How Do You Design Something for a 3D Printer?

Designing something for a 3D printer involves more than just having a creative idea. It requires an understanding of the 3D printing process, the materials that can be used, and how to design a model that will print correctly. Here are five key steps you should follow when designing something for a 3D printer.

1. Choose the Right Software

The most important step in designing a 3D model is selecting the right software.

Most 3D printers are compatible with both STL and OBJ files, so you’ll need to choose software that can export these file types. Popular options include Blender, Autodesk Fusion 360, and Meshmixer.

2. Understand 3D Printing Principles

Before you begin designing your object, it’s important to understand some of the fundamentals of 3D printing. For example, you should know that most 3D printers work by building up layers of plastic or other material in order to create a physical object from your digital design.

3. Select a Suitable Material

The material you select for your 3D printed object is essential for both its look and functionality. Some materials are better suited for certain applications than others; for example, PLA plastic is often used for objects that don’t require strength or flexibility.

4. Design Your Model

Now it’s time to start designing your object! Make sure to keep the principles of 3D printing in mind as you design; add support structures where necessary and take into consideration any overhangs or curved surfaces that might need additional support.

5. Test Print Your Model

Before printing your final model, it’s important to test print it first in order to make sure everything will go smoothly when it comes time to actually print the object. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments before committing to the final product.


Designing something for a 3D printer requires an understanding of the process and materials used, as well as knowledge of software programs and principles of 3D printing. By following these five key steps – choosing the right software, understanding principles, selecting suitable material, designing your model, and testing your print – you can ensure success when creating something with a 3D printer.