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I understand that modifiers will create a smooth surface on cylinders for still works and animation but how do I achieve this for 3D printing? Also, do I need to be mindful of making a cylinder with more vertexes (64 instead of 32) to achieve this end?

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  • $\begingroup$ The surface detail will mostly depend on your 3D printer, not the base model. Usually it's next to impossible to have a smooth surface but you can use tools to smoothen the surface after printing. Also the number of vertices to achieve a smooth surface will depend on the actual output scale of your model, and the printing settings when converting the mesh to machine code. $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Aug 23 at 19:58
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You can have hundreds of vertices to get a smooth cylinder, if u like. There is no limit. The slicing program you use might get slow if you have many verts(>100k on my machine), but it will work. Modifiers only change the look of the object unless you apply them, this option is in the down pointing angle to the right on the modifiers. To add many verts to a newly created cylinder will give you a similar result to applying a modifier. Look at the mesh in edit mode to see what the applying of the modifier did. The resolution of most 3d printers are such that a round object will be perfectly round if the mesh in blender has enough resolution.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have cylinder that will be rotating inside a hollowed out cylinder, much a like rod inside a collar joint. The cylinder inside the hollowed out cylinder must be a tight fit yet rotate effortlessly. I have 128 vertices now for both objects. Do you recommend upping the vertices or using a modifier to achieve this? $\endgroup$
    – genkaiten
    Aug 23 at 23:12

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