so I've done a few days of research and tried a bunch of things and I'm at a loss.

I'm trying to fix up this mesh for 3D printing: enter image description here

In Blender, the highlighted mesh on her body looks smooth. But once exported to STL and in the slicer, the edges are sharp along the mesh edges. So I want to smooth it out. I looked up online, and people say to subdivide with (smooth: 1.0). I tried that, from subdividing once to 10 times.

enter image description here enter image description here

Some others say to use alt-J and then subdivide the quad mesh. I did that and got similar results, except the ripples/kinks are now along quad edges.

Does anyone know how I could preserve the shape and make it smooth? When you hide the mesh in object mode, the character looks pretty smooth without these artifacts.

  • $\begingroup$ The effects you are describing from the subdivision surface are usually the result of imperfect initial geometry. See if you can go back and try to clean up any imperfections or non-manifold areas before you subdivide. $\endgroup$
    – person132
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @person132 Hmm. I exported this from a game so it's the original mesh, and within this part it doesn't seem to have any non-manifold edges except for around the mesh (it's just a floating mesh with a non-manifold outer ring. I'm not sure what cleaning up imperfections could mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


Ok I figured it out!

  1. Alt-J to make your mesh Quad
  2. Instead of using "subdivide", use the modifier "subdivision surface"!

This is pretty basic but this was really confusing to a beginner like me. Hope it helps!


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .