Creating a 3D Printed Heart Charm in Blender

Convert the STL file into gcode

The final step before printing is to convert the STL file into gcode — and to verify that it all works.  I’ve found that even if the STL file looks perfect, the slicer can end up producing the same bad gcode as I showed at the beginning.

I won’t walk you through using slic3r (or your favorite slicer) too much, but will point out a couple of things:

  • It’s nice when it says the object is manifold, but even if it’s not, sometimes Slic3r does an OK job of repairing it.  It’s not a crisis (yet) if it’s not.  But this object should be manifold.
  • The View command is useful to make sure the object still looks like you expect.  Sometimes, when I’m exporting multiple objects from Blender I’ll forget one, and this way I can catch that kind of mistake.
Looks good!

Looks good!

With the gcode in generated, I can print it out.  But before I do that, there’s one more check I like to do.

  • Navigate a web browser to
  • Either drop the gcode file or select it
  • Look at the layers being printed to see if they look right:
Looks good here too!

Looks good here too!

And if that all checks out, you’re ready to print!!!

I needed a better Z-align, but I was in a rush...

I needed a better Z-align, but I was in a rush…

And the object in red plastic: