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Firstly let me say I have never used Blender before so I'm a total innocent. I have 6 .stl files for 2 Pi camera housings made up of 2 and 4 files each. I have been told if I can incorporate the files into 1 or 2 it will make the process much cheaper,as I'm using a commercial print company. So my question is can I start a new project, import each file individually and join them together to make 1 .stl file.

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  • $\begingroup$ My guess is all you need to do is import all STL files into the same Blender scene and reexport them into a single STL file all together. Making them cheaper probably requires some optimization so it consumes less material and prints faster. Having objects close together laying down as as not to stack up very high vertically, will also probably print faster. Not sure if print time is taken into account or not, but if it does it may well save a few bucks. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jun 8 '16 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Hi thanks for your reply I'll follow the tutorial below which is roughly as you said $\endgroup$ – Bill Jun 8 '16 at 18:08
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Yes, you can. Use Blender to import and position all of your stl files.

Group select all of the objects (so that they are highlighted). enter image description here

Use Object -> Join to make all of the individual items one object. The Object menu option appears at the lower left of the Object Mode screen -- if you are in Edit or another mode, you won;t see it... enter image description here

Making sure the object is highlighted, use File -> Export -> Stl enter image description here

You'll end up with an STL composed of multiple non-connected parts. Whether this is cheaper or not is an issue for your printer: It might take as long to rip and print, and will certainly require the same amount of material to output -- infact, maybe more.... since I am not sure whether the method you are using will add supports or connected sprues between the separate items that were originally the separate stls... But this process will give you an stl with multiple 'pieces'.

Shout if I can assist.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your detailed tutorial I'll follow it to the letter looks like this is what I need. All the stls are for the finished component no spruces. Again thanks Bill $\endgroup$ – Bill Jun 8 '16 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Well that was easy took about 10 min to do I'll send the file off and see if that's what they want or if I need to insert spruces. If I need to insert them I might be shouting out to you again....Cheers Bill $\endgroup$ – Bill Jun 8 '16 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ Just to let you know this saved me 1/3 from the original quote so thank you again $\endgroup$ – Bill Jun 9 '16 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ Glad to hear it! 3d printing is an amazing tool for designers, and Blender handles it so well... $\endgroup$ – rcgauer Jun 9 '16 at 15:07

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