O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Blender 3D Printing Essentials

Book Description

Learn 3D printing using the free open-source Blender software. This book gives you both an overview and practical instructions, enabling you to learn how to scale, build, color, and detail a model for a 3D printer.

  • 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

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Blender 3D Printing Essentials
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Blender 3D Printing Essentials
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. www.PacktPub.com
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
      2. Why Subscribe?
      3. Free Access for Packt account holders
    7. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
        1. Downloading the example code
        2. Downloading the color images of this book
        3. Errata
        4. Piracy
        5. Questions
    8. 1. Designing Objects for 3D Printing
      1. Opportunities to use your 3D printer
      2. How a 3D printer works
      3. Types of 3D printers
      4. Basic parts of a 3D printer
      5. How is a 3D printer controlled?
      6. The Peachy printer
      7. Modeling dimensions
      8. File sizes
      9. Polygon sizes
      10. Factors affecting precision
      11. Controlling printing costs
      12. Materials for 3D printing
      13. 3D printing and your health
      14. What happens at a 3D printing service?
      15. Summary
    9. 2. Measuring and Texturing Techniques for 3D Printing
      1. Precision modeling in Blender
        1. Using the Ruler/Protractor
          1. Using the Protractor
          2. Measuring the thickness of an object
      2. Preparing the model for coloring
        1. Leaving the object uncolored
        2. Vertex colors
          1. Vertex painting
        3. Building texture maps
          1. Choosing colors for printing
          2. UV unwrapping
            1. UV mapping the wings
            2. UV mapping the belly
            3. UV mapping the edges of the wing
            4. UV mapping the head
        4. Painting the texture map
          1. Exporting the UV Layout for use in an external paint program
          2. Painting your texture in Blender
            1. Modifying the UV coordinates to add detail
            2. Using the Clone brush to add detail
      3. Summary
    10. 3. Making a Blender Model that's Ready to Print
      1. What is special about 3D printing?
      2. Installing the Print3D toolbox
      3. Introducing the Print3D toolbox
      4. Introducing the Mesh Analysis panel
      5. Setting up the units of the scene
      6. Making a 3D model that will print
        1. Making a watertight model
        2. Making a manifold model
          1. Inspecting objects to see if they are manifold or non-manifold
          2. Finding problems that make a file non-manifold
        3. Fixing noncontiguous edges
      7. Typical problem areas with a model
        1. Fixing distorted polygons
        2. Blunting sharp edges
        3. Fixing the junction between blade and hilt
      8. Economizing when 3D printing
      9. Summary
    11. 4. Making Strong, Light Objects with the Solidify Modifier
      1. Optimizing wall thickness
      2. Using Solidify for proper wall thickness
        1. Analyzing and modifying the inner shell
      3. Making the dragon useful
        1. Cutting holes for removing extra printing material
        2. Precision modeling—fitting two objects together
        3. Dealing with overhangs and support
          1. If the printer automatically makes supports
          2. Making supports for your model
      4. Exporting your 3D object
        1. Getting the orientation right
        2. Making an STL file
        3. Making an X3D file with a texture
      5. Summary
    12. A. 3D Printing References
      1. References
        1. 3D printing services
        2. 3D printers – hobbyist
        3. 3D printers – industrial
        4. 3D objects
    13. Index