Blender- Smoothing STL files

Blender- Smoothing STL files with Blender for 3D printing

Description:

This is a tutorial for using the free, but powerful, software Blender (download available here: Blender downloads) to add additional polygons to STLs created in SketchUp. Doing this will create higher quality models out of your STL file, allowing for higher quality prints.

Process:

1) Use Netfabb (download available here: Netfabb downloads) to clean up your STL.

2) Open up Blender and import your STL by going to the menu bar and click File > Import > STL. (Refer to this video created by Shapespeare to properly configure Blender for 3D printing: Blender Basics for 3D Printing)

3) Open Edit Mode to display the polygons of the STL by pressing Tab.

4) Convert the triangles into quads by pressing Alt+J. Quads enable us to more precisely control the subdivisions and smoothing of the model.

5) Subdivide the model by going to the Tools tab on the left panel, under Add:, click Subdivide. For this example, subdividing 3 times is sufficient.

6) Now we can smooth the vertices by going to the Tools tab again, under Deform:, click Smooth Vertex. For this particular example, smoothing the vertices 3 times is sufficient.

7) Export the STL file by going to the menu bar and clicking File > Export > STL. Now it is ready to be sliced and printed!