From Sketch to Model: Designing for 3D Printing with Blender | Gesa Pickbrenner | Skillshare

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From Sketch to Model: Designing for 3D Printing with Blender

teacher avatar Gesa Pickbrenner, 3D Jewelry Artist & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Intro - Welcome to the 3D Class

    • 2. Your 3D Project

    • 3. 3D Print Materials

    • 4. Creative Tips

    • 5. Creating The Sketch

    • 6. From Sketch to SVG - Illustrator

    • 7. From Sketch to SVG - Inkscape

    • 8. Setting Up Blender

    • 9. Diving a Little Deeper Into Blender

    • 10. From SVG to 3D in Blender

    • 11. Final File and Object - What Next

    • 12. Outro - Thanks for Watching

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About This Class


You know there is a 3D modeler hidden inside of you, that longs to create? The thought of learning a 3D-program seems a bit daunting? Then this class is for you!

Here you are going to create a 3D-printable pendant from scratch using the open-source program Blender. You will be able to create a fine piece of jewelry for yourself or a loved one. (Or any other object that consists of line art)

No prior knowledge or 3D printer required! Only pen, paper, your creativity, and a computer. Use of a mouse is highly recommended.

Useful links for this class:

Download the newest version of Blender

Download Inkscape

Example of how the design could look in your Shapeways store if you want to try selling your model

Get 15% off of your first 3D-print: Use the code UG96S4 in the check-out process should you order your model at Shapeways !


You will learn about the basic materials you are going to need, how to generate cool design ideas, how to digitize your sketch as a suitable svg file and finally - how to make a 3D-model from it!

You will need a computer with internet, a mouse, pen and paper, and your ideas! The rest I will go all over in the video. Some experience with Illustrator or Inkscape is a good plus, but not strictly required.

Included are a tons of tips and tricks from my own experience and of course, some of the mistakes I made along my way as a freelance 3D-designer, so you don't have to repeat them :) 

Even designers who have some experience with 3D printing can benefit from this class, as I will share many helpful tips and tricks for the creative process along the way.

This is a workflow I have used successfully for quite some time now and it is a very easy way to get your drawings or signature into the 3-dimensional space. It can be used as the starting point of designing more complex things, and you will have a good basis on how to navigate in the 3D-space of Blender.

Blender is awesome for anything 3D and it is a super versatile program, so this workflow barely scratches the surface - please let me know if I should go more in-depth regarding its capabilities :)



Music Credits:

Intro: Scott Holmes - Hopeful Journey

Diving Deeper Into Blender: Uncan - Keeping Track

From SVG to 3D: Lobo Loco - 13 - Railroad

Outro: Jost Pickbrenner - Ocean Light (Thanks so much Bro <3 <3 <3 check out his Soundcloud, mostly Psy/Darkpsy:

Meet Your Teacher

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Gesa Pickbrenner

3D Jewelry Artist & Designer

Top Teacher

I am Gesa Pickbrenner from Germany, and I mainly create jewelry, sculptures and illustrations as a freelancing artist and designer. I teach about 3D modeling with Blender (open source!) and how to become your own 3D (jewelry) designer - with just your mouse and keyboard! 

