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Blender- Smoothing STL files with Blender for 3D printing
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.
Blender is a powerful open-source tool used for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animations, sculpting, rendering, compositing, motion tracking, game creation, and more. One of its many features is the ability to manage and edit STL files, which are commonly used in 3D printing. Smoothing STL files is essential because it ensures that the 3D printed object will have a refined and professional finish. Rough or jagged edges can not only affect the aesthetics of the printed object but can also impact its functionality. (download available here: Blender downloads)
To achieve the best results when smoothing STL files in Blender, follow this guide. (Note: Ideally, this section would be accompanied by screenshots or video tutorials for a more comprehensive understanding.)
Ato select all vertices.
Q: Why are my STL files rough after exporting from a design software?
A: STL files represent surfaces as a mesh of tiny triangles. The smaller and more numerous the triangles, the smoother the surface. However, some design software may export STLs with larger, fewer triangles, leading to a rougher appearance.
Q: Can I smooth only a part of my STL file in Blender?
A: Yes, in Edit Mode, you can select specific vertices, edges, or faces and apply smoothing only to the selected areas.
Q: Does smoothing increase the file size of my STL?
A: Yes, smoothing can increase the number of vertices and triangles in the mesh, leading to a larger file size.
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