Learn the art of STL-bending!

Learn the art of STL-bending!

it is funny 18 oh and the thing to do is of course start with a big new year new me resolution but we also know how how those are to stick to you is a solution just post a photo of yourself and throw Instagram filters on it until all your internet friends forget you still be exact same person as last year this one is not getting any better but what if you could do the same thing for you 3d printable models use a filter make it smoother turnin into a wireframe or a low poly model with minimum effort well that's what I'm going to show you how to do today as always we're going to use free software so anyone can follow along and these filters work on basically any 3d model so even with designs that you simply download from Thingiverse you imagine as in good old STL let's get to it ok so obviously playing with 3d models isn't quite as swipey tap yes the real instagram but it's not much harder either once you know the basic moves what are we going to be using today is blender a completely open source program probably best known for being an awesome tool for creating and rendering out 3d animated shorts and movies you all know Big Buck Bunny right blender can be downloaded for free at blender.org depending on what slicer you use you might also need mesh mixer or a net fab for some post-processing I'll show you how to get netfabb basic for free right here and mesh mixer is and always has been free anyways when you open a blender you'll be greeted by a welcome screen close that then on your keyboard hit delete and enter to remove the default cue they're actually a few really cool things you can do with just a cube which I'll show you in another video but for now we just need an empty workspace to put your own files hit file import STL and then select the file you want to import when it first opens up chances are it's gonna be really far zoomed in so basic entrons for blender our mouse wheel zooms in and out the middle mouse button rotates the view and holding shift with the middle mouse button Pangea view around so the first model I want to show today is the owl statue by Krish WA this is a really nice model in a few regards first of all of course it'll looks great but also the mesh it's based on is a really well behaved mesh not all models have a mesh that is this even so if you're running into issues with any of the modifiers we're about to apply there are two that you can do before everything else that should clean up the mesh and make it a bit better suitable for what we're gonna do next and those two are decimate and remesh to add a modifier to a model head over here to the right then click the wrench and hit add modify and you're gonna get this long list of all the modifiers aka filters you can apply to your model decimate analyzes the model and lets you remove detail where it's not needed and you have the slider that goes from 1 to 0 telling blender how much detail to keep if you drop it all the way to 0 obviously it's gonna leave one or two triangles and that is not a usable model but often you'll find that you can drop a model down to 50% of its original details of 0.5 and it's still going to look and feel the exact same as the original if you go down further say to 2 to 5 percent depending on your model you're going to get a really nice low poly effect and if you like it and I know I do you can save the model just like that with file export STL and with this owl and especially the feathers on its chest it actually looks really good already if you only wanted a low poly effect there you go but for making a model more compatible with other modifiers leaving a few more polygons is probably the better choice still as a side effect lowering the polygon count with decimate is also going to make other modify more smoothly the other option of cleaning up a mesh is the Ramesh modifier and this one basically regenerates the entire model and gives it a new surface getting a perfect new model out of the Ramesh modifier is non-trivial so your model will look degraded one way or another but it's a good last resort if you have one specific Sto that just doesn't want to cooperate with any of the other modifiers so for the first filter or modifier that we throw in here why don't we try and go the exact opposite way instead of making a model less detailed or more low poly why don't we try and make it smoother and add polygons why would you want to do that well look at these two prints one is smooth the other you can see every single polygon yes the slicer and the printer are gonna have to work harder they're gonna have to process more detail but the results I think speak for themselves if you're lucky you can turn a mediocre medium polygon model into one that looks absolutely perfect the modifier that does this is subdivision surface you tell it how many passes to take and it adds detail accordingly but you definitely don't want to add too much detail polygon counts over one-million typically don't make much sense for an FTM 3d printer and they were also slowdown blender to a crawl with a normal model two or three passes are typically enough to make your print in distinguished really smooth I mean just look at that mesh isn't that beautiful you might get some light artifacting increases like these but considering the resolution you're getting from your typical filament based 3d printer those aren't really gonna show up in the final print also keep in mind that upping the details too much will also slow down your 3d printer because you're gonna be running into bottlenecks for SD card or a processor power so don't go too crazy on this one all right let's get this one printed one of the things you might need to do with any of these modified 3d models is to slice a bit off the bottom to give it a good first layer to stick to the bed it's gonna depend on which slice you use but in cura it's as simple as just sliding the model a slight bit below your bed surface let's have a look at another pretty interesting modifier and that is wireframe now if you just apply wireframe to a stock model it's not gonna look like anything special but if you zoom in you can actually see what it does it basically takes the edges between polygons of your model and creates a small beam in place of them and then removes the rest of the model so it's basically just this thin mesh shell you're getting the first thing you want to do is turn off even thickness and that's already gonna make it look a ton better however or normal models are typically way too much detail to actually use that as a full wireframe so what he can do is that he can edit decimate filter in front of the wireframe filter it