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Working with 3D: Checking Your Print

You have your digital 3D model; get it in shape for printing on a desktop 3D printer.


You'll greatly improve the chances of a successful print by checking your model for various common errors. We recommend using MeshMixer or the Print3D plugin for Blender to analyze and repair your model.

Installing Blender's 3D Print Plugin

If you're using Blender as your modeling program of choice, there is a plugin that can be added and used to assess 3D models for printing.

  1. Open Blender. Download Blender here and run the installation if you don't already have it installed.
  2. Open User Preferences. Click Add-Ons.
  3. Search for "3D print" in the searchbox. The toolbox should appear on the right. Check the empty checkmark to add this to your tools.
  4. If you're on your own computer, click "Save User Settings" to keep this toolbox active in your future projects. 
  5. Now if you've selected any Mesh while in Object mode, you can click into the "3D Print" toolbox using the new tab in your left hand panel! 


Meshmixer is an easy to use program created specifically to edit mesh and geometry with speed and ease.  The software contains diagnostic tools and Auto Repair features.

This package also contains features for segmenting models so that the user can split up a large model for multiple smaller printers. 

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The NetFabb Online Service attempts to do automated repairs on 3D model files by uploading them to the cloud. Alternatively, students can download NetFabb for free after creating an Autodesk account.