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I'm dealing with large topographic globe model (basicaly displacement map applied to ultra fine UV sphere). Now I want to split it into over 400 facetes (similar to lower resolution UV sphere) for 3D printing.

My question is how to streamline the process?

For two first I did boolean operation and then export result to stl but it's ridiculous for over 400 elements.

Any ideas?

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I think the idea is to start with the lower resolution sphere (at the appropriate scale to print individual parts).

From this base sphere, mark the seams you want (seams will be useful to cut it later).

For instance here all edges are marked except for the poles:

enter image description here

Now use the subdivision surface modifier and apply it. The modifier will subdivide but let the seams in place:

enter image description here

Now select an edge marked with the seams, then in the select menu, go to 'select similar' and choose 'seam'.

enter image description here

Now split the parts using the edge menu, then 'edge split'.

Select all. Extrude E but stay in place. Scale down (still having the extrusion selected) to 0.9, for instance.

The selection is still there. Create a vertex group and call it 'inner'.

Invert the selection, and create another group called 'outer'.

Use and apply the displacement you want, using the 'outer' vertex group on the displacement modifier.

In edit mode, select all again. Then P and 'by loose parts'.

You may be ready for a 3D puzzle...

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! It seems to solve my problem! And After that just use batch export, right? $\endgroup$ – Bart VPI Aug 27 '19 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @BartVPI, probably yes. I don't know the format you will need for the printer... (know nothing about that). $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 27 '19 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ I need just STL. So thats it. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – Bart VPI Aug 27 '19 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ @BartVPI, have not paid attention to one point: after the extrusion/scale step, make sure that normals are correctly oriented. $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 27 '19 at 10:26

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