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I created an stl file of bathymetry using Matlab and the results can be seen in the two pictures below in Blender. The problem I have is that it is very thin with overhangs. I would like to add some kind of support. For example put a solid block underneath it like in the third picture.

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I can't seem to figure out how to do this in Blender and if I try to fix the stl file in Blender it puts a surface through my original surface. I also tried to use Microsoft 3D printing repair but it takes hours to queue. How to I change my stl file so it has enough support to be printed?

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  • $\begingroup$ Just a note - I see you accepted an answer. It's often worth waiting to see if other answers show up; and in this case if you can add a comment indicating that this answer in fact worked for you, that will be a big help to future readers. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jan 29 at 15:52
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You generated a simple surface. You do however need a closed body to print. You might get away with using that surface as a cutter for a block and removing the top half, but there is an easier way using blender:

  • Select the whole ara with A
  • Extrude with E then Z to constrain direction
  • pull until you have an item that is fully thick everywhere
  • Scale the currently selected, extruded vertices with S then Z then 0 to force them all into the same plane
  • possibly move the vertices down till they all are below the bottom surface

Now you have a positive thickness, solid body! Run a simple "remove double vertices" on this bottom if you want to reduce file size, but there you go! Export as STL and print!

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  • $\begingroup$ This was a huge help. The first three steps were easy to follow. It was a bit difficult to scale it into the same plane, so I just added a cube and put that underneath it so it would support all. $\endgroup$ – Jellyse Jan 31 at 9:15

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