In Blender 3D Printing Essentials, Gordon Fisher lays out the principles and methods for designing objects that will print well and look great in a 3D printer.
Blender 3D Printing Essentials is a quick introduction for the Blender user to designing good 3D printable objects. It is intended for a Blender user of moderate skill. They should at least understand basic modeling and how to use a modifier. The book is divided into 4 parts.
The first part focuses on the concepts behind 3D printing. It looks at how 3D printers work, basic 3D printer construction and operation, types of 3D printing materials and types of printers. Interactive illustrations powered by the Blender Game Engine help the reader understand how a 3D printer is controlled and how an object is printed by a material extrusion printer. This is not intended to teach someone to build or operate a 3D printer, but rather to help the Blender user design 3D printing-friendly objects.
The second part examines how to use the Ruler/Protractor tool and add color to a model. Readers learn to make precise measurements and determine if parts have proper clearances and sizes for building in a 3D printer. Basic texturing techniques are covered, including basic polygon coloring, vertex painting, texture painting and UV mapping methods.
The third part discusses what is required to make a Blender model 3D printable, and demonstrates the basics of using the Blender 3D Print toolbox and the Blender Mesh Analysis panel. The reader then uses these tools to trouble-shoot problems that an object might have and practices methods of fixing the problem..
The fourth part focuses on using the Solidify modifier to make a free-form object that is hollow, yet strong, like a flower vase. Much of the chapter is devoted to cleaning up a complex shape, and the decisions required to make an object that balances strength and cost considerations.
Finally, there is an appendix with many useful links to 3D printing service bureaus, 3D printers and other resources.
The author, Gordon Fisher, got started as a child, doing traditional 3-view drafting with pencil and paper and making plastic models. He began doing 3D modeling in the early 1980s when you had to draw up an object on paper and digitize it point by point into the computer. His modeling adventures include leading a 3 person crew in digitizing 80 aircraft for the U.S. Army's Visual Aircraft Recognition training program, and building an accurate model of the 17th and 18th holes of the Pebble Beach golf course for the Callaway Golf's driving range simulator. He is also the author of Blender 3D Basics by Packt Publishing.