I'm trying to model a character to 3D print it. I'm having some trouble with bezier curves: as they are not manifold (and glitches through my mesh) my slicer can't do anything even remotely printable. The character's eye (a UV sphere) had the same effect and after some stitching it was good as new but I use around 40 bezier curves (used as hair, see below) and even after trying for 5h or so I really don't know how to stitch that !

How the curves are used

I've already tried a lot of boolean-based solutions, didn't really work that well, mostly because the part that glitches through the mesh is copied when using a union boolean. I also tried using a union boolean and then a difference boolean using the skull of my mesh with some solidify, didn't work out that well either...

How the mesh looks from under it

Any idea how to make this printable ? I'm on a kinda short schedule, any help is appreciated !

I think there's a better way to give you the .blend file but maybe that will do ?


I don't know much about 3dprinting but according to this Blog: http://3dprintingninja.blogspot.com/2014/07/non-manifolds-your-worst-nightmare.html it might be possible to just leave the strands as separate objects. (Select All - P - Separate by loose parts) because it says

Low Risk: Separate Objects, Often these print fine, sometimes there is a gap between the mesh and the separate object, but otherwise it's almost like printing multiple parts at once

Another way could be the Remesh modifier which will leave you with millions of polygons if you want to keep the shape. Not sure if this can be printed easily.

  • $\begingroup$ In this case the shape is way too complicated and not enough stable, the slicer is really confused about all this void between my two mesh $\endgroup$ – Tzig Oct 5 '18 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ Well, after trying it my printer can create something ! It's not ideal but it's usable ! $\endgroup$ – Tzig Oct 5 '18 at 15:21

I don't know what kind of mesh is needed for 3d printing, but I assume you want to remove the protruding faces from inside the face mesh. This should be possible with a script that would select the vertices of a mesh lying on one side of another mesh. Maybe someone can suggest a way to write such a script.

Here is a (rather tedious) workaround.

  • In side view you do a cross section select by alt-b to select the upper part of the skull
  • you then box (or circle) select the vertices from inside
  • Turn the part round and deselect any vertices that might have got selected
  • Do a delete face on all the selected vertices
  • Repeat this process to remove all the protruding faces of the hair mesh
  • Apply union modifier to create a single mesh out of the two parts

I guess (and I may be wrong), the hair part is already manifold, since the curve is converted to a surface.

Not sure if this would help you. But I am hoping to learn something myself by sharing my thoughts :)

Delete faces

  • $\begingroup$ It does indeed sound tedious ! I'll try though, I'll comment the results ! $\endgroup$ – Tzig Oct 5 '18 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ It's not really possible I think... Due to how bezier curves work I have a lot of overlapping curves, which makes stuff like this... I'm not even sure I can use you technique without actually spending more time on it than on the modeling itself... Maybe I should use a union on every bezier curve's mesh to have one big mesh with (in theory) no overlapping but I thinh it will just bring a whole lot of other problems $\endgroup$ – Tzig Oct 5 '18 at 7:26

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