3D Builder user’s guide

Loading an object

3D Builder app start screen 3D Builder start screen

3D objects can be loaded using 3 different methods. One can either pick a model from the 3D Builder Library, load them from an external file or create a new one from a Kinect v2 Sensor scan (see 3D Scan).

Loading an object from a file can be done by pressing the Load image icon. 3D Builder currently supports the following file formats:

  • 3MF (load and save)
  • VRML (load only)
  • OBJ (load and save)
  • PLY (load and save)
  • STL (load and save)

Take pictures with your webcam and make them 3D, or use BMP, JPG, PNG, and TGA files.

Camera movement

Action Mouse Touch
Rotate camera Left button drag

1 finger drag

Rotate camera

Camera pan Right button drag

2 finger drag, 3 finger drag (with zoom lock)

Camera pan

Camera zoom Mouse scroll

Pinch and stretch

Camera zoom pinch Camera zoom stretch

Focus Double-click


Rotate camera

Object mode

Control Description Shortcut

Object mode

Activate object mode

Activate/deactivate object mode. None


Create duplicate of selected object

Create a duplicate of the selected 3D object. Ctrl + Shift + C


Delete selected object

Delete the selected object. Ctrl + X


Position selected object flat on print bed

Allows you to position and lay the selected 3D object flat on the print bed. None


Group selected objects

Group the selection. Ctrl + G


Ungroup selected objects

Ungroup the selection. Ctrl + Shift + G

Center view

Center camera on selected object

Center the camera on the selected 3D object. Ctrl + O

File mode

Control Description Shortcut


Activate file mode

Activate/deactivate file mode. Right-click

New scene

Delete objects in current scene

Deletes all objects in the current scene. Ctrl + N

Add a piece

Add new file to model

Add a new file to the model. Ctrl + L


Save model to file

Save your 3D model to a 3MF, STL, OBJ or PLY file. Ctrl + S

About this model

Change information about model

Allows you to change information about the model (for example, title and description).

Ctrl + B

Alt + Enter

Report a problem

Provide feedback to Microsoft

Allows you to provide feedback to Microsoft about a problem. None


Change scene settings

Allows you to change scene settings (for example, units and 3D rendering settings). Ctrl + T

Edit mode

Edit mode: General controls

Control Description Shortcut


Enter emboss mode

Enters emboss mode which allows you to emboss text or contour to the selected 3D object. None


Enter plane cut mode

Enters plane cut mode, which allows you to cut the selected 3D object. None


Simplify rendering of selected objects

Reduces the number of triangles used to render the selected 3D object. None


Smooth surface of selected objects

Averages the surface of the selected 3D objects to smooth it. None


Suppress intersections with selected objects

Suppress anything that is currently intersecting the selected 3D object. None


Keep intersection of selected objects

Keeps the intersection of multiple selected 3D objects. None


Merge selected objects

Creates one object by merging multiple selected 3D objects. None

Extrude Down

Extrude materials below threshold

Allows you to select a height threshold on your model, and extrude materials below this threshold until the build plate is reached. None

Edit mode: Emboss

Control Description Shortcut

Text emboss

Input text to be embossed

Allows you to input text to be embossed. None

Contour emboss

Create embossment from file or icon

Allows you to create an embossment based on an icon or a file.

Note: Contour emboss works best with simple binary icons.


Plane projection

Optimize for a plane surface

Optimize the embossment for a plane surface. Z

Cylindrical projection

Cylindrical projection

Optimize the embossment for a cylindrical surface. X

Spherical projection

Optimize for a spherical surface

Optimize the embossment for a spherical surface. C


Apply embossment

Apply the embossment to the 3D object. Enter


Exit emboss mode

Exit emboss mode. Escape

Edit mode: Plane cut

Control Description Shortcut

Move mode

Move plane in one dimension

Allows the plane to be moved in one dimension. R

Rotate mode

Rotate plane

Allows the plane to be rotated. E

Keep top

Cut object and keep part above plane

Cut the object and keep only the part on top of the plane. Z

Keep bottom

Cut object and keep part below plane

Cut the object and keep only the part below the plane. X

Keep both

Cut object and keep both parts

Cut the object and keep both parts. C


Apply embossment

Applies the plane cut to the object. Enter


Exit plane cut mode

Exits plane cut mode and discards the operations. Escape
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