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3D Printing: Will it print?

Tutorials and tips for clients using 3D printing service


  • Models that are submitted as STL files will need to be checked for errors to ensure they are printable.
  • If a submitted 3D model has issues whereby the edges don’t meet or there are unwanted holes in the model, the model is said to be 'non-manifold'.
  • Slic3r automatically identifies and fixes any errors.  It can be downloaded (free) from
  • If the problem is beyond Slic3r’s capabilities and the file is unable to be sliced correctly, the client will be notified and instructed to repair the model.

Checking and fixing errors in your STL file using Slic3r

1. Open Slic3r

The first time you open Slic3r the 'Slic3r Configuration Wizard' may open. If it does, press 'Cancel' to continue opening Slic3r.

2. Click Add... (top left) > Browse to your STL flie > Open

  • If the model is yellow click (not hover) on it so it changes to lime green.
  • The size of the model and the number of errors auto-repaired will appear bottom right.
  • If it says that your model is Manifold, there were no errors.


For more detailed help, see the Slic3r user manual     

Wonky drawers

Non-manifold geometry

Non-manifold geometry is geometry which cannot exist in the real world - and it cannot be printed

Examples of non-manifold geometry include:

  • Open objects: Holes or edges that don't join up.
  • Areas with zero thickness.
  • Internal faces: Your model will look fine from the outside but printers cant handle this.
  • Overlapping faces: Similar to the above, can be difficult to spot.

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