How to Make 3D Printer Files

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How to Make 3D Printer Files

If you have a 3D printer at home, you probably want to use it in designing and printing some fantastic images. However, the thought of creating 3D files if you are a beginner often can be somewhat intimidating. Therefore, in this article, you will be taken through some of the essential tips you need to consider, thereby ensuring your 3D models that are unique as well as of incredible quality.

​Here are some essential tips on how to make 3D printer files:

1. 3D printing software

When it comes to 3D printing, the software you use is vital. Always consider using software that will impact your 3D file positively. This will help you extend your knowledge of 3D printing.

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2. Photoshop

You should consider digitalizing your 3D printer file using Photoshop. Using a pen and a paper sketch or draw your model and take a picture. Once you have the image, import it to Photoshop, and digitalize the model. You will use Photoshop in creating an outline for your model.

3. Viewing essential tools

Several 3D printer software features plenty of commands and tools to work with. You will click on the toolbar, where you will select a set to help design your 3D file. The toolbar features useful tools that will help you create great 3D models.

4. Axes

Green, red, and blue is the standard axes on many 3D printer software. These axes help you to view the model from various angles. Some software features snapping features which help in aligning your models and lines on different axes.

When you have your toolbar and the 3D space with all the three different axes ready, you will start creating your model in 2D shaped first.

5. Drawing 2D model

Drawing a 2D model is the fundamental of your future 3D model. To design a 2D model you follow the following steps; however, you should note this step differ from one software to another

  • By clicking the pencil symbol on the toolbar, you will be able to draw a line.
  • You will click any point on your screen and assign it to the first point.
  • On your desired second point, drag the mouse and click on it.
  • Type the actual value you wish for the length of your model and press enter.
  • By now, you will be able to align the blue, red, and green axes line of the workspace.

6. The control movements

It is essential to know how to change your view using simple movement tools of Orbit and Pan.

Here is pan’s movement control:

  • You can either press H on your keyboard or click the Pan icon for you to use it.
  • To set the origin, click, hold, and drag the mouse. This action will allow you to move the view.

For you to use Orbit movement control you should:

  • Click on the Orbit icon, which is present on the toolbar, or you might as well consider pressing O on your keyboard.
  • To rotate the entire view, click anywhere on your screen, then hold and drag the mouse.
  • You might as well consider using the mouse wheel to Orbit your view.

7. Undo and saving

In case you make any mistake while editing, press on edit to undo the mistake. You will be taken back to the previous step once you click on edit. You can as well press Alt + Backspace to achieve the same action.

To avoid losing your progress, you will be required to save it by clicking on file then save or Ctrl + S on your keyboard.

8. Creating your 3D file

Once your 2D model is ready, you will follow the following steps to create a 3D model:

  1. Zoom in the 2D shaped model using the mouse wheel.
  2. Press P on the keyboard or click pull/push icon, which is available on the toolbar.
  3. Hover the course over your 2D file.
  4. Once the image is highlighted, click on it and drag it to create a 3D model of your preference.
  5. Once you are through dragging the image, it will change from 2D into a 3D file

9. The volume and thickness of the wall

It is crucial to assign every surface of your 3D model a wall thickness. You can design a 3D model without a wall thickness when using 3D modeling software. Usually, most of the 3D models feature surface visual purposes, which are intended for games. Such 3D models do not require wall thickness.

You should note that 3D printers require wall thickness of your file. Therefore, whenever you turn a 3D model into a 3D print file, the volume or the width of the file will be required. Wall thickness refers to the distance between one surface of the 3D file and its opposite sheer surface.

Most of the 3D printing problems are associated with the thickness of the wall. You should note that the minimum wall thickness will depend on the material used in making the 3D file.

Mistakes to avoid when creating a 3D file

1. Self-intersection

The intersection will give your 3D model a great look; however, it can be unprintable hence confusing the printer on the model you intend to print. You should consider designing your model in a 2D format to avoid making things difficult. You will be able to create self-intersecting surfaces once you print your model in the 2D format before converting it into 3D.

2. File Resolution

Most 3D file resolutions are in the size of standard triangle language, also known as STL. This means that your model will be in the form of triangles in 3D space. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the STL resolution. Sparse or low-resolution STL files are considered to be of poor quality. High-resolution STL files are often extra-large, which makes them impossible to operate.

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Conclusion

When designing a 3D model, it is essential not to ignore the software guidelines. The guidelines will help you come up with great 3D print files. You should note that the process of designing a 3D model differs from one software to another.

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.