3d printing art

TechTips: Prepare 3D Printing for 3D Art models

Rapid technology like 3D Printing creates a huge impact in the art creation world. An easy, cheap, and affordable 3D printer provides a lot of solutions that artist designers faced in the past to expand their creativity. No boundary and no limit is an artistic core and it is the same for 3D Printing.

In the artistic world, there are few common arts involved directly with 3D Printing technology.

  1. 3D Sculpture
  2. Historical Art Reproduction and Restoration
  3. 2D Concept to 3D Visualization
  4. Photography to 3D model.
  5. Fashion and Jewelry Art


FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) 3D Printing using the cheapest methods and materials for 3D Printing. That is a huge advantage for an artist to present their concept and creation to reality. 

Printing 3D art model, especially unique creation requires some attention as 3D printing still have some flaw due to technical limit capability. For example - to begin 3D printing users still have to start printing based on a flatbed base. 

Here are some tips that have to take a look at when printing an art 3D model


Different materials always have different settings for 3D Printing. Make sure you are using the correct setting for your 3D printing. Artistic models consist of complex models and due to the characteristics of that material, those complexities cannot be achieved properly. The easy way to test out is users can use very easy-to-handle material like SUNLU's new anti-string PLA for starters. Stringing is a common problem since most of the art 3D models mostly have 3D Print Support structures.

There are other unique materials that 3D artists can use like Silk Filament, Wood Filament, and Rainbow Color Filament for cool creation. 

Layer thickness is an artistic

Artist designers can use a thickness of layers as art visualization of their creation. 3D Print in a high-resolution layer will take days to complete the jobs. But somehow lower resolution will result same or even better visualization result and take much less time to process. 

In other stuff like Printing photography into a 3D lithophane, the lowest layer setting is preferable as it produces smooth transition lighting gradation results.

lithophane 3d print

Support Structure and Overhang

Art 3D model shape is quite a challenge for 3D Printing. In practice, Support and overhang is always can be found when preparing the 3D art model to print. A manual arrangement of support is very useful in most cases. The latest technique implementation of support which is called Tree Support (Cura Slicer) or Organic Support (PrusaSlicer) is a break-thru method to reduce time/ material and easy removal. 

3D Print Bridging capability

Artwork can be achieved in many ways with a 3D Printer. Recently there has been cool creation in art using 3D printing capability to produce spectacular creations. 3D print bridging which print out the plastic filament between 2 points is one of the method that can make cool creation in arts. For example: the Hairy Lion 3D Model (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2007221) and the recent famous ‘Umbrella in a Rain Shower’, are both 3D models specifically using 3D Printing methods bridging capability. 

One straight print or separate into multipart print

3D Printing An art model needs to be arranged to get a nice print. Some complexity from the model cannot be printed straight away. positioning arrangement has to be made because one of the basic rules in FDM 3D printing is one side should have a flat surface so the model can stay firm during the printing process. Cutting the plane of the model can be used to get that flat surface. The other thing is some art models have a big size dimension that does not fit into consumer 3D printers. Cutting split the model is the way to print process.

3D Design Mesh error

Art models are usually created from non-CAD 3D software. Organic Modeling software like Z-Brush, Sculptris, or Blender is often used to draw artistic 3D designs. Exporting the 3D model created by organic modeling must be done in the right steps. 3D Printer only accepts solid mesh design as at first the creation of 3D printing specifically for CAD 3D design. Mesh STL, OBJ, and 3MF is the only standard that 3D printing slicer software accepted widely. 

Layer-by-layer color shade from HueForge is another creative way to produce artistic 3D Print stuff.

To do this cool creation, you must have a 3D printer which capable to do pause-resume print and changing filament during the print process. 3D Printer Sunlu T3 is a good starter printer for this task and if a bigger print is needed Sunlu S9+ with bed size 300x300mm will do the job. HueForge Software is not free but the cost will not brake your wallet. Users can try this wonderful print of art ‘Panda Oil Painting’ (https://www.printables.com/model/552694-panda-oil-paintinghueforge-painting) created specifically using Sunlu PLA+ Filament. 

Link for material: https://www.sunlu.com/products/hueforge-painting-combo

With 3D Printing, there are more ideas and imagination that can bring out physical objects. Every person in the world always has art in their mind and 3D Printing is one of the tools to make it into reality.