Ignore the netfabb program. I wanted to use it to show what I was trying to do in blender. My printer can not fit the whole print so I wanted to print in sections using a "pin" method so it fits right.

What ideas would you guys have to separate the sections? I was thinking a square pin on one side and a square hole on the other? I bet there are better ways also that you know of.

Also, would i be able to keep each piece in the same file in case I wanted to scale it to a different size in the future and export each piece as a different stl file?

I don't know how to do this and could use a walkthrough!


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  • $\begingroup$ I tried to reword it differently. I am asking how to separate the original file and make a "pin and slide" to fit into a printer $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2016 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ can you show where, and in what orientation you wish to place the "pin(s) and catch(es)"? I don't know much about 3D printing, but my understanding is that you cannot 3D print a surface over a void. $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Feb 2, 2016 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


Ok guys... I figured this one out on my own so I wanted to post how I did it just in case someone had the same issue.


First thing I did was select vertices inside the the structure and created a face. I then created an inset and then extruded it outward.

I then saved the file and deleted each part of the structure except for a single part five separate times and saved each file individually

single parts

I then made sure they were solid and converted them to a stl file and put them into simplify 3d and am printing now with supports in all the holes. Almost finished and it looks pretty good! Simplify 3d


Answering the second question first, yes, you could keep all of the component parts in a single file. But depending upon the printer driver software you intend to use to print your creation, you may have to export the various parts out individually to separate files for printing purposes.

Looking at your blend file, and your question, your proposed 3D object will not print very well on the 3D printing systems I am familiar with, if subdivided according to the illustration in your question.

The first challenge I see is your stated proposal to use a "square pin ... and square hole". Depending upon how you intend to orient the pins and holes, I see this as a potential challenge because 3D printers do not print horizontal "square holes" well. You'll need a different method--or methods-- of joinery.

The second challenge I see in the ~.blend file I downloaded is the slot in the ring opposite the two "ears". The slot is a "hole", which again, cannot be produced on a 3D printer.

The third challenge is in the shape of the ears. The 3D printers with which I have slight familiarity require a flat surface on which to form the object to be printed; they can't print an overhang.

In the absence of information on the intended size, this image This image
(source: core.com) shows how I would divide the item for 3D printing. First, I'd divide the item in two along the vertical plane shown by the blue line in both sides; then I'd further divide the item along the plane shown by the yellow line, creating four sections: two of the half with the ears, and two with the half with the slot. I'd place the two sections with the ears so that the part of each section co-incident with the yellow horizontal plane is on the printer bed. With the half with the slot, I'd place the two sections with parts of the slot on the printer bed so that the outside of the piece is along the printer bed.

  • $\begingroup$ The size of the inner circle is 8". Using simplify 3D, I have printed a bunch of items with holes before. I just need something to help guide them back together so that it glues a lot nicer after printing. The reason I used netfabb was to cut the pieces to maker sure they fit in the printer with that cut so I would know where to make the slice. $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2016 at 16:18

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