In recent years, Microsoft had played an important role in 3D and mixed reality. The 3D Builder application Microsoft is a classic example of how to create, visualize, customize, and print 3D models. There is no need to invest in a paid app for most consumers. In this article, I will explain how to use the 3D Builder application in Windows 10. The application supports essential 3D printing file formats, including STL, OBJ, PLY, WRL files (VRML) and 3MF.
3D Builder application under Windows 10
The 3D Builder application is preinstalled on Windows. Otherwise, you can still install it from the Microsoft Store. Once installed, launch the application. Once opened, you will have the following options:
- Learn more: Offers tutorial on how to use the application with a vital operation.
- New scene: Blank template to start designing an object / template from scratch.
- Open: You can load the sample template, recently created templates, load an object, an image and use the camera.
If you start with 3D Builder, it's best to choose a template in the library. There are tons of categories you can select and start editing them to understand how everything works.
Once you have imported an image, you can configure its appearance, size and depth. Be sure to set the parameters correctly.
Menu and settings of 3D Builder
Whatever your choice, existing model or new model, you will have menus at the top and on the right bar.
- On the right, you have the option to select objects, group them, or delete any object.
- At the top, you have options for Insert new objects, operations on objects such as duplicate, modify objects, change plan, and so on.
- Paint objects
- Change the view of objects like a shadow, colors, reflections, a wired structure, etc.
Finally, I suggest you modify the settings to match the units you usually work with. Click the hamburger menu, and then click Settings. Here you can change the units, color mode of the application, the collision. The last option ensures that objects do not merge.
Basic Operations and Editing in 3D Builder
Any object you import into the 3D generator supports three navigation methods: rotation, zoom, and move. Select an object and you will be able to perform all these operations. However, it will not work alone. You will need to use the editing options, which include:
- Move: You can hold the object and move it left, right, up and down. When I say up and down, it means that you can move it below or above the plane.
- Turn: Using this, you can rotate in any direction using the arrows.
- Ladder: If you want to change the size, use the scale option.
That said, you will first have to select the option that is available in the editing bar. You can also select multiple objects together and resize them proportionately. Make sure you choose the objects. You will have to deselect the one you do not want. The selections can be calculated because they will be highlighted.
Editing tools in the menu
The hideous menu offers extensive editing options. They are useful because they help you manipulate the object in the 3D Builder application in Windows 10.
- Duplicate: It will create a replica of the selected object with the same properties.
- Wipe off: Deletes the selected object.
- Central view: Useful when you have a huge landscape and want to come to the center of the canvas.
- Mirror: Useful when you want to create a left version and a right version of the objects.
- Adjust: Useful to know if the printed model will switch or if it is balanced for a flat surface.
Advanced editing tools
Under the Edit option, you have advanced editing tools that can act on the object itself.
- Split and Merge
- Subtract Cut the overlapping parts.
- Cut: Shows overlapping areas of multiple items, everything else is deleted.
- Smooth: Covers the edges in rounded corners.
- Simplify: Reduces the number of triangles in your 3D model.
- emboss: Add text, signs, or symbols to your 3D model. Useful for branding.
- Extrude Down: Allows you to select a height threshold.
Time to 3D Print your model
Once completed, you can print the 3D model with the help of a 3D printer or save it to the computer for editing. This is one of the most critical aspects of 3D printing as it costs a lot more than the usual printing.
- Click on the hamburger menu and find the 3D Print button.
- Then find the printer or print service, and print the template.
- If you do not have a 3D printer, you can print it on paper to show it to more people.
If you do not have a 3D printer, you can use the online services. The 3D generator provides cost estimates, allows you to change the type of material, change the size of the layout, and more. I would suggest starting with less expensive solutions and equipment and then moving on to the final version.
Finally, it is also possible to correct some errors when printing physical models. Errors such as thin walls, objects too large to print, etc. can be corrected.