Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and nothing says, “I love you” like giving your special someone their very own 3D printed heart! We’ve put together a tutorial to teach you how to create one yourself!
First off, you’ll need a 3D design program. We used Blender – a free design software – to create this heart, but you can adjust our directions to fit whatever software you’re comfortable with and/or have access to.
Step One: Open Blender and hit the “A” key to select all of the items on the screen. Then, hit “Delete” in the upper right hand side of the screen to clear them from the plane.
Step Two: Next go to the “Add” menu at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Open the menu and select “Surface” then “Nurbs Sphere.” A sphere will pop up in the middle of your plane. This sphere will act as the base of our heart.
Step Three: Now that we have our base shape, we’re going to edit it into a heart. To do this change from “Object Mode” to “Edit Mode” in the bottom left hand corner. Going from object to edit mode will cause the vertices of the sphere to be shown. We’ll use these to shape the sphere into a heart shape.
Step Four: Next, change your view to “Front” view of the plane using the “View Menu” in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. You can also scroll using your mouse.
Step Five: It’s time to shape the heart!
1. Select the top vertices by right clicking on the top point. Once you’ve selected that, press the “B” key on your keyboard. This command allows you to select multiple vertices – select the top vertices. Now, pull them down toward the middle, by clicking and pulling on the blue arrow, until you’ve shaped the inverted peak of the top of the heart. Deselect these points by pressing the “A” key on your keyboard.
2. Next, create the bottom point of your heart by right clicking to select the bottom vertices, then hold the “B” key and select all three bottom vertices (see .GIF). Once they’re selected, use the blue arrow to pull them down into the point.
3. As you can tell, our heart is a little narrow right now, we want to pull the top to mounds out to fix this. Do this by selecting the mound’s vertices using the same method (the B key and arrow selection) as mentioned above. One those are selected hit “Scale” in the upper right hand corner of your screen – this will pull both mounds out at the same rate and keep your heart symmetrical!
4. It should look like you have the shape of a heart now, but we aren’t done! If you rotate your plane 90 degrees, then you’ll notice that the heart is very wide. We want to narrow the width of the heart. We can do this by selecting the side and top vertices using the right click and “B” key as described above. Then hit scale, and bring the edges of the heart in until you’re happy with the new width. Hit “A” to deselect.
- Voila! You have your very own 3D heart. Now you can save the file by clicking “File” → “Export” → “.STL” and “Export .STL.”
Congratulations, it’s time to print your very own 3D printed heart!
Our Print Settings:
Make sure to adjust your settings to fit your 3D printer! Here are the settings we used for a Type A Machine, Series 1:
ProTip: Cut down on supports by printing upright.