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3D Printing

Last Updated: May 8, 2024 4:19 PM

Grouping Small Objects to Print Together

Another use of 3D Builder in Windows is to add multiple small objects to one .STL file to easily print in one job. A great example is this chess set we found on

After downloading the individual chess pieces to a folder click Insert, Add, Load Object, and click Import Model for each one.

Screenshot of 3d builder

Screenshot of 3d builder

On the right side of the screen are the selection options. Clicking the Sticky Selection button toggles between the selection modes — you can either select one object at a time for easy moving or select multiple objects at once just by clicking each one. There are Select All and Deselect All buttons to speed up the process.

Screenshot of 3d builder

It's important to remember when moving objects around they can't end up floating in the midair - individual pieces saved as one .STL file can't be moved around by us afterwards.  The 3D printer will treat all of the individual objects as one single object. It can be easy to shift objects up and down by mistake when moving them around so we need to make sure all pieces sitting at the same level.

Screenshot of 3d builder

An easy way to make sure all objects are laying flat together is to select each object one at a time and click Object and then Settle which will drop each object flat onto the same plane. If staff notice there are floating objects in a file you submit, we'll try to have you correct this before we print.

Screenshot of 3d builder

In that same menu selecting an object and clicking Duplicate will add another of the same object. This example will have just the special back row pieces of a chess set, the pawns can go in another file. The Rook, Bishop, and Knight were all duplicated and then arranged so they're not touching.

Screenshot of 3d Builder

Selecting all of the objects and clicking Scale again will let you make sure they'll fit within the 3D printer's build plate at the branch you're submitting your file. Those build plate sizes can be found here but to be safe 150mm x 150mm will work on most printers.  If a group of objects is larger than those dimensions we may need to scale them down to fit our build plate!

Now the whole group can be saved as an .STL file and submitted on the page for 3D printing.

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