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1. Intro - Welcome to the 3D Class: Welcome! Hi there, I am Gesa Pickbrenner a freelance jewelry designer and 3D artist. I have been drawn to drawing, painting, sculpting, and sketching for as long as I can remember. I have been taught in the traditional art of goldsmithing. Because we had no education about 3D printing in our classes, I started learning about it on my own. And I'm an autodidact basically in 3D printing now. I have been freelancing in this field for four years, worked with many big and small clients. I have done a lot of jewelry, created earrings, pendants, brooches. Anything else you can think of in the world of jewelry, but also some sculptures and I also illustrated for some of my clients in the heraldic. And today I'm going to share my knowledge with you. In this project, we're going to create a 3D printable file from your own imagination, totally from scratch. You don't need a 3D printer. All you need is pen and paper, your creativity and a computer. All the programs we're going to use can in theory be downloaded for free, except you want to use Illustrator, but Inkscape and Blender are free to use and download, forever, for any commercial project. I'm going to show you how to make a 3D printable file from your sketch, how to get it printed, and of course, how to even try to make money from it if you want to try selling it online. Throughout the class, I highly encourage you to share your visions, your ideas, your sketches, your results in the project gallery down below. So I will remind you when it's time to maybe click this button and share something so I can give some feedback on it. And all throughout this class, I will give a lot of helpful tips and tricks and share also some mistakes I made along the way so you don't have to. This class is basically for anyone who's interested in designing their own 3D models, it's not only for jewelry, but you can use these concepts I'm teaching you for many, many different things. It's for you to get a feel on how to create something, how to get your idea into the 3D world. Because this is like a jump from one part to the next where many people are struggling. When I was starting out with 3D printing, I wished there was something like exactly this. So I created it and maybe I help some beginners, starters in this journey out, to have it a little bit easier. I'm very happy to host this class for you. Let's get to it! 2. Your 3D Project: In this lesson, I am going to talk a little bit more about the project in detail. It's a very rewarding experience to hold your very first 3D printed file in your hands. These earrings are also 3D printed by the way, and then cast in silver. They're designed in Blender as well. The first thing I'm going to show you is an overview of all the materials which are possible in 3D printing. There are a wide range of materials available and I hope I give you some ideas on what to design for and what to watch out for. After going over some things, you should keep in mind when designing for 3D printing and giving you some creative tips and ideas. We're going to tackle the sketch and the sketch is the basis for your 3D model, which is then going to be vectorized in our vectorization program. But first of course, you need to get your idea on paper so you know what you are going to do. With 3D printing, it's always handy to plan out your ideas before. It is a pretty easy workflow. You'll be starting on paper to let your creativity flow and not be too restricted with the program and its functionalities, but just can let your ideas flow on paper. Afterwards, we're going to vectorize it in a 2D program, which can then be transformed into the three-dimensional world via Blender. Of course, I'm also going to show you how to set up Blender, how to navigate it for starters, so you have a basic idea where you are in the 3D space, which is always a good thing. The last step, of course, is to get your file printed. As mentioned, you don't need the 3D printer for this whole project, so you will need somebody to print it for you. I can recommend you some 3D print on demand services who can do exactly that for you for a pretty cheap price if you use plastic like I did here with our pendant and the other projects I show you in my project file, which you can also download down below under 'Projects & Resources'. There you can find the resources and some ideas that I use in this video, as well as my sketches and the photos of printed file. Of course, I'm going to give you some tips on how to may be even sell your model online. If this is something you're interested in, make sure to watch until the end. Along the way, I'm going to encourage you to share your process, to share your sketch, to share your ideas, and also to share your doubts. Because in 3D printing, what can go wrong, right? Make sure if you have any hesitations or if you've got stuck anywhere - I will give you feedback on your ideas. Well, that's it for the project, that's our basic workflow, and after you've learned this, it can be used basically for any other 3D project. If you know this starting point, you can evolve all your 3D career around it if you want, just like I did. In the next lesson, I am going to start with a material side of 3D printing and show you the basics you need to know about when designing. Let's jump in to it. See you there. 3. 3D Print Materials: There are so many materials available that I couldn't basically cover them in one video - ever. But there are some which are especially interesting for jewelry design, and especially interesting for people who want to do some creative stuff with their ideas and 3D printing. I will cover the basics and I will cover some of the more advanced stuff. So you can have a basic idea on what to expect and what to use your file for once you have it. I say again, you don't need a 3D printer for this whole project. I'm going to show you everything you need to know to get your file printed cheaply and easily, after finishing up. There are lots and lots of materials you can work with in 3D printing, that's one of the very, very interesting and fascinating things about it. You're not limited to any one material, but as long as you can make it into a 3D file, a 3D model, you can print it out, and that's just amazing if you think about it, you are not