Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Beginner
- [Instructor] A modifier mesh is a secondary model that you can overlap with your primary model to change the settings where the models overlap. You might want to do this to add extra walls, or have higher infill depths in a certain area to make the print stronger there. Alternatively, you might use a modifier mesh to reduce infill or shell thickness in areas that don't need it in order to save material and reduce print time. Another common use is to completely remove part of the print shell, leaving the infill exposed. Depending on the infill pattern selected, this can produce a mesh or grid pattern. These meshes are stronger, faster printing, more efficient, and leave more open space as possible when designing these patterns into the model. You may even want to select an infill pattern and leave it visible for a unique aesthetic effect. In Ultimaker Cura, you can use a second STL file as a modifier mesh. To do this, open the STL you want to print and the one you want to use to modify it. Select your modifier STL and click on the mesh type icon. You'll have the option to modify settings for overlaps. You'll then need to specify whether you want your modified settings to apply only to the infill in the specified area, leaving the print skin intact. The alternative is to cut out the overlapping areas and slice them separately, which gives you more control but leave a visible seam. Either way, you won't be printing anything in the areas that are outside your normal model, even if your modifier sticks out. Click on the select settings button to specify which slicing settings you want to change for the overlapping areas. Once your changes have been made, you'll need to align the two models to each other. If the two models were built in the same coordinate set, you can do this by selecting them and choosing merge models from the Edit menu. PrusaSlicer creates modifier meshes a little differently. You'll need to select Expert Mode from the Configuration menu for all the options to be available. First, you'll load your normal model, then right-click on it to open the contextual menu and choose add modifier. PrusaSlicer has standard shapes you can add as modifiers, then move and scale to cover the appropriate area. As with Cura, you can also load a second STL to use as a modifier mesh using the load option. Once you have the modifier loaded, you can right-click on it to add settings that you want to apply to those areas. These will appear on the right side of the window. Settings you change there will override your normal settings in those areas. Modifier meshes are a useful tool to adjust the strength of parts of your print. Both Ultamaker Cura and PrusaSlicer support them and you can give it a try by following the examples we showed here.