You may have thought BlockBase+ was great for printing and exporting blocks for sewing…but did 3D printing ever cross your mind?? It did for our friend Mike Shetter!

Mike says,

“With BlockBase+ and a 3D printer you can make reusable plastic templates for over 4000 blocks in ANY size you need. BlockBase+ can generate SVG files that can be used to create 3D models that can be printed on any 3D printer.”

If you’re curious, here’s a summary of Mike’s 3D printing process starting with BlockBase+.

Step 1 – BlockBase+

To create the plastic templates, the first step is to export the SVG file for the block from BlockBase+. It’s important to check the Finished Block Size is correct and that a 1″ square in BlockBase+ equals a 1″ square in your 3D software.

Step 2 – 3D Software

The next step is to open the SVG file in the 3D software, where it will appear as a flat drawing or sketch. To make the flat image into a 3D template, just add thickness to the block. You can set the thickness to your preference, but 3mm (1/8″) is typically enough. Then, save the 3D template as a STL file.

Step 3 – Slicer Software

Next open the STL file in Slicer software, which converts the digital model into printing instructions for the 3D printer. Depending the system being used, these instructions are then sent directly to the printer or saved to a SD card that is plugged into the printer.

Step 4 – 3D Printer

Finally, open the file from your printer and print! A typical set of templates for a 4″ block takes about 1 1/2 hours to print and uses 4 grams of plastic. Once printed, these templates can be reused as much as you need and are very durable!

The ability to export SVG files is one of the best features of BlockBase+, and it’s so exciting to learn the creative ways it can be used! Thanks to Mike Shetter for introducing us to this idea and sharing his techniques! For more information about exporting SVG files from BlockBase+, see our Support website article.