limited to any special hand working skill you have to apply many hours, but you can just create with many different end goals in mind, and of course, obviously, there's plastics. This is PLA, it's biodegradable and it's very easy to work with if you have your own printer and that's why I also started out with it, it comes in many different varieties. You can have some metal infused into it or you can have it in pure white, make some intricate designs with it. You can work with steel, there are printers that can fuse steel together, and that makes your design very, very tactile and also a bit heavier, it has some weight to it, that's very nice. You can also create something with silver, of course, but I really wouldn't recommend starting with silver, it's just very costly obviously, and if you have a design you are not quiet satisfied with yet, and you print it out and let it cast in silver, it is very sad if it doesn't look quite the way you would have liked it to look. That's why I recommend not starting out with silver, but with some cheaper materials on this side of the table. That's exactly what we're going to do with our project today. Also important is the wearability of your project. If you have something like a pendant, you have to keep in mind, that it can't be too heavy, or even earrings, of course, earrings are even more so dependent on their weight, and that's why plastic is also a good choice. You don't have that much weight, it does not have many limitations for the thickness of the design. Of course, it can't be too thin and too intricate, but for something like this, it's perfect. You also have to keep in mind the cost of the printing itself and the material itself, from the point of view that your first design is not going to be the one that you really like best. I promise you, 99 percent of the time, your first thing that you print out is not the best design - you're going to reiterate, you're going to rework it and if you have something that's quite costly, of course, that's just not going to work out so well for you, except if you really have a big budget. But if you're just starting out with it, you just want to make loads and loads of cheap mistakes. So I hope this video was helpful for you to choose your favorite material, and I could help you decide a little bit better on what to choose and what to aim for. As mentioned, I am using plastic for this whole video and for this whole class because it's very easy to work with, as I said and it's also very cheap. So I encourage you to do the same. Of course, if you want to use some other materials, feel free to go for those. But makes sure to inform yourself before if there are any limitations on how to design for it. 4. Creative Tips: So now we're going to cover some creative tips and tricks. And I will share some maybe basic ideas on how to tackle the design process for 3D printing and also for jewelry. And I'll share some roadblocks that I encountered when I started out and some other things that may be helpful to you. So please enjoy. In this class we're going to talk about idea generating and sketching. The first thing is, of course, keep the material you're working for in mind. If you want to go with plastic, as I am doing here in this class, I will focus on this. If you know which material you're going to use, you need to sketch out some ideas. Maybe you already have something that came to mind in an inspirational moment, or you have something like a sketch book in which you scribble some ideas from time to time and you think maybe this could look good. And I really recommend you keep a sketchbook because that's just - the basis of all your creative work will be in there. Here are some tips for inspiration. First, you know, what kind of design you're roughly going to go for. Another thing you can do is just look at pieces of art that are not directly related to the design you are doing. For example, I really love for abstract jewelry to look at arhitektor - archie tick - architecture (got it XD), and to look at houses, like modern buildings, they often have this crazy futuristic look that you can really incorporate into your designs and make it stand out. Or if you're going for some animalistic shape, I have this fox badger here and I was looking at some photos of foxes. And I thought - maybe this could look cool. And this can be very helpful as well. Or for the bird shapes you saw in the beginning, you will see it in my sketch book as well. It can help to look at some other designers' ideas for some this can be very helpful. You should never directly copy it, but the way some people go about designing, it can be very helpful to see these ways that other people have found for themselves. But of course, this cannot substitute for your own creative journey. The second thing that is very important is to be willing to spread out and then go back in. And what I mean by that is first you're going to have hopefully lots and lots of ideas. Maybe some letter said she will come back to some of them and you will you will reuse them with your new eyes, with your more developed view of things. Because you can never realize all ideas. And it also can be a hard time to decide which idea you want to realize. And for me, in the beginning, especially when I started out doing jewelry, it was always such a hard time to decide which piece of jewelry I wanted to do. Because it just feels like you have to put your all into this one thing and it needs to look perfect and 'oh, this idea could be even better', or 'should I make this or this?' But in the end, it just led to a lot of frustration and let to not really being finished in time with things. And so it's very important if you have an idea where you think, 'hey, this could work' especially with such a very cheap material and quick process like 3D printing, just go with it. And as I said, you're going to refine it anyway, you will find new ways of doing this. So don't hassle around with it too much, just choose a few of them that you like and go with it. And afterwards you can still do many more. You can do ten or hundreds more, doesn't matter. So that's very important. Go spread yourself out, but then focus in on some ideas, and just go with them. Now that you have seen my best tips and creative challenges I have come across so far, I hope you're ready to grab your pen and paper and start sketching yourself. See you there! 