At present, no matter which kind of 3D printing, basically use the STL format file.Frankly, the STL file is a document format that uses triangles to represent entities, originally defined by people who invented 3D printing, and have now become the default industrial standard in the field of image processing.

How to learn 3d model making

Now there are a bunch of people in the 3D print file push a format called AMF, mainly to increase the model material, texture, color and other information, may be the future technological progress, color printing has become the mainstream, this file format will gradually replace STL.

However, temporary STL format files should still be mainstream.

PS: and Also have the obj format, which basically supports the format of the printer, But the share is much less than STL.

So, 3D print how to getting model, Alunar Support team that the essence is to ask how to get STL files. In this way, there are many ways to see what you are for. We classify ourselves as follows


1, CAD design (parametric modeling):

Mainly for the need for parametric modeling design of mechanical parts of a class of applications,General 3D CAD software is up to scratch.Alunar Support team several colleagues, university learning is UG, So this is usually used, but some colleagues use Solidworks, In addition, Pro-E, Catia, and so on, can also be. These are relatively a little "professional". also some can be simpler, such as Google's Sketchup.

In addition, there is a class of truly parameterized modeling software for programming people: OpenScad, an open source software that generates models directly with code editing. The disadvantage is not as good as graphical modeling software (Solidworks, UG, etc.) easy to use, the advantage is that the generated SCAD file is very small, the code can be invoked by other applications, you can build a component library, it is more convenient to use.

My programming is not good, for this software is interested, but actually did not go deep into learning how to use this software. Such software I recommend learning Solidworks, if interested, you can learn Openscad, such as printing a six cylinder engine cylinder model, is released by Ford automobile company, this kind of model:

six cylinder engine cylinder model

CG modeling mentioned 3D, Max and Maya can be, as well as Rhino (Rhino), Blender, and a simple Zbrush.

2. CG modeling mentioned before, 3D, Max, Maya can do, in addition to Rhino (Rhino), Blender and simple Zbrush.

In this case, I have only contacted Blender, which is an open source modeling software, free of charge, but I am very bored to find the version of the installer program on the internet. But it only uses the most basic functions of the software. The model designed by this kind of software needs to be converted to printable STL file. There may be a lot of structural errors that need to be dealt with. Meshmixer, Meshlab, netfab and other software will be used to fix it. Meshmixer is the most used one I have. It's rich in functionality and free of charge. It's specially designed for 3D print model processing.

Below, this very high quality Zombie Hunter avatar is designed with such software.

Zombie Hunter avatar model

3.Amateur software, such software can meet the basic requirements of the general 3D modeling, function is also very good, but not full-featured compared with Solidworks, Maya and other professional software.

Autodesk produced a series of 3D design software (not Autocad), such as Tinkercad, very simple, is simply to get some entities Boolean operation, to get a simple printable model.

And the Meshmixer mentioned above, this software can do some model Mashup, and so on, and can produce some very spoof model.

Like this, the Buddha and Yoda mix model:

the Buddha and Yoda mix model

PS: you can see the Autodesk home page, feel they are in the field of 3D printing software under a great game, is the acquisition of Meshmixer Autodesk company, basically modeling software you need, they are provided free of charge, and it is very easy to use.

4. Portrait DIY applications such as Autodesk produced 123Dcatch, you can use about 20 different angles of the photos, synthesized a print 3D model.

I had no intention of finding a software called Faceshop at abroad. The charging software has 15 days free trial version. can use a photo to select the outline of the face in the photo to generate a 3D Avatar model. But the basic model of avatar is based on European and American design. Kinect with Reconstructme software, you can directly scan the portrait, it takes about 10 minutes scanning, print out the effect is as follows:

Kinect with Reconstructme model

Do a very good open source 3D printing slice software Cura, JPG, PNG, BMP have to import images, generate relief effect model and now some 3D printing shops have such creative services, print out the effect is probably:

relief effect model

PS: expect Microsoft's black technology HoloLens to be practical in such applications at an early date.

5, To download website design model others good model in the world to do a 3D printing model best sharing site, Thingiverse - Digital Designs for Physical Objects, this is Makerbot company (now acquired by STRATASYS) produced the model of sharing website, now has more than 600 thousand total models (number).

The other is youmagine, a Ultimaker company that produces Cura, which has a much smaller number of models. These two websites are the most important two foreign 3D print models, the two companies have the opposite style, and Makerbot is from open source to closed source, and Ultimaker has been insisting on open source. There are other ones, such as Google, 3D, warehouse and so on, but none of them are primarily 3D printing.

Britain has a really nice website Myminifactory. You can buy the model directly, or you can download the STL for free, but the website is very slow.


Alunar support team recommended professional software, first class (CAD modeling, recommended Solidworks) and second (CG design software, 3dmax recommended) is always useful, you can choose a good school, no matter what kind of choice, a fine school is very good. If you have a lot of interest, you can't do well in either of the two.

Also, if you like programming, it's recommended to learn about Openscad.

Non professional software, since it is non professional, will allow users to quickly get started. The above two kinds of software to learn, learning these are natural be nothing difficult.


Alunar support team is also developing our own free model sharing site,It will be in a directory at the Alunar online store,Then, if you are interested, you can go and have a look.At the same time, we will share specific modeling tutorials,Share some of the modeling techniques we know,So that you can master the knowledge quickly.

In addition, if you're still a new 3D printer,We suggest you look at the article on 3D printing for beginners,It allows you to quickly know the basics of 3D printing.