like this you can change the order of the filters with the arrows right here let's make the best of the wireframe filter you do need to change some of the parameters the default thickness of each of the wires is way too thin to reproduce for any standard 3d printers so you want to increase that to around 3 or 4 which pretty much directly translates to 3 or 4 millimeters in real life you can also play around with the replace original option and turn that on or off to actually create this low poly very accentuated edgy model instead of just the wireframe and that also kind of looks cool I think as always just play around with the options especially in combination with the decimate filter it does give you a ton of options and a ton of different looks by either making it low poly from the start and then increasing the thickness of the wireframe we're going the other way around and making really thin wires any rather high poly based model all right here's a fun one go to add modifier solidify and then crank the offset to plus one and then slowly increase the thickness and just watch what happens like like that I mean okay this one's getting kind of mean and aggressive just a fluffy and poufy and it is now this works with pretty much any model but just like before you can also add other modifiers before you actually apply the solidify one in this case I'm using the subdivision surface modifier before this just to make it a bit smoother since the poofy solidified version got a bit too low poly for my taste one pass already is enough here and down here you can again see that the bottom surface where the model is supposed to lay flat against the bed is not really flat anymore and we're actually gonna clean that up in the slicer itself alright let's check out one more and I know a lot of you will love this one this one is remesh now but default area mesh modifier will look like a bad version of decimate but it can actually change how it works you can either increase the number of passes it does giving you a higher resolution model or you can also change how it works internally you can change it from sharp to smooth that that should be self-explanatory but it can also change it over to blocks and this is actually how this modifier works internally now I gotta say I love how this look turns out you can change how detailed those blocks can be by changing the octree depth and the scale for fine-tuning and of course you could crank it up so far that you're not even seeing the individual blocks anymore but that's not the point the point is to stylize the model and if you're worried about the underside of the blocks being an unsupported overhang that is basically completely horizontal well they're gonna droop a bit but it's not a major issue if you have good part cooling it's just gonna be one or two loops that droop down you can cut those off with some slippers and you're getting get a nearly perfect model so with this last modifier I'm not really sure what I should think about it it's kind of creepy to be honest now this one as the name suggests takes all the fine details and just smoothers them over and depending on how you set it up you can either use it for a smoothing which is how its intended to be used so use a low smoothing factors and then as many repeats as you want or you can actually use it as a sharpening filter by setting a negative smoothing however this is really sensitive and you can only really do a tiny tiny amount of sharpening before the model goes berserk but maybe someday this is gonna be useful but let's look at the smooth one now you can either just go slightly smooth and you know keep most of the detail in place or you can go completely over the wall and turn this out into a bat because why not again depending on the model you're working with it might be a good idea to throw a subdivision surface in front of the smooth filter but that's up to you to experiment with now one thing I've noticed is that once you go past a certain smoothing factor it's actually getting less smooth it's almost like it's getting inverted slightly and you can use that effect creatively like in the case of this owl it adds some texture in places that it didn't have texture before but I'm not sure whether I like this or not it's just it seems a bit random but again it might come in useful at some point okay so while all that's printing let's talk about my new year's resolution being more grateful focusing on the positive and all the things I and we as a community have achieved the printing has become better cheaper easier more accessible than ever on this channel we've already managed to cover so many important topics and for 2018 we're going to cover even more hey I've even hired a full-time employee to help me keep making more quality content for YouTube and the best thing is this is all made possible through your support either by just watching the videos were by contemplating directly on patreon or otherwise in particular thank you to my patrons Oliver Nicholas Neil Young word woody Boyd Jeffery Nicoletti fidget Guney W Remco cuts Heath Austin Phillip cog and also to looking among messy bird 3d passion robot manake Bobby CC Wong Mike Jackson Sven Milla Frances to Peebles and Francisco Bishop Google fun with his paycheck Andy Smith William Devine likes under Strobel Yoda permit Jerry Sweeney Misha Hilversum alex animu Phyllis Tudor and Hussein Carter's and a big thank you to everyone else on patreon patron has actually reversed their fee restructures so just like before even a small one dollar pledge a month it's totally viable so check out Tom Sleater org slash patreon for more right thanks for the video so these are some basic ways to process an sto and make it look better more interesting or simply well more unique but it's always with customizing things what I showed you here is only just scratching the surface what's possible and it's up to you to make the best use of these tools combined effects take the files in and out of blender and into other software and come up with your own ways to process the designs we already have and make them your own if you find a look you like don't forget to share your recipe in the comments below or if you're just looking for some cool owls to print you can find these links down there as well I for one already have an idea of what I'm going to use this process for stay tuned for a quick tips video coming up soon if you like this one hit that thumbs up button get subscribed if you loved it and check out the ways you can support this channel by just shopping on Amazon or patreon all that info is also right below that like button as always thank you for watching let's see in the next one


