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I'm very new to blender and 3d modeling in general. I'm mostly using it for 3d printing for lost PLA casting. I don't think I should post any actual files since I paid for the original STL. I think it would be ok to PM it someone though?

I have this nice stl file of a book pendant: enter image description here

but it's open at the back enter image description here

I learned how to use edge loop selection and fill in order to make a back for it enter image description here

Now, when I put this in Cura, it slices just fine, but the back I created isn't there. Thinking this was because of the back being a plane (0 thickness), I used the solidify modifier.

After doing that, when I put it into Cura it doesnt work. In the slicer preview it only shows it as printing 5 layers (pretty much just the raft) enter image description here

I've tried: 1) extruding the plane(s) instead

2) doing clean-up - fill holes, merge by distance, decimate geometry, degenerate dissolve.

3) I also performed the checks using the print3d add-on. I'm able to do the "make manifold" on the original stl, but when I try to "make manifold" on my edited stl, my computer freezes. It's not an issue with power (I JUST finished my new PC build - ryzen 9, 64gb ram, etc).

I'm continuing to work on this. I'm now trying STL repair software. Using the windows 10 app 3D Builder to repair my edited file got a bit closer in Cura:

enter image description here

Can anyone help me out or point me in the right direction?

UPDATE/EDIT:

As per Mr. Zak's comment below, I tried extruding edges instead of using edge loops + fill. After doing that I recalculated my normals (just to be safe), cleaned up any vertices that extruded too far, and repaired the STL in 3D Builder. I've been alternating between repairing in STL and repairing in Builder, sometimes even repairing in one and then repairing the output in the other.

Extruding the edges leads to a much nicer looking back to the book:

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ "I paid for the original STL. I think it would be ok to PM it someone" nope most likely it wouldn't be ok; it depends on license, if you can't share it you can't. That said, it seems to me object is already manifold (it doesn't have holes and its walls have thickness). If you want back to be filled try to extrude all faces on the bottom of the book a bit down (all those long tiny tris on the last screenshot). $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Aug 20 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! Extruding the edges across to the other side and then cleaning up / deleting errant vertices did a much better job than edge loops + fill. It's looking better in my slicer now. I'm doing a test print now, but I think I'll be able to get it if I keep tinkering! Extruding edges, solidfying the mesh, and going back and forth between builder and netfabb for repairing the STL is doing pretty well! $\endgroup$ – Koalafied noob Aug 20 at 23:18
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As per Mr. Zak's comment, I tried extruding edges instead of using edge loops + fill. After doing that I recalculated my normals (just to be safe), solidified, cleaned up any vertices that extruded too far, and repaired the STL in 3D Builder

I have sliced and printed the model successfully! Thank you!

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To join two complex meshes together in an air tight way, I recommend using the Boolean modifier.

Take the two objects, have them intersect in a way that they would be watertight, and use the Boolean modifier set to Union. You can use the eyedropper to select the second object as the target.

It should create a new mesh out of the two old ones. To get it to export correctly (since it will make N-gons) I recommend using the triangulate modifier afterwards. If there's an internal pocket in the mesh you don't want, I recommend redoing the Boolean, but this time filling in the extra space.

Once you have your fully applied mesh, you'll be good to go!

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Craftsmans_Guide! Thank you very much for your reply. I ended up trying what Mr. Zak said above. Instead of selecting edge loops and using fill I selected an edge loop from the "top" of the gap in the back of the book and extruded the edges until they met up with the bottom edges. I then cleaned up / deleted vertices that went too far (since it's not a straight line, the curved bits of edges on the end extruded too far). Between that and alternating between repairing in Builder and in Netfabb, I'm making progress! It's looking ok in the slicer, but we'll see how the print turns out! $\endgroup$ – Koalafied noob Aug 20 at 23:22

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