Book Image

3D Printing Blueprints

By : Joe Larson
Book Image

3D Printing Blueprints

By: Joe Larson

Overview of this book

A new industrial age is here. Machines designed to build useful and interesting objects have moved from the factory to the home. Whether you have a 3D printer or not, learning how to design your first 3D models is the best way to become part of the 3D printing movement. 3D Printing Blueprints will teach you, step by step, the tools and techniques of using Blender, a free 3D modelling program, to build 3D models for printing with simple and fun hands-on projects.3D Printing Blueprints uses engaging and fun projects that teach Blender modeling for 3D printing through hands-on lessons. First you'll learn basic modeling and make a small simple object. Then each new project brings with it new tools and techniques as well as teaching the rules of 3D printing design. Eventually you'll be building objects designed to repair or replace everyday objects. Finally you'll be able to even tackle other people's models and fix them to be 3D printable. Through the course of doing the blueprints you will custom build one-of-a-kind objects that you can call your own. Starting from a custom vase formed from a picture, lessons will progress to a multi-part modular robot toy. Then simple machines will be designed with custom gears and functions. Eventually you'll learn how to download models from the Internet and make custom objects. Finally you'll be able to build models with near real life specifications and make a print that can be used for small object repair. 3D Printing Blueprints will teach you everything you need to know about building custom 3D models to print successfully on modern home 3D printers.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
3D Printing Blueprints
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Making a flat base

While inspecting the lion it becomes clear that all it is right now is a thin shell with huge gaps in it which is not very printable. What needs to be done is to clean up the mesh so it is closed, manifold, and has a flat bottom suitable for printing.


A solid, printable mesh is closed, or watertight, and manifold.

Closed or watertight is an easy enough concept to get. In cartoons, the characters can blow bubbles of any size or shape they want, but if that bubble gets a single hole it pops. In the same way, the mesh should be one continuous surface no matter the twists and turns it takes.

Manifold is a mathematical term that in general terms can be confusing, but in specific turns for our purposes means that every edge sits between no more than two faces and no face intersects any other face. (If it's watertight as well, each edge will border exactly two faces.) If an edge is bordering three faces, then there is an unnecessary face in the model. Non-manifold meshes can...