5. Creating The Sketch: Get out your pen and paper. Now we're going to sketch. I will also share some of my thoughts while sketching. You know exactly what to look out for when creating your designs. Here you can see my sketchbook with all the different sketches. This is basically my big mind-map where I'm just letting my creativity go wild. I've chosen my favorites based on simplicity, wearability and impact. While sketching, it's very important to keep the material in mind and the material here is plastics and with plastics, you can go with three millimeter line size. This will always work out well. Here you can see my cat pendant, it has a little bit too small details, too intricate. While on the other hand, the flash and the bird, they have good line size. They are neither too small, not too detailed. They have a good size so that you can see the shape from maybe two to three meters far away very clearly and for jewelry, of course, this is very important. You can also see that the pendants I've chosen are roughly about 30 to 60 millimeters (1.2 - 2.4 in) in diameter, maybe more, about 40 to 60 (1.6 - 2.4 in). This will make a good-sized pendant in this material. If you want to go smaller, this can be very nice for earrings. And you should also keep in mind the way the pendant hangs. You see here the chain goes through the holes of the diamond and the chain will also go nicely through the ears of the fox badger and this is also visible here with the bird. You can see that it will hang just about centered and balanced. Next, I'm going to show you some sketches which were the second iteration from printing the first ones out. Because we are going to make the sketch into an SVG, it is very helpful if you make the sketch as black and white as possible. Thick, clean lines with sharp edges. Also see on my sketch that the line size should be about three millimeters (0.118 in). You can make it thicker and you also can make it a bit thinner, but if you go too thin, the plastic could break and it would be very brittle and not very sturdy. Therefore, I have chosen the three millimeters as a starting point for you to work with because this will print out in any plastic, I think just fine. You can create something that is catching the eye and being a centerpiece of your outfit or something that just goes well with many things. If you just reduce your idea a little bit and not trying to make it very opulent or baroque or something and that is also why I created these pendants and the earrings in a very stylized, very abstract way because it just goes well with anything. That's the nice thing about jewelry. Oftentimes you can create something that is more impactful by using less detailed designs. After sketching out your thoughts and ideas and now hopefully having a full paper full of cool line art. Please create a project down in our 'Projects & Resources' Make sure to share your ideas. I think it's very helpful to have a community to give you tips and some feedback on what you've created. I highly welcome you to dive right in and share your sketch. Now, of course, before you can do this, you have to photograph or scan it but I think you're going to manage this. Once you have your sketch digitally on your PC, makes sure to have it ready to vectorize it in Illustrator (or Inkscape). 6. From Sketch to SVG - Illustrator: I hope you have created your sketch and you are satisfied with it. You have uploaded it into the project file down below, where you can further down the line add some of your progress of course. Once you have your sketch ready and waiting on your hard drive on the computer, we are now going to vectorize it in Illustrator or in Inkscape. If you have Inkscape, please skip to the class after this one because I will explain the workflow in Inkscape there. Of course you can watch this one here and I encourage you to do it, because the workflow is quite similar and I share some thoughts of mine along the way as well, but you can totally skip it if you are pressed for time. Let's open up Illustrator and vectorize! Go to 'File', 'Place', then choose the sketch that we have scanned or photographed, and place it on our artboard. Afterwards, we click on 'Image Trace'. On the left you have this little icon - click on it, and then you can choose all those different settings for the Image Trace. There are a lot, and I usually end up just sliding them around until it looks like something I can use. Especially here, I'm searching for something that has very little extra corners or extra round shapes. Now you can see the importance of going very deeply black and white, because you see how all this is going to play out when you trace it. If you are satisfied, you can click on 'Expand' and you'll see it, there is your path. At the moment it is all grouped together. I am expanding the layer by clicking on the little triangle next to it, and then I select this group, right-click and click 'Ungroup'. Now you see all the paths that were making up this group. I then use the selection tool with 'V' to select all the different shapes that I'm not going to use because we only need the black one. After I deleted all the shapes that I don't need, I can now work with the black path by pressing 'P' for the pen tool and then holding the 'ALT' key, you get the anchor selection tool. When you click with the anchor selection tool on a point, it will straighten out the curves. While having the black shape selected overall, with 'A' I can choose the direct selection tool. With this, I can move the points around. If I'm using the pen tool and hover over points, there will be a little minus displayed, and this means you can delete the points you don't need. So it's basically this one workflow that is repeating itself over and over again. Selecting and moving points around with the mouse, deleting them with the pen tool ('P'), and straightening out the curves with the anchor selection tool, which you can access with 'P' and holding the 'ALT' key. For this, you place your sketch in the scene like before, and here you can see me first tracing the outer contour of the fox badger. Of course, you can also just start creating your shape directly in Illustrator or Inkscape, but I really prefer to sketch out my ideas beforehand because it's much easier, faster, and just gives some