HelpTutorialsExporting models from Blender as STL files

Exporting models from Blender as STL files

This short tutorial shows how to export a design from Blender to Shapeways by using the STL exporter. This process is described step by step.

Preparing your mesh

  1. Make sure your mesh is watertight and contains no holes.
  2. Check the normals of your designl; they should uniformly point outwards of the design. A quick trick to determine this is to turn off the option 'Double Sided' in the Editing Buttons window. Alternatively, in the same window you can turn on displaying the face normals (under Mesh Tools More). See the screenshot below.
  3. As a final check, look at the dimensions of your design. The Shapeways printers can handle objects of up to roughly 35x40x40cm. Blender itself does not use units, but the STL importer can interpret 1 unit as 1m, 1 inch or 1mm. I recommend sticking to 1mm.

Exporting your design

This is the easy part ;-) Select File > Export > STL

Further reading

Check out our tutorials section for more help on the preparation and printing of your designs. I've highlighted a few that I think are good for getting started with Shapeways:

  1. Fixing non-manifold designs.If you've uploaded anything to Shapeways, you've undoubtably received a few 'non-manifold' or 'inverted normals' errors. This tutorial will explain what these errors mean, and how you can fix them.
  2. Creating hollow objects. Make economic prints by hollowing your designs.
  3. Materials overview. A detailed overview of our material options, their properties and prices.
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