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Checklist & Shortcut Keys

Art of the Parametric Curve – The most useful application of 3D Printing in terms of the creative industries is the ability to print complex Mathematics objects that can be created using Parametric Equations. Don’t be frightened by the words Mathematics and Parametric equations. Using Fluid Designer for 3D Printing we will show you how to create your very own objects quickly and simply.
Array – The Array modifier creates a number of copies of the base object. These are offset from the base object in a number of different ways, constant, relative and/or rotated around a point.
Bezier Curve/Circle – Bezier curves are 3D mathematical functions which can be used to create repeated geometry. To learn more watch this Bezier Video on YouTube.
Blender & 3D Printing – Sadi Pax video on preparing files for 3D Printing at Shapeways.
Bevel Modifier – This modifier enables beveling of the edges of meshes as shown below – the corners are no longer sharp.
Boolean Modifier – The Boolean modifier allows you to merge two together to obtain the difference between to two meshes, the combination of the two meshes or the volume that is the intersection of the two meshes. This modifier is the best way to correctly join two shapes together so that they can be printed correctly.
Bracelets 3D Printed Examples – View examples of bracelets that have been printed using 3D Printing.
Bracelet Size Chart – Check out how to work out how to make a bracelet the correct size for your wrist.
Ceramics  3D Printing video on the future of ceramics printing.
Ceramics 3D Printed Examples – a list of ceramics that have been 3D printed from .stl files.
Chain Video – How to make a realistic chain.
Checklist for 3D Printing with Fluid Desinger – A list of what you need to check before you send any files to be printed at. We also recommend that you repair your file with Netfabb Basic – Netfabb Basic for 3D Printing. ALWAYS run your meshes through this before sending them to be printed.
Curve Modifier – The Curve modifier provides a method of defining a deformation on a mesh based on a curve object – see Bezier Curve/Circle.
Decimate Modifier – The Decimate modifier allows you to reduce the vertex/face count of a mesh with minimal shape changes.
Earrings 3D Printed Examples – View examples of earrings that have been printed using 3D Printing.
Extrude – One tool of paramount importance for working with meshes is the Extrude command (E). It allows you to create parallel-piped from rectangles and cylinders from circles, as well as easily create such things as tree limbs.
Forum (Blender) – Get help from other users of blender online at the blender forum.
J – Online 3D Printing store where you can download intricate 3D Design Files for FREE.
Lamp Shades 3D Printed Examples – A page of lamp shades that can be created using 3D Print technology.
Lamp Shade Being 3D Printed – Watch as a parametric 3D object created using software is actually printed.
Light Bulb Measuring Tool – This printable guide will show you how to measure the diameter of available light bulbs and hence what gap is needed to allow bulbs to fit through lamp shades you create.
Maximum Size – Different sizes apply to different materials.  For gold, platinum and silver typical maximum sizes are 89 x 89 x 100mm. For plastics and ceramics they vary depending on if colours are used.
Mesh Objects – All meshes are made up of vertices (points in the corners), edges (lines between the vertices) and faces (areas in the middle).
Microvellum Fluid Designer – If you go to the web site of the creators of Fluid Designer, Microvellum, they will explain how to use the software in the context of assembling rooms with walls, furniture, etc. You can also download a free version of Fluid Designer from them with their designs in.
Minimum Size – Different sizes apply to different materials. The very smallest size you can make any object is 0.3cm x 0.3cm x 0.3cm.
Minimum Wall Thickness – Different thicknesses apply to different materials. Shapeways recommend a minimum wall thickness for their Strong White Plastic of 0.7mm.  For gold, platinum and silver a minimum thickness of 0.8mm is recommended.  For ceramics it is a minimum thickness of 3mm.
Mirror Modifier – The Mirror modifier automatically mirrors a mesh object along its local X, Y or Z axis.
Modifiers – Modifiers can be accessed from the Properties panel on the right of the work area by clicking on the spanner icon. Solidify, WireFrame, Mirror and Array are just some of the modifiers listed.
Netfabb Basic – Edit, repair and analyse your 3D files with Netfabb Basic before printing your objects. Download this free software and use it every time you create a file you wish to print. Download the Netfabb Basic Manual to learn how to use the software.
Non-manifold edges – Objects must be closed. Closed means watertight. The volume of these objects must be solid and in case there is more than one volume, all of the volumes must be linked with one another. Objects must also be manifold: their geometry must include some inner and outer-parts. A mesh is said to be non-manifold if its edges are shared by more than two faces.
Normals – Every surface in your model must have its normal’s oriented in the right direction.In case your model contains inverted normals it cannot be printed. This is so because it is impossible to tell apart the inner from the outer part of the model.