more natural feel to my shapes. Of course, this can differ for every designer. Make sure the whole shape is selected by using the black mouse or 'V', then you can press 'O' and make a mirror image. Click and hold on it and then press 'SHIFT', then you can drag it across the artboard in a straight line. If you have turned Smart Guides on, it will also allow you to snap exactly in place, so you have a perfect mirror image. Select both sides by clicking the first and 'SHIFT' clicking the other side, and then combine both with the Pathfinder tool. You will then have your outline, ready to cut some holes. One thing I haven't mentioned yet, is that you should avoid having two sharp points on the outer edge anywhere, because after printing, this could result in pointy ends and they could accidentally stab you and this shouldn't happen. So try to make them always a bit flat like I did with the ears here. I selected the whole shape and adjusted the transparency a bit so that I can see my sketch underneath, and I start drawing new shapes with the pen tool ('P'). You can also lock the first shape by pressing the little icon next to the eyes in the layers, which will lock this shape, as you can see here in my layer view. I then trace all the shapes that are going to be cut out, but only on the left side, because we will then mirror it again. Also combining each shape that is overlapping in the middle, like here, for example, with the nose. So make sure that you have all adjustments done before mirroring to the other side. Otherwise, you would have to do it again if you need something to change. Also, don't forget to save often. As you can see, this method works pretty well as well, but of course, it is a bit more cumbersome than the line tracing, because you just have to do it all with your hands. I'm now attempting to combine all the shapes, and also cutting out the inner shapes before then mirroring the whole thing. I select all the shapes with the black mouse ('V') again. All the shapes that are going to be cut out from the main shape need to be above the main shape and the layer view, and then you click the appropriate boolean function in the Pathfinder. You have the shape for 3D printing that now only needs to be mirrored ('O'), and then again, needs to be combined with the boolean function of combining. Once you are perfectly satisfied with your bird shape or any other shape, you can click on 'File', 'Export As'. Choose a relevant name. Uncheck 'Use Artboards', we only need the shape itself here, not the white background. Default settings are totally allright, and you're done. Well, I hope you have now finished you SVG file and are happy with the result. Again, I encourage you to share it down in the project gallery below, so I can have a look at it and maybe give some tips and tricks on how to convert it into 3D if there are some problems. In the next class, we'll finally going to dive into Blender. Ready? Then let's go! 7. From Sketch to SVG - Inkscape: This is a similar lesson as the one before, but just for people who don't have illustrator, I want to cover it in the free program Inkscape. So you don't have to worry about getting some paid program for this project because everything in here is open-source. Blender is just an awesome program but I digress, let's get into vectorizing. For downloading the open-source program Inkscape, go to and click on "Download Now". There you can specify which operating system you're on and choose between 32 and 64-bit architecture. If you don't know which one you should choose, please Google it. There are lots of good tutorials available on how to find this out. I'm going to use the exe format and download it. After installing, open up Inkscape and click on "Import". My interface here is in German, but it's basically the same in English. [FOREIGN] Just choose the default settings and there is your sketch on your app board. Once you have placed your file, you can go to path and trace bitmap. This will allow you to try different options for vectorization of your sketch. You can always click on "Refresh" on the bottom right corner to see a preview of your result. It took a little longer than an illustrator to get a result I was really satisfied with, and it still wasn't quite as nice as I would have expected, but I think it's good enough. With our tools, we can still create something that is really clean and tidy, even if our sketch was a bit messy. That's why we're working clean and tidy, right? After widely clicking around and finally arriving at something that felt quite manageable, I selected my old sketch through clicking on it and deleted it. Now, we have to clean up the sketch of course. With a note tool, you can select individual notes. The path in Inkscape is made out of many small notes. You can select them individually or you can draw a box around them and press "Delete". Delete them. I deleted all the notes that I did not need and zoomed in. You can see they're pretty messy and all over the place, not very well aligned. Some of the points and notes also have those little handles, which makes them as busier curves, which means you can use the handles to change the culture of the path. We don't need any curves and our sketches, right? We want them to be very straight, like very edgy. There are also far too many points at the moment, and so we also need to do something about that. Up here, you can see different options for the note tool. One of the options makes the curves that are between the notes straight. This is very handy. You can also select on click on the "Minus" button there, to delete it. I'm not working too often with Inkscape because just have to admit I prefer illustrator, but in the anti-fraud my workflow, and it worked out just fine. Again, I am florio to make your sketch very tidy. Right now, I was just deleting points, making edges straight and going like this all the whole time. I also sometimes selected a lot of notes at once, like the little white traces on the right of the board, so I could delete them all at once and get one clean shape. I did this by selecting one note of a path and then hitting "Control+A". This will select all the additional notes that are on this path. Very handy. Finally, this was way more work than an illustrator. Again, it was probably also due to my slightly sloppy sketching. If you're ready, just