wall thickness
            • Analyzing and modifying the inner shell
          • Making the dragon useful
            • Cutting holes for removing extra printing material
            • Precision modeling—fitting two objects together
            • Dealing with overhangs and support
              • If the printer automatically makes supports
              • Making supports for your model
          • Exporting your 3D object
            • Getting the orientation right
            • Making an STL file
            • Making an X3D file with a texture
          • Summary

            Gordon Fisher

            Gordon Fisher has done animation for clients including the U.S. Army, Ford Motor Co., Dillard's, the Dallas Cowboys and others. He has used Blender since Blender 1.73, and is a popular speaker on Blender topics. He was the first Film in 48 Hours entrant to submit an animated entry. His animation, Land and Sky, made with Blender, was shown at the Ozark Foothills Film Fest. He has used Blender to build samples of a Lunar Colony for X3DOM interactive displays on the web, and created interactive puppets with the Blender Game engine. He is also the author of Blender 3D Printing Essentials, published by Packt Publishing.

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            What you will learn from this book

            • Understand how a 3D printer makes a 3D object
            • Get an introduction to different types of 3D printers
            • Explore the materials that can be used in a 3D printer
            • Get to grips with precision modeling techniques in Blender
            • Use Blender's Ruler/Protractor tool
            • Unwrap a texture to fit a model
            • Make a model watertight and manifold
            • Design an object hollow using the Solidify modifier
            • Export to STL and X3D files for printing

            In Detail

            Like computing, 3D printing has been around for decades but it was expensive and was only used for making complex prototypes. Now, prices have dropped and third-party printing services such as Shapeways have become available, making the technology available to everyone.

            Blender is an open source modeling and animation program popular in the 3D printing community. 3D printing demands more of a modeler than animation or virtual reality. The model maker must engineer their model to work in the real world. They must keep in mind the particular needs of the materials and printers that they are planning to use to print their model.

            This practical guide gives Blender users all the information they need to design high-quality 3D printed objects. With a solid exploration of the 3D modeling process, design considerations for 3D printing, plus step-by-step exercises, you will soon be comfortable making 3D objects for real-world enjoyment.

            Starting with an overview of 3D printing, this guide moves onto to precision measurement, fixing problems in a 3D model, and how to make it light and strong enough for real-world use.

            You will learn how to scale, build, and detail a model for a 3D printer. You will learn to color and decorate it, as well as making parts precisely in the size you want them, so that multi-part objects fit together smoothly. You will also learn tips on saving money when you have printed your model.
            With the help of this guide, you will be able to complete your project and learn how to export the file so it is ready for a variety of 3D printers.


            This book adopts a practical approach, with the use of step-by-step instructions to help guide readers. There are lots of screenshots covering each and every step needed to design a high-quality model in Blender for 3D printing.

            Who this book is for

            If you are a Blender user or someone who wants to use Blender to make 3D objects suitable for 3D printing, this book is ideal for you. You should already be comfortable with basic modeling in Blender - including using modifiers - although advanced skills are not required. All of the models that you will need are explored in-depth. This book does not assume that you will use any specific printer and teaches the general principles common to building models for most printers. It also gives you tips on discovering the requirements of the specific printer you will be using.

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