OBJ File – Export your file as an OBJ to online services to check and repair the mesh before 3D Printing – OBJ is a geometry definition file format first developed by Wavefront Technologies for its Advanced Visualizer animation package.
Parametric – A definition of Parametric Equations on WikiPedia.
Parametric Art – Images of Parametric 3D objects on Instagram.
Pendants 3D Printed Examples – View examples of pendants that have been printed using 3D Printing.
Printing 3D & Design – a very good series of videos from Shapeways on 3D printing.
Professional Jewellery Designs – You can download intricate 3D Design Files for FREE to see what real designers do to create meshes from the JewelryThis web site.
Properties – The Properties panel appears to the right of the work area and can be opened by either clicking on the + symbol or by pressing the key N on your keyboard. The Properties panel includes the size of the object as well as giving access to setting Modifiers.
Rings 3D Printed Examples – View examples of rings that have been printed using 3D Printing.
Ring Sizes – Wikipedia description on actual dimensions for ring sizes.
Shapeways: 3D Printing Cast Metals – This is a video from Shapeways showing briefly the process of producing a 3D printed metal object.
Shapeways: Pre-Print Checklist – With this step-by-step checklist, Shapeways have tried to make it easier for you to ensure your design is ready for printing. It covers the automated checks and the checks you can perform prior to uploading your model.
Shapeways: How to use Meshlab and Netfabb – This tutorial provides a step-by-step overview on how to convert a .dae, .x3d or .wrl into a .stl file using Meshlab and Netfabb. In addition, it covers how to check your file for printability and fix some of the most frequent problems.
Shapeways: Things to keep in mind when designing for 3D Printing – If you’re new to 3D printing, this mini-tutorial covers some of the most common things to keep in mind when designing your model. These basic principles will prepare you for designing for 3D printing, using your existing 3D modelling skills.
Shapeways: Design for cheaper printing – Shapeways only charges you for the amount of material you use. There is no penalty for complexity or the bounding box of your model. This makes some products seem surprisingly inexpensive, like spectacles and jewelry, and for some products, more expensive. Here are three tricks to optimize your design for the lowest cost 3D printing.
Shapeways: Preparing models for 3D Printing at Shapeways using Blender – This tutorial shows just how complicated 3D Printing is and some of the pitfalls that will occur with complex models. (Blender)
Shortcut Keys – a list of useful shortcut key commands for Fluid designer.
Size – You must keep an eye on the maximum size of your object: base, height, depth and their sum x+y+z. Each material has its own maximum size and some materials also have a minimum size. You can find full details of current specifications will the Shapeways 3D Printing Materials Comparison Sheet.
STL File – Export your file as a STL (Surface Tesselation Language) to online services to check and repair the mesh before 3D Printing.
Skin Modifier – The Skin modifier takes a skeleton made up of vertices and edges as input and generates a polygon skin as output. The output is mostly quads, although some triangles will appear around intersections.
Solidify Modifier – The Solidify modifier takes the surface of any mesh and adds depth to it.
Subsurf Modifier – This modifier is used to sub-dived the surface of a mash to give it a smoother finish. This is very important when 3D Printing, you generally want a smooth finish to your surface. Care needs to be taken however as this modifier dramatically increases the number of faces a mash has and also increases the file size. There are limits to both of these when send files to be printed.
Toolbox Tools – 3D Printing Tools in the toolbox panel can be used to analyze your mesh to see what needs to be corrected before it is printed. We would recommend you click the hyperlink shown and read what can be checked using the tools built into Fluid Designer (Blender).
Volume – Every object must have a volume. When rendering or animating it is often the case that some surfaces are literally flat, meaning they have zero thickness: when creating 3D objects, these will need to have some minimum thickness to be printed.To provide surfaces with a volume you can just extrude them in order to obtain solids.
Wall Thickness – Measure the wall thickness of your object: if the measure is lower than the minimum wall thickness for that material the object might turn out to be very fragile or it could even fall apart while in the making.This information can be found on the Technical details file in each of the pages for materials for 3D Printing – see the Shapeways 3D Printing Materials Comparison Sheet. Alternatively, remember the (very approx.) 1 : 1 : 3 rule for Precious Metal : Plastic : Ceramic.
XYZ Math Function – View a number of surfaces that can be created using this function.
XYZ Math Functions @ – Although is in fact a French web site using Google Translate you can read much of what is listed. Also, you do NOT need to understand the Maths, just look for the X, Y and Z functions and use “u” and “v” in the equations to generate the curves in Fluid Designer.
Z Math Surface – click the link to view the type of surfaces that can be created using this type of equation, i.e. z = f (x, y).