save it and give it a proper name, it will automatically save as an SVG with Inkscape, which is the natural format for its files, and were done. I hope you're now having a finished SVG file. Make sure to share it if you want to,or else hope right into the next lesson for finally arriving at the 3D world. We're going from 2D to another 2D and to finally 3D and then to the real world. Let's get into it. 8. Setting Up Blender: Ladies and gents, I hope you're ready. We're now setting off for diving into Blender. For downloading Blender, we're going to visit '' and download the newest version for our operating system. Here it is Windows. Yes, Blender is completely free to download. You don't have to pay anything even to use it in commercial projects. That's one of the many reasons why I love it so freaking much. Just use all the default settings for installing and then navigate to 'Program files', 'Blender Foundation', 'Blender' and click the 'blender.exe'. This will soon bring you to the the Blender splash screen where depending on the version, you will see a masterpiece of art from a Blender artist. Click on it anywhere and there you have it. That's the interface of Blender and depending on your familiarity with 3D programs, this might look very familiar, somewhat familiar or very confusing. But don't worry, I got you here. Please note that this is a very basic introduction of Blender. If you want to learn more, just leave me a comment. The first thing you're going to try out is use the middle mouse button and press it and roll your mouse around a little bit and with this, you are going to orbit around the cube, but the cube itself remains stationary. You can also pan around and this is 'SHIFT' and middle mouse. You can also press '1' on your numpad, this will change the front view. So you'll see the X and the Z axes. '7', the X and the Y, so this is the top view, at '3', and this is basically the other side. The little colorful gizmo on the top right corner also shows you where you're orientated in the 3D space. By just scrolling the middle mouse, you will zoom out and zoom in. Sometimes it can happen that you zoom out too much and then you just press 'SHIFT+C' and it will bring you back to the little cursor in the middle. This is the '3D cursor'. Press 'S' while having the cube selected to scale it up and down. Of course you can also press 'CTRL + Z' to undo the scaling. On the right, you will find this sidebar menu where you see the dimensions. You can hide and show it with pressing 'N'. On the left, you also see a menu with different tools and you can hide and show it with pressing 'T'. Most of the tools we don't need in this project. You can also click on the cube and press 'X' to delete it. You can also select the camera and the light and the scene and delete them too. Sometimes it can be a little hard to select the things in the scene directly, then you can use the so-called outliner, and you can just select and Shift-select the things. Similar to Illustrator. This is the basic workspace. You can see this resembles a plane. The red and the green line is the X and the Y axis, which means that this is the flat base where all your 3D things are going to stand at first when you create them. Now before we can create anything in here, we need to set the units that Blender will know to use and that will resemble the millimeters or inches in the real world. It is very important to set those. If you don't set them, Blender won't know how large or small your object is, and if you export it as a printable file it might come out a lot smaller or a lot bigger. Therefore, on the right, click on the scene properties, and in this tab, you can set the units that you're going to use. Please choose the appropriate setting, either metric or imperial. If you use metric, please choose millimeter for the length unit, and please set the unit scale at 0.001. This is one thousandth of a meter, which is one millimeter. When using imperial, please set the unit type to inch and set the unit scale to 0.083. Those units correlate to the size of your jewelry. If you would design something in a much larger scale, of course you would choose different units. But here, because we are going with jewelry, I think millimeters and inches make the most sense, at least for my kind of projects. Another useful thing is to make a grid, so you will have a better sense of how big your objects are. Click the little icon up here, then click on 'Floor' and set the units here corresponding to your units here. For me, it's millimeters. Therefore, I also choose 0.001. If you have set the unit size accordingly before, you should now see a grid that corresponds to 10 times 10 millimeters, so one centimeter. Creating a cube here with 'SHIFT + A' and choosing 'Cube'. Right now it a lot too big, because it still corresponds to the old unit size that Blender started up with. It's 2,000 millimeters. Now it's 200. Scale it down again, now it's 20 times 20. I scale it again by half, now it's 10 times 10. You can then scale it again to 10 percent of it's original size, and now you have a cube of 1 times 1 times 1 millimeter. You can also scale something by just pressing 'S' and moving your mouse around. This setting is now a good starting point for working with jewelry or anything in a similar size. To save all your hard work, you can click on 'File', 'Defaults' and 'Save Startup File'. This will keep all these settings for every time you open Blender in a new Window, you will start with those. This is very handy. Now that you're having the unit set, I hope you're not totally confused. It's time to dive a little deeper into Blender and importing your file into it. So this is what we're going to do in the next lesson. 