screen. Click Replace Existing as shown in Figure
You will be brought out of the support structure gen-
eration utility and back into the main interface. You
can click the Export button on the bottom left of the
side menu to save this model for 3D printing if you
desire, or you can play around with editing the bunny
or even the new support structures as shown in
Figure 11-11.
We’ve shown you how to fix a model, use the Sculpt
tool, and generate supports. Now let’s change gears
for a moment and practice on more Meshmixer
tools. Let’s leave the bunny behind by clicking the top-left File menu, and then selecting Import Sphere, as
shown in Figure 11-12.
Meshmixer will ask you if you want to “append” or “replace” the bunny. For this step choose “replace.” You
will now have a sphere, as shown in Figure 11-13.
You will be creating some very cool jewelry in this exercise. But we first need to start with some base
Start by segmenting the sphere a few times. (You’ll discover why later on.) Click the Edit button on the left-
hand menu and you will see a Plane Cut pop-up window, as shown in Figure 11-14.
Slice Groups
Click Accept.
You will see a ball that is gray on the top side and colored on the other, as shown in Figure 11-14. (If you don’t
see multiple colors, hold the space bar down, and select the other option under the “Colors” menu that
pops up.) The “Slice Groups” command splits the sphere into two separate “FaceGroups.” FaceGroups are
simply areas of the mesh that allow you to manipulate them without touching the other parts of the mesh.
They are denoted by a different mesh color. Your color might be different than the one shown in Figure
Click the Edit tool again and then Plane Cut.
FIGURE 1115: Using the Plane Cut option on a sphere to create
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FIGURE 1117: Sphere with many FaceGroups
FIGURE 1116: Using the manipulator widget in the center to move the cutting plane in a new direction
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Choose the same options as before: Slice Groups and NoFill.
You did this before, but this time either click and drag a line with your left mouse button in another direction, or
click the various arrows and bars on the “manipulator widget” in the center to move the cutting plane to a new
direction as shown in Figure 11-16.
Click Accept and you will see a new FaceGroup appear.
Do this procedure two or three more times, and you will get a sphere that looks like the one shown in
Figure 11-17.
Here is the fun part! “Make Pattern” is one of the flashiest and most powerful tools in Meshmixer. It is what
you will use to make a piece of jewelry out of this colorful sphere.
Click the Edit button and go to Make Pattern.
Switch the drop-down menu on the left hand side to FaceGroup Borders (very top).
FIGURE 1118: FaceGroup Borders option on the sphere
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You will see a preview of what will happen to your mesh, as shown in Figure 11-18.
Click Accept.
You now have a mesh that follows the borders of those FaceGroups and can be turned into a complex pendant, as
shown in Figure 11-19. You could have this piece 3D printed in plastics or metals by online service bureaus. This
would be considered a more advanced model to print at home, due to the amount of support material you would
need, but you certainly could print it yourself.
This tutorial has been a brief introduction to the power and versatility of Meshmixer. We invite you to play
around with the other tools in this program to see what you can create. To further your understanding, be
sure to also check out the online tutorials provided by Meshmixer on the Autodesk 123D YouTube channel.
On the education page of our website we have an award winning 16 hour online course on Meshmixer as
FIGURE 1119: Borders of FaceGroups made into a pendant
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FIGURE 1120: Bunny shape with new arms, added colors with “Paint Vertex” tool, and Sculpt → Surface → Draw++ Stencil applied
Online Tutorials
If you are looking for more in-depth online training we recommend our course called “3D Printing and
3D Design Using Autodesks Meshmixer There are 159
lectures and over 16 hours of step-by-step instruction you can pace at your own level. In this course you
will learn some other very popular, fun, and easy tools like “Dragging and Dropping,” which is exactly like
it sounds. You can pick pre-created shapes/objects and drop them onto your starter model as shown in
Figure 11-20.
In the next chapter, we will introduce you to Autodesk Fusion 360, which is considered a professional-level
CAD program. It is very powerful software but is nonetheless very approachable for individuals.
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