Making Veins in Blender

 I've made a few monsters that have needed veiny surfaces, from plant monsters to other things .  On those models, I've pulled out the sculpting tools and have made them by hand.  While I've been generally happy with the results, that process has been both labor-intensive and inflexible (meaning that it's difficult to change things around after they've been sculpted).  I'm working on another model that needs some veiny texturing and figured out a much better way to do it... so now I'm sharing what I've done! First, I want to say that these screenshots are from the really early prototyping phase for this model, where I'm testing out techniques and trying to figure out what this thing's going to look like overall.  But, I was so happy with this vein technique, that I decided that I wanted to write about it... so here we are! I like these veins for a few reasons.  Firstly, I think that they've got a good organic aesthetic, particularly at the i

Copying Parent-Relative Positions from one Object to Another in Blender

Well, the title of this post sure is a mouthful... but try as I might, I just couldn't come up with a shorter way to phrase what I've been doing and am going to write about here!  I've been working on a proxy model for the Blood Imp monster from Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion.  There has been a terrible heat wave in California though with rolling brown-outs in my area due to the increased draw on the electric grid caused by everyone's AC units.  Given that we've all been suffering from power shortages, it just doesn't seem responsible to fire up the printer and put more stress on the system.  Also, because this model is only a head and 4 limbs and reposing it isn't as much work as it would be for a normal humanoid creation, I figured that I could make a few alternative poses for it while I wait out this heat wave to begin test printing! So, I made my first pose, copied it off to a new collection, then began work on another pose.  It wasn't until I'd do

Manipulating Modifiers on Many Meshes

I like to work with many distinct meshes when I'm making a model in Blender.  Because of this workflow, I often find myself needing to add the Decimate modifier to tons of objects at once.  You can use the shift-r  shortcut to redo whatever your most recent action was, which is convenient if you're trying to put the same modifier on a few objects... but if you need to put it on 20 objects and need to set a value for each one, it gets a bit old.  Fortunately, there's a better way! All you need to do is set up your modifier stack on one of the objects, then select them all via shift-click .  Click once more on the object that's fully modified, then hit ctrl-l  and under Make Links select Modifiers .  This will copy all of those modifiers, fully configured, onto every selected object!  What do you do if you want to remove (not apply, but actually remove) modifiers from all of the objects?  Just remove the modifiers from one of them and use the same trick! Nice and simple

I Love Resin Prints, not Resin Printing

I just started a batch of six  Algox Archers on my Prusa SL1 and came to a bit of a realization: I love my resin prints, but I really dislike running the resin printer.  This isn't a complaint about the machine, as it's really incredible, but I just really prefer using my MK3 and wanted to write out my feelings on SLA vs. FDM printing. The biggest driver for me is the consumables on the printer itself.  The major consumables on my FDM printer are the nozzles and the printer bed.  Because my printer has a magnetic printing bed, replacing it is trivial, so no worries there.  Also, since I just print in PLA and never scrape the bed with any tools (I just flex it to release my prints), it's still in great shape and shows no sign of needing replacement.  I have replaced my nozzle several times, and while it's a bit dangerous to work with ~250 degree bits of metal, I have yet to burn myself and the overall process isn't that difficult.  Also, nozzles are relatively che

Support Head Diameter in PrusaSlicer

Hi everyone, this is going to be a short and quick post.  As you've seen, I've been playing around with support trees in .3mf files.  Specifically, I've been using them as a solution to design a set of supports that will work for anything from SLA printers to FDM printers with a .4 mm nozzle, and I feel like I've made a lot of progress! I learned something new this morning though, which is important to be aware of when changing from FDM to SLA settings (or the other way).  While most details of the support tree settings (diameter, angle, etc.) are respected when you regenerate trees, the actual Support Head Diameter setting is not.  This setting is not changed because PrusaSlicer stores that value per support head, which gives you a ton of ability to fine-tune supports by shrinking or growing individual heads as needed... but it does make it a little more difficult to take a .3MF file that was designed with FDM support trees and change it over to work with SLA support

Tweaking Support Pads for FDM Printing

When running an SLA print, the standard practice is to use a Pad, which is basically a few solid layers of very well cured resin, then have the model suspended above it on trees.  This solid pad helps ensure bed adhesion, and probably does some other important functions that I haven't even considered... but we don't necessarily need it if we're doing an FDM print.  In fact, if our model has a flat bottom, it can be really nice to have it directly on the print bed instead of floating above it! Fortunately, we can tweak the support pad in order to behave in exactly this way!  The first thing that you'll want to do is open PrusaSlicer (with an SLA printer selected), then go to Print Settings  tab and open the Pad  section.  Start out by enabling the Pad Around Object  option.  That will enable the basic "halo pad" but we're going to want to tweak a few of these other settings for our FDM printers.  The first one is the Pad Wall Thickness .  This setting i

Tweaking PrusaSlicer Support Tree Settings

I've continued to play around with PrusaSlicer's support tree generation (for both MSLA and FDM prints ), and I'm starting to develop opinions about some of the settings.  So, I figured that I'd take a moment to write about the settings that I use to create trees that I like!  First, here's a screenshot of the trees that get generated with the default settings (after setting up my custom support points).  These are very robust trees, which is great for printing but less great for support removal.  When removing tree supports, I've found those diagonal bracings to be especially burdensome, as they make it much more difficult to "cut in to" the model to release the supports from it.  Fortunately, we can fix that by tweaking some settings, but you're going to need to go into Expert Mode  to get to them all.  So, in PrusaSlicer, go to Configuration -> Mode  and select Expert  to get them to show up. Firstly, we can tweak the Max pillar linking dis