9. Diving a Little Deeper Into Blender: In this class, we're going to dive a little bit deeper into Blender and its functionalities. It's not strictly necessary to know everything in this video for our whole project. But I encourage you to follow along and try out some of the functionalities, because it's just super helpful if you know the basic feel and flow of a 3D program. Just as it's helpful to know the basics of a 2D program, if you want to delve into it some more. I encourage you to take the next lesson. Just follow along, try out some of the different things and if you're really getting stuck somewhere, just close it and start again. No big deal. Have fun. Now, I am going to explain a very basic concept in Blender. On the left, you see that we are right now in 'object mode'. If you now press 'TAB', you will switch to the so-called 'edit mode'. You see that the cube now got these small points and you can select them individually. You press 'G', you can move them around. If you press 'TAB' again, you will enter object mode again. If you press 'G' now, you come off the whole block again. Pressing tab again and selecting other vertices, you can move those around individually again. This is very similar to the black and the white mouse and illustrator. Here, in 'edit mode', you can manipulate the mesh. You can also press 'E' while having vertices selected to extrude more vertices. This is one of the basic ways you can build a big project. Just by extruding and extruding things. You can also press 'R' in object mode to rotate the whole object. When you press 'R' and 'Y', you can rotate it around the Y-axis. If you press 'R' and 'X', you can rotate it around the 'X'-axis. If you want to get rid of the mutated cube, you can in 'object mode' press 'X' and delete it. Of course this also works with individual vertices. Press 'SHIFT + A' and choose 'mesh' and 'UV sphere'. Now you see you have created a sphere. This is the basic way how to create objects in Blender. Now, if we're creating a mesh with 'SHIFT + A' and select 'cube' again, the cube comes out big. We scale it down until it is as small as our workspace. Now, the scale is messed up. You see it is only 1/1000 of its original size. This can make problems in the work process. We press 'CTRL + A' and 'apply the scale'. Now, we have a cube that is exactly at 100 percent of its original size. You're probably asking yourself, why do I need to do all those things just to create the pendant? Well, working with Blender can be confusing if you don't know the basics of the interface and the basics of 3D modeling. Instead of giving you a glass of honey, I am teaching you how to cultivate a whole beehive or something like that. You can now take a small break, move around some and best of all pat yourself on the back big time. You've now learned the basics of Blender and therefore mastered the hardest part of this tutorial, I'd wager. This was a very, I have to say shallow overview of Blender. Because as I mentioned, Blender is insanely powerful for all kinds of 3D work. But I hope you now have a basic understanding and I hope you're as excited as I am to finally create a 3D printable file. Let's go. 10. From SVG to 3D in Blender: Now that you did all the hard work, the fan comes. In this lesson, we're finally going to import the SVG file into Blender and create the 3D printable file from it. So make sure you have your SVG file ready and waiting. And know where it is. You have Blender installed and you have done all the things with the unit, which is actually pretty important because otherwise your file won't come out the right size. But if it doesn't, it's also not such a big deal because you can always resize it later. But for starters, make sure you have followed along and we can now finalize. See you there. Finally, are hard work is coming to fruition in a beautiful three-dimensional shape of our sketch. At first, we are going to import the SVG, go to 'File', 'Import' and choose 'SVG', then navigate to your desired folder and import your file you've created before. Now you can't see it yet because the curve normally gets imported too small or too large. So try scaling it up and down and you find it in your viewport. If you really can't find it, maybe leave a comment because sometimes it can have other problems like the SVG not being exported correctly. Here you can see that I scale it up and I am watching the dimensions so that it is in a size that is desirable for jewelry. You also see that the line size that I mentioned before now equals roughly three of the small, one by one millimeter squares behind the bird. So I have a rough line size of three millimeters (0.118 in) across, more or less. It doesn't matter if it's a bit less or more. I told you before that with plastic, you can go smaller or bigger. But the bird was designed for being roughly 60 millimeters (2.36 in) across. You remember by pressing 'TAB', you can switch to the 'edit mode' and you see all the individual points that the bird is made up of. You can also manipulate these points, but they're not vertices. There are points of a curve and a curve is different from the mesh we had seen with the cube before. Because of that, we are going to 'object', while being in 'object mode' and 'convert to' and choose 'mesh', And if you now press 'TAB' again to switch to the 'edit mode', you can see all the vertices that our bird shape is made up of. You remember, 'edit mode', singular points, 'object mode', you manipulate the whole object. Remember with the cube, when we applied the scale? Our bird is scaled a lot. And therefore we press 'CTRL + A' and 'apply the scale'. Now it's at a 100%. Being in edit mode, you can press 'A' and with this you select all the vertices on this object. Having all the vertices selected, pressing 'E' and 'Z' at the same time is extruding a layer of vertices and therefore creating a three-dimensional shape of your bird, just like before with the mutated cube. Because the imported SVG file has been imported at 0 height, the Z-value in the sidebar should show you how thick your bird is at the moment. After switching to object mode, you can also see it here in the Z-value of the dimensions, where the size of your object in all three dimensions is shown. And actually, now you're ready to export your file. For this, go to 'File', 'Export' and choose 'STL'. STL stands for stereolithography and is the most important format you will need for 3D printing any file. Make sure you have your bird selected so you can choose 'selection only' and 'export STL'. Now it's your turn to create some more, if you want. Or, of course, if you're done with it for now, you can finish with your perfectly printable STL. In the video, I'm going to time lapse through the other models. Because if you're interested in how I went about those, it was basically the same workflow, but maybe it's helpful if you see it a few times with different shapes. Of course, feel free to skip to the next lesson. You will learn what