Book Image

Blender 3D Printing Essentials

Book Image

Blender 3D Printing Essentials

Overview of this book

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.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)

Factors affecting precision

We like to imagine that when we make an object in Blender that everything will just be exactly the size we specified. But this is not always the case. 3D printers exist in the real world and there are a lot of things that can affect how precise your object is:

  • The size of the object

  • How well the printer is set up

  • The quality of the printer to begin with

  • Any sloppiness in the system

  • Whether the printer controls the X, Y, and Z dimensions equally well

  • Printing speed affects how much extruded material is laid down at any given spot

  • How recently the printer was calibrated, and how well it was calibrated

  • How consistent the extrusion and material flow is

  • The ability of the software to control the system

  • How much flex there is in the printer

  • The ambient temperature of the room

These things can result in objects being stretched or squashed, holes not being round, objects that should fit not fitting, straight lines being wavy, gaps between the layers, and more. The burden of keeping these things under control falls to the person with the 3D printer, but it's important to keep in mind when you are designing your objects.