3D modeling loosens the hands and releases the imagination. You can model, combine and shape any object to a 3D creator that violates physics and goes far beyond reality.

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When you design a print-ready model, the modeling process changes a little. When modeling 3D print objects, you always need to be aware of reality. At least a little. In the following article, we`ll give you some advice on how to make sure that your modeling moves in a positive direction.

Forget surfaces.

Note that the walls of your 3D model must be thick enough. If a model is to be printed in 3D, the wall must be at least 0.5 mm, with 1 mm you would definitely be on the safe side. It is better to draw solid bodies because they are simpler than surfaces. If you`re not completely convinced, watch this video:

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Close open areas.

Open faces are important. To make it easy, an open face exists when a model lacks a face from the surface of the part. In other words, an object must be waterproof. If there are still open areas after modeling, close them. If not, it is not possible to print them in 3D.

Separate edges.

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Note that your 3D model must not contain common edges. Better replace with a gap of 0.1 mm between two bodies or just overlap when parts need to be joined together. Otherwise, the 3D print object will crash.

Correct normals.

All surfaces of a design model must point their normal in the right direction. Sometimes your 3D model contains inverted standards, so most 3D printers cannot determine the inside or outside of their mesh.

Cavity out your models.

It is recommended to hollow out large volume objects. Caverning saves money because filling the model with expensive material in pointless. Take a look at the enormous price differences. By hollowing out a model up to 80% of the cost can be saved.

Reduce it if possible.

Another way to lower the price of 3D printing is to reduce the size of your model. Consider it well if you don`t want to make it smaller. If you cut the size in half, reduce the print price eightfold. It`s worth thinking about.

Stay within the limits.

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3D printers have a certain volume that cannot be expanded. If your model is larger than the build volume, either break it down into smaller pieces or cut connecting lines through the model. Model sensibly.

Always leave a gap.

When designing moving parts of a 3D model, always make sure there is a gap between them. This gap must be at least 0.5 mm to avoid sticking and to ensure unhindered movement.

Keep it stable.

In the slang of 3D printing there is a so-called “thin arm syndrome”. You must not leave any thin arms with unsupported weight at the end. Especially after reducing the size of a model you should make sure that the arms are strong enough to hold it. In addition, Shapeways reminds you that your 3D model is always on your feet, while a real one can tip over. So consider the size of a character and the shape of the contact area. It must not be much smaller. Or remember that you can always add an artificial base for the stability of a model.

Model characters accurately.

When modeling a printable 3D character, you need to pay more attention than ever to detail. Even the smallest part plays a role. Make the arms and legs of your model strong enough. Imagine Shrek standing on two tiny legs. Remember that all surface details must be supported on at least one side of the other surface. The thickness should not be less than 0.4 mm. Fingers are vulgar parts of the body and are highly likely to break first. Try to hold them together.

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Their character stands on two feet better than on one. If you want it to lift a leg, put in on a stone. Also avoid precise small details, if you`re not sure if you can print it, remove it better. Also, don`t experiment much with the shape of the character, hold body parts above or along the X, Y or Z axis.

We have to remember a lot, but you can always follow these guidelines to design a correct 3D print model. Don`t think these are the rules that limit your creativity. They are simply necessary.

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