to do now with your new virtual piece of jewelry. And this is just the mind-blowing thing about 3D modeling, I think. You can just sketch out something and put it into Blender and then magically create something 3D from it. Well, not magically, with a lot of clicking and keystrokes, but you know what I mean. So I'm very glad that you managed to create this project. Make sure to make a screenshot of it, post it in the project file, gets some feedback and let's dive into what to do next with your 3D printable file. 11. Final File and Object - What Next: Now that you have your final file, which is an STL file, we can work on getting it into the real world. For this, I prepared some tips and tricks and websites for you, where you might get this done. I'm also going to show you how to set up your file for selling. I have also done this in the past, so I can speak from experience, that it works. You can upload it online, and get it printed on demand for your customers without having to worry about it a second time, except maybe for marketing it. But this is really cool. As a bonus, I mean, you have done all this hard work, why only share it with yourself? People can buy the thing from you and get it printed for them. I think this is a really cool thing to try. I encourage you to try it. Let's get into it. A simply Google search helped me find this comprehensive list of best material on-demand printing services. My personal favorite and one I have used so far a lot, is Shapeways. I've also heard good things about Imaterialise and Sculpteo. But there are so many. Trinckle is one from Germany, which has also good reviews. On the right-hand side of this table, you'll also see the offered materials which can vary wildly. I will show you the process for Shapeways. I think they have a very easy to use user interface. Here you simply click on, 'Get a Quote'. This brings you to the 'bring your product to live' - side. Here you can see the button where you can choose a 3D file or drag one. You upload your model. After a few seconds, depending on server load, your model will appear on the left side, in the 3D space. You can click on it, move it around, so that you can see it from all sides. It should look exactly like you created it in Blender. Here you can see all the different materials on the top there are the cheaper ones, versatile plastic, steel. Then it goes over copper, precious metals, to platinum even, which is very expensive, of course. Sandstone is also an option. But here we will go with plastic because it's the cheapest option to try something out and it also looks pretty cool in different colors. You see the different colors are a little bit more expensive and the white one is the cheapest. The white one also has the most options for surface finish. If you want to learn more about materials, Shapeways has a whole material guide about all the different materials you would want for your projects. Be it for prototyping, refining ore the final product. From miniatures over electronic project housing to jewelry. I promise there's the right material for your design needs. Sandstone, which has the ability to be full colored. You can see the steel and stainless steel option. If you click on one of them, you will learn more about the process and the design limitations. Here's the wax casting with which you can create real metal jewelry of course. That's not all. There's even the option to set up your own 3D printing shop on Shapeways. Isotope too. If you went to check it out, link is in the description. All the products that we create in this video will be on there as well. Why not upload yours too? After checking out the materials to our heart's delight, we hopefully came to the conclusion what material we desire. We can then click on 'Add to Cart', and it automatically adds it to our cart, like you would expect from a credible online ordering service. Then just go to 'Check out now' if you're satisfied with your order so far. Here you can see the usual, all the shipping information, payment information, Paypal is of course valid and credit card as well. Manufacturing options, shipping method and so on and so forth. Here would be also the place you can apply the promo code that you can find in the description. This will give you 15 percent off from your first order. If you want to order with Shapeways, of course. Because I have done this in the past three or four years already, I can really recommend them. They have a really incredible, friendly and helpful customer service. I'm not affiliated with them otherwise, but for starters, I can just recommend them. Yeah. We're done. Guys, thank you so much for watching. I am now going to get myself a new coffee, I think - wait, there is still something... This is black tea with milk, I love black tea with milk, it keeps me going basically everyday. Thank you again guys. It was an honor to host this class for you. See you in the next one. Of course, the most important thing. If you have a final printed file share it with us, make sure to photograph it and share it down below in the project gallery. How cool would this be? You have your sketch, your SVG file, your 3D file, and finally, your printed project. Make sure to dive in and share it with us. I think that's enough for today. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did leave a review, if not, say what was wrong, and see you in the next lesson, guys. Bye-bye. 12. Outro - Thanks for Watching: Okay guys, this was quite the journey, wasn't it? I'm really glad I see you in this outro because this means you have taken it all through the journey. Hopefully learned a ton along the way and hopefully ended up with a really, really cool new piece of jewelry or any other design for that matter. Who's to say that it has to be jewelry, could be anything. But I'm really encouraging you again to share your design with us. Put it in the project file below in the project gallery and I definitely will look at anything that you're going to post there. I also welcome you to review this class. That will help out greatly with the development of new classes so I can make content that suits your needs better. If you're really satisfied and really happy, then please leave this, as well of course. All I now say to you is thanks for watching and I really hope you will join me in one of my next classes. Bye-bye.