I am interested in printing a brain that contains 696 parcels (i.e., chunks that break up the total brain).

The .obj file was created such that each of these parcels are spatially separate. Do you have recommendations for printing these parcels such that they are slightly connected, i.e., having the parcels be connected yet still being able to see most of the grooves in between them? I hard coded the .obj file in R/Python. Do you have recommendations for easy redesign of this 3D file to accomplish this goal?

I would like for all parcels to be one solid piece when printed.

Here is an image to get a sense of the object. enter image description here

Thanks. I am new to 3D printing so any advice would be appreciated.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Do you have recommendations for printing these parcels such that they are slightly connected?" is one question, directly related to how to print. "Do you have recommendations for easy redesign of this 3D file?" is a second question, related to how to model a change. Do you want two answers or focus on one of them? $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Apr 17, 2022 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Two answers, please. I included both in case their solution was shared. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2022 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ The "How to print" portion of the question is vague and should be addressed in a separate post, with much more detail, such as your type of printer (resin or filament), perhaps your slicer software, print settings, any problems you've had with making a print to function. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Apr 18, 2022 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


If it doesn't need to come apart again then I'd just boolean union them with some spheres so that they're one object. With the spheres all internal so you keep all the outside detail.

All 3d software I have seen can do this although the specifics vary.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Kilisi, I also considered to place something between the "loose" parts. As you've noted, many modeling programs will easily accomplish this. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Apr 18, 2022 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ @fred_dot_u yeah, I just use spheres because they're easy $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Apr 18, 2022 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Kilisi Considering the quantity of pieces (348 slightly separate mesh objects per hemisphere), I was wondering if there was a way to avoid inserting (many) new spheres. I am currently using Fusion 360 but have access to most software. Would there be a way to slightly scale each separate chunk (i.e., mesh object) such that adjacent chunks would overlap, and then apply some boolean union? When I try to scale all 348 mesh objects in Fusion 360, the problem is that the same gaps are maintained, as the objects get new center points as they scale with respect to the origin of the entire brain. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2022 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, no need for lots of spheres, they're just easy. You could just use one and sculpt it into shape. Or if you're using software that can do it. Just export as stl then remesh the stl. $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Apr 18, 2022 at 19:06

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