Image for 3d Printing?


Sep 17, 2013
Hello, I recently had the opportunity to work with a 3D printer at school. I know nothing about how Images are converted, or even if they can be converted for that matter, to be printed in 3D. I was told to Find a Schematic for something I wanted to Print and They would do it for me as a demonstration.

My question is how does this work. Is it something you have to create from scratch? Or is it something where a 3D Image (such as JPEG or GIF) can be converted into the program and you touch it up? Forgive me But this is something I know Little About.

Also being that I have this Opportunity I wanted to get something epic printed for me personally. If I wanted someone to create the File used by the Printer, what would ballpark figure be to have them do it?

A lot of Questions I know but I think its amazing!!!


Sep 22, 2013
Hi Narrator! You must be aware that 3D images are for 3D Vision monitors & TVs, but do not allow 3D printing.

3D printers print 3D models. A 3D model is a file telling the computer all the sides & polygons of a 3D object. 3D models have many formats, but probably the most popular one is .obj. There is NO way of converting JPEG/GIF to a 3D model. If you put a JPEG into a 3D model and print it, it will come out in the 3D printer as a thin sheet of plastic.

Examples of 3D models are the character models used by 3D games to show characters on screen. You can find great 3D models of stuff from Thingiverse. They are compatible with 3D Printers. You can also use Trimble's Sketchup (free app for Windows), make your own model (it's easy, and there's a tutorial), and use this plugin to convert the Sketchup file to OBJ and print it on the 3D printer: Sketchup also has the 3D Warehouse, which is great if you can't find the thing you want to print on Thingiverse. Turbosquid also has some great models, but they are rather expensive - depending on the quality.

Both Thingiverse and 3D Warehouse have lots of things so it's almost impossible to not find something you need, but if you can't find something you need, you can check out the people at Turbosquid. They can offer to do you models at prices ranging from $10-$70. However most common objects can be found on 3D Warehouse for free and Thingiverse for not that much more.