How to cut STL models for 3D printing in Meshmixer

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It's obvious that models bigger than the print volume cannot be printed as one piece

Basic cuts along the Z-axis can be done directly and Slic3r

The solution is pretty straightforward

Just specify the height at which the model will be cut

You can also choose to rotate the bottom part upside down

After the cut the newly created model will be automatically placed on the virtual print surface

However, creating complex cuts in Slic3r can be challenging

as it's only possible to define the Z height of the plane cut

This may result in unwanted pieces of the model being cut off

We can demonstrate this problem by trying to cut one of Hulk's hands

Slic3r uses an infinite plane so even though the hand did get successfully cut

So did some other pieces, his leg and the stand

Meshmixer is a great tool for cutting models into smaller pieces

Let's start with a simple plane cut

Select Edit - Plain cut

Hold down the left mouse button to define a plane

Change the cut type to Slice so that no part of the model is discarded and confirm by hitting the Accept button

The model will still appear as one piece select Edit - Separate Shells to create individual models

Another option is to use the Select tool and specify a smaller area of the model to be affected by the cut

When we apply the plane cut everything outside of the selection will stay as one piece

Despite the plane i ntersecting the geometry as you can see in the lower part of Hulk's body