Jul 23, 2015

How to 3D Print Text Using Blender

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create text to 3D print using Blender.

How to 3D Print Text Using Blender

  1. Install Blender
  2. Create a base for your text
  3. Create your own text
  4. Scale, extrude and relocate your text
  5. Center your base
  6. Extrude your base
  7. Finishing

Lesson 1: Getting started

In the first lesson of this blender tutorial for 3D printing, you learn the basics to handle Blender.

Step 1: Install a free copy of Blender

1. Click here to visit the Blender website and make sure to download the version that fits your operating system.

2. Then open the .zip package and extract the folder ‘blender-***’ to your desktop or put it in a folder on your hard drive.

3. Open the extracted folder and run the Blender executable file.

Step 2: Camera and object movement

1. When open Blender you see a cube in the middle of the User Perspective window (UPW).

2. Use your scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Change the camera perspective by pressing and holding the scroll wheel.

Select the cube and move your cursor back to the UPW to move it around

3. To be able to move an object you have to select it in the Scene window (in the upper right-hand corner). Then move your cursor back to the UPW. Click and hold your left right mouse button and move your mouse a little. Then release the right mouse button – and you can easily move the object. To confirm a position, click the left mouse button.

4. Delete the cube by pressing the Delete button on your keyboard and confirming the deletion. Alternatively, right-click the cube in the Scene window and select Delete.

Step 3: Create a base for your text

1. Click on Create in the left-hand corner and select Plane. This will create a plane in your UPW.

Create a new plane in Blender
Open the Transform window

2. You will have to center the plane now. To do so click on the little + to right of the Scene window or open it by pressing N on your keyboard. This will open the Transform window allowing you to change the position and the size of the object.

3. Center the plane by setting all the location data to zero. Also lock the object’s Z value by clicking on the little lock next to the Z coordinate to hold it in place.

 Create your own text

Click on Text in the create window to insert a text

1. Click on Text on the Create tab and also center the text to zero as you did in Step 3.3, but do not lock the Z coordinate!

Set the X value to 90° to rotate the text

2. Now change the X rotation value in the Transform window to 90°.

3. To edit the text click on the little curve next to Text in the Scene window.

Edit your text by clicking on the little curve and moving your cursor back to the UPW

4. Move your cursor back to your UPW and hit Backspace to delete the text. Simply type whatever you want but remember: You can only use uppercase P, G, I, Y – otherwise the descenders will cut through your base. This is especially important, if you want to print your text.

5. Click on the little curve again to stop editing your text.

Lesson 2: Adjust the text

In lesson 2 of this blender tutorial for 3D printing, you learn how to adjust the text.

Step 1: Scale, extrude and relocate your text

After you entered your text you can scale it to whatever size you want.

1. To begin with, select Text in the scene window first.

Extrude your text by changing the Z dimension.

2. You can change the dimensions of your text by scaling it using the Scale option in the Transform window. Changing the dimensions will stretch your text along the respective axis. For this project: Either set the X and Y value to 2.5 or choose your own data until the size is right for your needs. Set the Z value to 0 (zero). When you are done, lock each scaling setting by clicking its lock icon.

3. To extrude your text you have to modify the dimensions date right under the scaling data. Change the absolute bounding of your Z axis to 2 or choose any size you find appealing.

4. To center your extruded text set the location value of the Y axis to half of your absolute bounding of your Z axis. In this case: 1. Now, the text object is centered.

5. In preparation for the next step also set the Z value to 0.2 as you are going to extrude the base as well.

Step 2: Center your base

1. Select Plane in the scene window.

Green marked values equal red marked values devided by 2.

2. To center the plane right in the middle of your text change the X location to half of the text’s absolute bounding X dimension. E.g. If the text’s X dimension is 7 the plane’s X coordinate has to be 3.5.

3. Now you can adjust the length of the plane to fully support the text’s structure. Set the X absolute bounding dimension of the plane equal to the X dimension of the text. Also set the plane’s Y dimension equal to the plane’s Z dimension.

Step 3: Extrude your base

The wrench icon will open different modifiers to choose from.

1. To extrude the plane: Click the little wrench under the Scene window to add a modifier.

Add the Solidify modifier to extrude your object.

2. Select Solidify from the Add Modifier list.

Setting a thinkness will extrude your object.

3. Set the Thickness of the shell to 0.2 and change the offset to 1. Also check Fill Rim.

Step 4: Finishing

Of course, you can change any values to fit and enhance your 3D text.

Export your object to a .stl file to 3D print it.

1. To export your 3D text to an .stl file click on File > Export > Stl.

2. Save the file to disk.

Congratulations! You have finished this Blender Printing Tutorial.

License: The text of "How to 3D Print Text Using Blender" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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