Extruding svg files with Blender


What is it?

Blender provides a very simple way to extrude SVG files. This is great for whenever you want to convert 2D to 3D.

This tutorial will also explore tessellations. A tessellation is a repeating pattern with no gaps or overlaps. This tutorial will show you how to design a tile in Inkscape and then import it into Blender.

What's the tutorial?

  1. If you don't have Inkscape, download and install it from here. Otherwise open the application.

  2. Create a New Document. CTRL+N

  3. Press F4, hold down CTRL and drag a perfect square.

  4. Take a nibble from the top with the beziér tool. Make sure to come out at one of the corners:

  5. Select nibble and square and select Path>Division

  6. With the Select and Transform Object tool, just select the nibble. Move to the left. Select Object>Rotate 90° CW

  7. Fit the shape against the left edge.

  8. Make sure there is no stroke.

  9. Select the nibble and the square and then select Path>Union

  10. With the Beziér tool, create a nibble from the bottom. Make sure you come out at a corner

  11. Select nibble and square and select Path>Division

  12. With the Select and Transform Object tool, just select the nibble. Move the nibble to the right

  13. Select Object>Rotate 90° CW

  14. Fit the shape against the right edge. Make sure there is no stroke.

  15. Select the nibble and the square and then select Path>Union

  16. Change the measurement to millimeters

  17. Resize the tile to have a width of about 80mm. Lock the width.

  18. Create a duplicate of the tile by pressing Edit>Duplicate

  19. Change the fill color of the duplicate. And set the stroke of the duplicate to .50mm and change the fill color

  20. Press CTRL+J for dynamic offset and move the duplicated tile in the same amount as the stroke

  21. Move the duplicated form down

  22. Turn off the stroke

  23. Delete the original tile.

  24. You want to resize the document to your image. Press File>Document Properties, toggle open Resize page to content and click Resize page to drawing or selection

  25. Save your tile as an SVG file

  26. If you don't have Blender installed, download it from blender.org and install it.

  27. Open Blender

  28. If you have never used Blender before navigate to File>User Preferences or type (CMD+,).

  29. Click on Input

  30. Click on Emulate Button Mouse and Emulate Numpad

  31. Click on Save As Default

  32. If the cube is not selected (if there is not an orange line around it), RIGHT click on it to select it:

  33. Press X and click on Delete to delete the cube.

  34. Click on File>Import>Scalable Vector Graphic (.svg) and navigate to your .svg file and click on Import .SVG button in the top right corner.

  35. RIGHT+click on the imported file so that it is selected.

  36. In the left panel select Origin to Geometry

  37. Click on Object Data in the Right Panel:

  38. This will open the Object Data panel:

  39. If it isn't open, toggle open the Geometry panel

  40. CTRL+click on Extrude

  41. Change the extrude value to 1

  42. In the Viewport press N. And resize your shape by pressing S and scaling up so that your width matches your your width from the original .svg file:

  43. Set the z to however high you want your tile.

  44. Convert the shape to a mesh by selecting Object>Convert To>Mesh from Curve

  45. Select the object if it is not selected and select File>Export>STL(.stl) Save the stl and open in MakerWare or ReplicatorG. Print at least two pieces.

Now what?

  1. Upload your tessellation to Thingiverse
  2. Come back tomorrow for more information and inspiration!