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I have a 3d model of a simple object I am trying to print. No matter what i try to do to make it unbroken (ctrl-opt-shift-m) I can not fix it, I checked all of the vertices and put new faces on every spot multiple times. It is a messed up object when i export to stl and load in simplify 3D. Looking at it, I can not see where any problems lie. I attached a picture of the object.

For the File

Here is after I did the triangulate modifier and tried to fix it. Stilll issues

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    $\begingroup$ use this service to share the .blend file: blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Jan 27 '16 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ The normals look inconsistent. Does pressing Ctrl N with everything selected help? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 28 '16 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ nope i couldn't get it using ctrl n $\endgroup$ – Larry Guthrie Jan 29 '16 at 0:28
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You have a lot of big and ugly n-gons and non planar geometry.

Most of it can be fixed by bridging edge loops.

Start by selecting the faces of the n-gons on the main ring and delete them.

enter image description here

Next thing is making it so both sides of this ring have the same number of vertices for each loop.

The center circle has 32 vertices, the outer one only has 30...

How would do you know how many are selected? look at the top of the screen:

enter image description here

In any case you are missing two vertices on the outer ring, so select this long edges, press w to subdivide, and make one subdivision on each.

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Now that you have two rings with the same number of vertices you can do Bridge Edge Loops.

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The main ring has now some nice quads.

enter image description here

Repeat this for the bottom part of the object.


On the side you have some triangles at the top and bottom

enter image description here

To turn all of this area into quads, select these edge loop:

enter image description here

and do Edge Dissolve to get this:

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Repeat this for the other side.

Now on to the most problematic area, delete this faces to get rid of this n-gons on top and bottom of the object :

enter image description here

The next task is to connect the inner ring to the outer shape. The ring has 32 veritces and the outer shape only 8, so we need to create some more vertices.

2 loop cuts here:

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11 cuts here:

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And 11 more on the other side. Next is selecting the edges on the ring and the outer edge and connecting them with Bridge Edge Loops.

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To get something like this:

enter image description here

Repeat this on the bottom and on the other side of the object.

Your object should be now all quads and manifold...

Last stop is making sure your normals are consistent, so select all the faces and press CtrlN

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ You are amazing! I went through the steps one by one and rebuilt it. I then did it again 4 more times to make sure I knew what I was doing. First time i selected the edge loopsI didn't know you could alt-right click and I individually selected them all. I appreciate the detailed description and it helped out a lot. I also couldn't find the search box for the bridge edge loops but found it under the ctrl+e menu. I am now trying to add a slide where I can add and remove a plate at the bottom. $\endgroup$ – Larry Guthrie Jan 30 '16 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ These are going to be checkpoints for a mini drone race (like the hubsan x4) with removable number plates. I am going to fool around for a few more hours and if i can not figure it out I am going to make another post. Thanks again so much for all your answers and the time you put into helping me out. $\endgroup$ – Larry Guthrie Jan 30 '16 at 21:31
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You can highlight ngons in the 3d view panel in edit mode by pressing select on the header, then Select Face by Sides. Next press F6 to bring up the redo, and choose greater than 4 sides to highlight the ngons.

Maybe also try select> loose geometry to see if you have any unconnected vertices.

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  • $\begingroup$ Still no luck... I'm usually good at finding videos and figuting these things out... Still stumped.... this program is a lot to take in! Reminds me of learning photoshop years ago $\endgroup$ – Larry Guthrie Jan 29 '16 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ You can also use the operator history part (bottom) of the tool shelf. $\endgroup$ – David Jan 29 '16 at 1:22
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without having looked at the blend file - you have quite an amount of n-gons in there. n-gons = polygons that are not triangle or quads. n-gons can mess up a 3d print. make these quads or triangles (theres also a modifier for triangulating) and then check the normals (make normals consistent ctrl + n). this will make sure your faces face in the right direction. when on a model the faces look dark and shade to black, this is often the case. then make sure to remove doubles (in edit mode select all, press w and select remove doubles).

hope this helps.

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  • $\begingroup$ I attempted to watch some videos and play around with it for about 3 or 4 hours. I've only been using the program for 2 weeks and have about 40-60 hours into it learning and building. I still can not figure it out. I usually only make things worse and have to revert... Thanks for answering my question but I'm having a hard time figuring this one $\endgroup$ – Larry Guthrie Jan 28 '16 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ we've all been there. don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. oh and by the way - i'm pretty sure your model is way too big for printing. blender units are way bigger than a real life centimeter/inch/whatever. $\endgroup$ – e-proxy Jan 28 '16 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ to figure out the problem of your model you could also use a printing service like shapeways to fix your model (this is done before purchasing, so don't worry. they check common errors with a program and if you purchase the print they check it manually) $\endgroup$ – e-proxy Jan 28 '16 at 13:10

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