I'm trying to export a 3D character into a file format that a 3D printer can print. I have a 3D character made of different meshes (body, hair, eyes, mouth and two accesories) and i've already put them in the 3D world in a pose i like. (I dont know why but the eyes mesh looks like unaligned with the head but when i do the render it appears just fine)

My 3D model Rendered

So now what i want to do is to export this 3D character in either STL format or PLY format. I've tried to do what this question's answer propose: link

but when joining meshes i lost the pose that i did, so i undo-ed the joining. Also i tried selecting all the meshes and exporting them to PLY directly but only the body mesh without color was exported.

What should i do?


You can (maybe on a file copy, or even temporary just to export) convert the posed mesh to "mesh": select the posed mesh in object mode and press ALTC, select "convert to mesh". Or, you can apply the armature modifier, is the same.

Then the posed mesh is permanent, still parented in the same way but no more deformed, so you can join it to other objects, and then export.

However, joined object may pose some problem to 3d printing, since they were not modeled as a single mesh: they will not be connected, for sure, and may have overlaps, etc. You may need to edit the joined shape to fix any 3d printing issue.

In some case 3d printing software can address lesser problems, but you can also check with the (bundled, but disabled by default) addon "3d printing toolbox" to find and address most of them.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! That solved my problem about exporting, but now i opened with Meshlab the ply object exported with the 3D printing toolbox and it appears all grey, look: link Did i do something wrong to not export the color? In the render view the textures show up fine... (if you think this should go on a separate question just tell me, im rather new to stack exchange though im trying to do my best...) $\endgroup$ – RabidTunes Nov 14 '15 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, of course, 3d printing files are usually just "shapes", not textured objects (3d printer don't understand texture images). Some printer that can print multiple colours can understand "vertex colours", though, and the PLY exporter can take those in the exported file (active by default, see the checkbox in the exporter panel before exporting) $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Nov 14 '15 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen all videos from this title blender3d.org/e-shop/product_info.php?products_id=160, since it is provided by the "blender cloud" subscription, it is quite useful to begin with blender and 3d printing, and covers also multicolor printing. $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Nov 14 '15 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ I've actived the checkbox in the exporter panel of 3D printing tools but my 3D model in Meshlab remains grey. Maybe the textures did not apply to the meshes? I've only seen the textures when i render, not in the 3D model previsualization of blender. $\endgroup$ – RabidTunes Nov 14 '15 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ textures are not vertex colors... but you could check this wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/UV/… $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Nov 14 '15 at 21:35

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