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Preparing a Model for 3D Printing

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Model to Print in Five Steps - Intro
Photo of a 3D resin print from Shapeways.

A 3D resin print from Shapeways with the original 3d model shown on screen.

Copyright © 2008 Dolf Veenvliet.

Since you're here reading this, we assume you're interested in having one of your 3D models transformed into a real world object. We don't blame you!

3D printing is an incredibly exciting technology, and getting to hold one of your digital creations in the palm of your hand is an absolutely fantastic feeling. However, there are a few considerations that must be made to properly prepare a model for 3D printing.

To ensure that the printing process goes as smoothly as possible (and to save you time and money), we've put together a small list of steps to complete before you send your file off to the printer:

Step 1 - Make Sure the Model is Seamless!
Step 2 - Hollow the Model for Lower Prices
Step 3 - Eliminate Non-Manifold Geometry
Step 4 - Check Surface Normals
Step 5 - Convert Your Model (and other considerations)

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