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enter image description here

As the question asks really. I'm wanting to 3D print this design, but having applied a subdivision surface modifier to smooth out any faceting, I've ended up with a staggering 2 million faces. Obviously, I assume this is way beyond what I can feasibly expect my printer to handle.

As you can see,there are several complex shapes which need the modifier to increase quality. I've tried a decimate/un-subdivide modifier - but while this does lower the poly count, it just takes me right back to before I added subdivide surface. Kind of pointless.

Given the countless excellent 3D print files out there (made using Blender too), there has to be a better way that I'm missing?

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  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, I've printed models with more than 2 million polys... Not sure if it's ideal, but you can do it Also how big is the model going to be, and are there any overlapping sections? You model should be only a single integral mesh, otherwise you'll jBs print errors. Alternatively, seperate out sections, and print the individually. If you use the decimate modification, and use the collapse or planar methods instead of the un-subdivide method, this might help a bit too $\endgroup$
    – James
    Aug 19 '21 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ That's at least comforting that it's perhaps possible. Most of the detail on the shield face is floating - I was hoping a remesh might combined the whole lot. But it's closely matched that (from what I've read) a resin printer will effectively glue the separate meshes together. My main issue is the file size is circa 277mb, and I'd read 100mb is just about the max it can handle. $\endgroup$
    – Aethon
    Aug 19 '21 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ A resin printer won't like having floating sections, as it still has to slice your mesh $\endgroup$
    – James
    Aug 22 '21 at 22:03
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Maybe try the Remesh tool (in the Object Data panel). Try first the Quad option, click on QuadriFlow Remesh and in the pop-up window choose the amount of faces you want to end up with. It may take time to calculate:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for pointing this tool out! It hasn't quite solved my problem, but it's far better than the remesh modifier I had been fiddling with! It seems when I use this tool, it comes out with quite a few deformations - in fact, the low-poly shape before the sub-surf modifier is higher quality. And that was me trying to reduce 44,000 down to 22,000. Is there something I'm missing regarding the algorithm keeping the shape intact? $\endgroup$
    – Aethon
    Aug 19 '21 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ did you keep a version before applying the Subdivision Surface modifier? You should always. Also, I would try un-subdivide as you did. X > Limited Dissolve may give good result for some objects but I doubt it will be good in your case, it will give bad topology... $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 20 '21 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yes - I'm careful to keep multiple saves for just this reason. The lower poly version is adequate, but has facets along the shield rim that I wanted to smooth out. I can appreciate that a balance has to be struck between poly count and detail - I just can't seem to find it. I've tried limited dissolve, but as you say it ends up with some janky topology. $\endgroup$
    – Aethon
    Aug 20 '21 at 12:09

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