Introduction: 3D Printed Logo (Name Badge)
I am designing a portable organ for Halloween and wanted to have a unique yet timeless name for the instrument. I wanted to have the name made into a name plate kind of like my first car.
Wait.. wait... why would somebody be wanting an organ for Halloween? Well I play live organ music every Halloween in costume. Very spooky for some people and that's my project. Perhaps you are looking for a new name and want a logo badge.
What's in a name you say? Think "Fender Stratocaster", "Corvette", "Apple", "Sony", "GE" I could go on forever. I wanted a memorable name and logo to rival the four organ companies I was influenced by: Estey, Hammond, Gulbransen and Miditzer.
Step 1: Organ Logos
The Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont. was one of the first mass market music companies of the 1800's. They sold over 500,000 pump organs between 1800 and 1955. Their logo was recognized world wide. The Winchester Mystery House has an Estey Organ in the haunted ballroom.
My first organ was a Gulbransen Pacemaker Custom. Loved this organ. It cost me about $45 and was a great organ until it died.
The Miditzer Style 216 is free software that allowed me to replace the failed internal electronics with a micro ATX mother board, running XP. This is a great sounding organ. And the logo is very cool!
Step 2: Picking a Name...
Remember in High School History class when the teacher kept telling you to look for "primary sources"?
The earliest organs in America were Reed organs with manual pumps. I did some search on Wikipedia for Pump Organ to see the original organ names. One of the first names that stood out was Harmonium. In a flash of brilliance I immediately thought "MOAN!" like a Halloween Monster moaning... Harmoanium (TM). Harmoanium is now a Trademark of LA Fear (my creepy music book publishing company).
A quick search of Google showed me that there were no companies or websites named "Harmoanium.com"
Straight to Go Daddy for an official search and I confirmed the name was available. I registered it and $12.71 later I owned "harmoanium.com"
Step 3: Choosing a "commercial Friendly" Font for My Logo..
Because this is a commercial project (come, on I can dream can't I?) I wanted to use a free commercial font, that allows logo creation, that was a script that had that 1960's cool sign vibe.
This beautiful font was created by a very talented type designer from Washington State, Laura Worthington. I included a sample of a couple of her fonts in the images .
I used the test drive feature, entered "Harmoanium" and it looked great. I saved the image. Now I could start working on the 3D model.
Step 4: Convert to SVG
In order to make a 3D model of the logo we need to convert the image from a jpg to an svg. I used the Online-Convert.com site to make the conversion. Just accept the defaults. The SVG stands for "Scale-able Vector Graphic". This lets the image be scaled up or down without jaggies.
Step 5: Create the 3D Badge Model
TinkerCAD is a free 3D Modeling website by Autodesk that can import an SVG file and convert it into a 3D Model. I imported the model at 30% so the finished model would be about 5 inches wide. I then adjusted the thickness to about 4mm. Then I added some rods.
The two choices for printing are PLA and ABS. I plan on printing the finished badge using ABS plastic. There will be holes drilled into the organ and the rods will stick through. Heat the ends with a soldering iron and they will melt into a nice ball and hold the badge nicely. I know some of you may be saying "How can you melt ABS?" or "Why don't you use a biodegradable plastic like PLA?", here's why:
1. ABS has a longer life so I won't have to remake the badges. PLA will degrade in the sun and become brittle. Replacing the badge in a year or two is not very earth friendly.
2. If I were to make a threaded rod the print time on a 3D printer would go up using more electricity and also necessitate a nut (using more plastic). Additionally as a 3D printer operates it releases fumes from the melted plastic (both PLA and ABS fumes are considered toxic). The more you print the more is released. So in this case to simply melt the tip is the most environmental responsible method.
Step 6: Print the 3D Model (if You Have a Printer)
I am fortunate enough to have access to a 3D printer (don't worry, the next step I show you how to order a print).
When you select your your model in TinkerCAD you can click "Tinker this" to work on the model some more. There is also a button that says "Download for 3D Printing". Click on this and save your model. I named my "Harmoanium 1.0" with the file type of STL. Every printing service and consumer printers can read STL files.
The printer I used is a MakerBot Replicator. I imported a model and rotated it so the pegs are up and the face of the badge is down. This is a slow process. This small model took 42 minutes to print..
The results look great! I am very happy. If you are not very familiar with how a 3D printer works click here for a great tutorial.
Step 7: Order a Print
OK so you don't have a 3D printer, no problem. TinkerCAD has partnered with several companies to let you send your 3d model and have it printed, The partners are in no particular order shapeways, Ponoko, Sculpteo, and i.materialize.
You click ant TinkerCAD sends your files. You need to create an account for each service. I got quotes from Sculpteo for $16.56 and from i.materialize for $12.77. Both services would be plus shipping. The others were comparably prices.
There is also another option called 3D Hubs. This is a network of 6,506 local businesses who offer 3D printing services. The process worked like this:
A. I uploaded my Harmoanium 1.0 STL file and entered my zip code.
B. 3D Hub analyzed the file and determined it was suitable for FDM printing (the least expensive method)
C. I was presented with a list of local companies and choose one on the way home called Kinetisys in Irvine CA. They emailed me a payment link then printed my part. The guys at Kinetisys in Irvine were absolutely great.
D. I picked up the finished part the next day.
Seriously it couldn't have been easier. I had this printed in blue. Take a look at the quality, beautiful. Eric at Kinetisys even gave me a secret "Use a Q-tip and dip it in acetone and rub it on the edges to smooth out everything."So there you have it. There is no reason you can't start designing and printing logos.
Step 8: And the Final Price Tag Is?
I try to use free software whenever possible in my creative ventures.
- Google Name Research = FREE
- GoDaddy Domain Search = FREE
- GoDaddy Domain Registration = $12.17
- Additional Privacy Services = N/A (I have a PO Box for that)
- FontSquirel Commericial Font Search = FREE
- Milkshake font = FREE
- Online-Convert.com (JPG -> SVG) = FREE
- TinkerCAD = FREE
- 3D Hubs Printing = $7.62
- Shipping = FREE
- Total cost = $19.79
Each additional 3D print is only $2.62 when ordered at the same time. So now that the logo looks perfect, I plan on double checking the size once the organ is complete. Then I will order a larger one for the back of the organ (the part that faces the crowd) and a small one for the front above the keyboard. Since I plan on making a few of these Harmoaniums I will probably get 3 each. Imagine that, three 3D printed name plates for $12.86.
It was a pleasure sharing my first Instructable with you.