Introduction: 3D Printed Inset Drawing
This is my instructable on making a drawing or logo into a 3D model. It is easy to do, and requires only a day or two, but the results are really cool. It is cheap ($3), and looks really cool, even on a low quality printer.
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Step 1: Draw
This step is really easy. You can either do this on a computer, or on paper. I did my initials on white printer paper. Make sure all shapes either have thick lines, or are solid black, as it helps when printing your drawing. Initials work fine, as well as some logos. For me, drawing with a black permanent marker worked fine.
Step 2: Scan or Export
If you decided to draw your image, you will need to scan your image. The method to do this varies for different scanners, but usually involves opening your printer software, setting some stuff, then saving your scan. Make sure that it is set to scan as a JPG then set the resolution to 600dpi. This should be scanned in black and white, as this will help later. If you made your drawing on a computer, save/export it as a JPG.
Step 3: Clean Up the Scan
If you did your drawing on a computer, you can skip this step. For those who did a drawing, open up your image in Microsoft Paint, then remove any large imperfections, such as dots, or small lines. Then save the image.
Step 4: Make It a SVG
If you check under the import section of TINKERCAD, you can see that it only accepts STL and SVG files. The only converter that worked for me was image.online-convert.com. Click "Choose File" and select you file that you cleaned up earlier.
Step 5: Import SVG Into TINKERCAD.
First, make an account with TINKERCAD. Then, create a new design. Next, navigate to Import and pick your .SVG file. Set the scale to 10% and the height to 10mm
Step 6: Make Your 3D Object
Under geometric, drag the red cube onto the build area. Use the black dots, and resize the cube so that it is 3mm tall, and then adjust the length and width so that your imported drawing will fit. Then, use the large black arrow, and make it so that the drawing is 2 mm off the build platform. Next, you need to make your drawing a hole. Do this by selecting the object, then clicking on "hole" in the top right corner. Now do CTRL+A to select everything. After press CTRL+G to group the two solids. Once the site refreshes again, that is all you have to do for 3D modeling. I embedded my version below for you to see!.
Step 7: Printing
First, download a STL file from TINKERCAD. (Design>>Download For 3D Printing>>.STL) Then, Import it into your 3D printer host software(Repetier-host, Cura, Makerware), and follow your usual routine for 3D printing . I printed in PLA at .2mm layer height and 25% infill. I used 4 top layers, and 2 bottom layers. For this to work well, your printer must have the correct flow rate, as the top needs to be very smooth.
Step 8: Sanding
First, sand your objects face down as smooth as possible. Try to remove all the lines from when it was printed. Make sure to vacuum or blow away all the PLA (or ABS) dust. I used 80 grit sandpaper.
Step 9: Painting
You can use any type of paint, but I find that nail polish works the best. Spread the nail polish inside each letter, and try not to get any on the surface of the 3D Print. I found my nail polish for 50 cents at a $1 Discount Store.
Step 10: Sanding (2nd Time)
If you did manage to get nail polish on the surface, don't worry! Sand the surface, until all the nail polish is gone on the surface. I used 80 grit, then 150 grit sandpaper.
Step 11: Enjoy!!
Now you can admire your creation. Give them as gifts to your family members, or just keep a collection for yourself! I have made my Initials, a tag for our printer (the image one above), and a circular one for the name and room number of the classroom that has the 3D Printer.
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