Getting Started with 3D Modelling Software Part 2

Last week I gave you an overview of the most widely used 3D modelling software. Now, it is time to present my own first 3D models. I have only recently begun diving into 3D design, so my models are fairly simple. You can build them, using the default shapes provided in SketchUp Make and Blender. In addition, they are easy to print out and don’t require support structures.

3D Modelling With Blender

For my first Blender design, I decided that I will turn our logo image into a printable 3D model. However, converting a pixel image to a vector and then importing that vector into Blender turned out to be way beyond my still limited skills. Thus, I had to make my own 3D text from scratch.

 As I pointed out in my previous blog post, there is a wealth of video tutorials and articles for Blender enthusiasts of all levels. If you want a concise, accurate and easy-to-follow tutorial on 3D text, I recommend Blender Sensei. I managed to build my 3d text and prepare it for printing in less than 15 minutes – isn’t that cool?

If you follow the instructions precisely, you would be able to make an awesome 3D text, too. When it comes to getting it ready for 3D printing, here are some time-saving tips:

  • Make sure to adjust your measurements to “metric” and scale your model properly
  • Activate  the “3D PrintToolbox” and “Looptools” addons
  • Add a base under your text
  • Make sure you have selected your whole object before hitting ”export” (pretty obvious, but I did miss it)

3D Modelling With SketchUp Make

With SketchUp I was again looking for a model which is not too complex and doesn’t have any overhanging parts.

3d-modelling

I used this clear and understandable tutorial, provided by Thonnings and I was able to design my 3DPrintWorks keyring very quickly. As a modelling tool SketchUp is a lot easier to use than Blender, so you are less likely to spend hours building an amazing model which turns out to be unprintable. However, there are a couple of things I would like to point out about working with SketchUp Make.

  • You need to download an stl extension from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse if you want to make your models printable
  • The registrations to the SketchUp Extension Warehouse requires access to your Google identity and your Gmail inbox
  • Installing the stl extension grants the plug-in access to files and folders on your computer and it can even delete, add or change your data. Needless to say, I wasn’t too excited to trade off my privacy (and security) in order to make my design printable.

Finally, I hope that all the points mentioned above have inspired you to try out some of these modelling tools and build your own models! If I can find my way around 3D modelling software, you can, too! Don’t forget to keep an eye on our social media channels where I’ll share pictures of my printouts.