  • Thomas Sanladerer says:

    Thank you ATOM 3D for letting us try out a less in-your-face way of sponsoring a video! What do you guys prefer? "Linus Tech Tips"-style sponsor messages or seamless integrations like this one?

  • Anthony Rich says:

    To get a Cushwa Owl that looks genuinely low-poly while still being recognisable as an own, try Modifiers > Decimate with Mode=Planar and Angle Limit=30 degrees (2,133 faces), 45 degrees (925 faces) or 60 degrees (537 faces).

  • ben p4 says:

    Thanks now I know how to remesh and object but still no clue how to BEND an object !!

  • Stephen Matthews says:

    I ••••ing love this video ! nice one Thomas !

  • NulliFieD FPV says:

    Great how to! Thank you! I would love to see more 3d printing related tutorials with blender. used blender for 3d animations long time ago, but since fusion 360 I didn't get intouch with blender anymore..

  • stephenspencer2121 says:


  • Teresa Shinkansen says:

    When using the remesh modifier always helps to change it to Smooth, it removes most mesh errors but you lose a bit of detail unless you use a very high octree number. Edit:NVM i just watched the rest of the video.

  • Oasisfan says:

    Much thanks!

  • Josh Ch says:

    What 3d printer did you use?

  • 123 says:

    Minecraft owl

  • MathCubes says:

    You have no clue on how to use blender. IF you did than that bottom would look flat. You want to use 4 sided polygons aka squares or rectangles not triangles.

  • Mario Krajčír says:

    Amazing video!

  • urdnal says:

    Really digging that voxel-like filter. Gonna have to give that a go.

  • DukeOfMarshall says:

    YES!!!! BLENDER!!!!!!!! Glad to see this catching on more and more. Blender is AWESOME!!

  • Railz28 says:

    You had me at "just look at how fluffy and poofy he is!" – subbed!

  • Virtual Pax-12 says:

    How do you make that emptyed out owl with just the contour of the mesh????? IT LOOKS AMAZING! I've been trying for a year to find out how it's done. Can someone tell me how??

  • Julian says:

    to stop the subdivision surface modifier from making the bottom not be flat, go into edit mode, select the bottom edge all around, hit shift+e and drag the mouse over to adjust the edge crease. to see an effect while adjusting, you should add but not apply the subdivision surface modifier beforehand.

  • Asger Vestbjerg says:

    Thanks for sharing 😀👍

  • NWilly W says:

    If you use the triangulate modifier and then subdivide surface it most of the time comes out smoother.

  • Bartosz Olszewski says:

    My new year resolutions really didn't change. Still 0,2mm layer height

  • Fábio Henrique says:

    Your videos are amazing Thomas! Hugs from Brazil! By the way, which camera are you using in this video? Could you tell me The quality is the video is great!! 😉

  • MasterWilliam770 says:

    There are some great youtube resources if you're looking for information on either starting, or advancing with 3d printing. I just bought a CR 10 and have been absorbing everything I can. Of all these content creators, I find your vids to be the most concise, and educational. I've been bingeing you're vids for the last 3 days. Thanks for saving me lots of time and filament c:

  • TiagoTiago says:

    Keep in mind Solidify is meant to make non-manifold into manifold; it basicaly makes each face two faces; not only it can produce overlaping meshes, but is also makes things hollow, you're growing a shell.

    But if the mesh you started with didn't had any holes, you can go into edit mode, select one of the faces, then go into the Select menu and click on Linked (Ctrl-L) and delete that set of faces to make the thing solid again. I'm not sure how to easily fix self-intersections automatically with Blender though.

  • Gunn3r says:

    Sounds like there are a lot of german names under the Patreons 😉

  • Seraj Omer says:

    Vanoss Gaming Sponsored

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