First large multi-part 3D model

I’ve been wanting to do builds like this for a while, but always kicked them down the road. Well, its the holidays and I have some time off, so I figured I’d give it a go.

This is the Royal Broadsword of “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”.

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Model source:

Getting the STLs Ready

You’ll see from the STLs on thingiverse the sword is cut up so the model can be 3D printed. I imagine the intention is to simply glue them together and paint. But I wanted to print each piece in it’s corresponding color and then glue to avoid painting (I’m not very good at that).

For example see the reference image:

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The pommel and hilt are gold, while the handle is purple and of course the blade is grey/silver. The first STL file on thingiverse is the pommel + handle + half the hilt. This means I have to split out the pieces I want into individual STL files.

For this task I decided to use Meshmixer.

First I actually had to stitch the sword back together. Then split the pieces.

In Meshmixer, I can select the individual faces I want in the wire frame view and delete everything that is not selected.

Here is the pommel cut out. This can be exported as its own STL file.

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When it comes to joining the pieces together I still intended to use glue, but I added some alignment pins into the model to make this easier.

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These are simply cube meshes that I subtracted from the model.

The “pin”, as I called it, are separately printed pieces and adds some structure to the overall build.

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I followed a similar process for the other parts of the model.


All piece fit in my Ender 3’s print volume (the hilt being the largest but can be printed diagonally).

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I had some issues with layer shifting while printing the hilt, but I sorted that out by tightening my belts and reducing the print speed as a precaution.

I think because of the long diagonal movement the vibrations from both the X and Y motors running at the same time was enough to cause the layer shift.

I was pretty happy with the detail the printer could do, and the only piece that needed supports was the hilt.

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Gorilla Glue… That’s about it. This stuff is surprisingly strong.


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See this part of the model. It’s actually supposed to be gold like in the reference image. But I couldn’t quite figure out how to use Meshmixer to split that part out. I came close using plane cuts but it wasn’t looking right. Ultimately I think I have to import the model into Blender and do the editing there.