Introduction: 3D Printed Signage
I acquired a space recently to work out of and turn into a shared collaborative space for my friends and clients. I thought that we needed a sign outside, and rather than have one made for me, I thought I would put the Up Plus 2 machine I had to good use.
After two tries, I finally managed to have one made at a reasonable costs using nothing more than an acrylic board, 3D printed letters, two cans of glossy spray paint and some glue. Instead of the hundreds it would have cost me to have it made by someone else, it cost just under thirty bucks to have it 3D printed.
Given that the final look is a little rough (which I prefer), you may want to opt for a more chic finish by using acetone for a smoother finish before painting. Enamel paint would probably be a better bet than paint in a spray can, but that would be a matter of preference.
With the exception of the PLA filament used for printing the letter,s the materials used are available anywhere, including hardware and art supply stores.
Step 1: The Initial Design
The initial design was a little disappointing, even though I was going for the DIY look. Letters were not lined up nicely. Looked okay for a first attempt, but I thought it could have been better.
Step 2: Up Plus 2
The Up Plus 2 from PP3DP.COM is a dependable machine if you want things printed with minimal fuss. I like it because you do not have to go through the whole process of calibrating and nozzle height adjustment manually. Their app takes care of all of that, which allows me to focus on primarily design and printing
What I did was design the letters in Tinkercad, whch is another great piece of web based software. A lot of people have contributed neat designs and objects (and the font I used in the signage). So all I had to do was tinker with these publicly available designs and add them to my library. Fix the size and orientation and save each letter as an STL file on my computer. It was then a matter of hitting the print button to get it sliced and loaded into the Up Plus 2.
Step 3: Finishing Touches
The acrylic board that I used was an opaque, glossy one that I got at an art store. Selecting the right adhesive was another challenge, since we used PLA filament to print out the sign. I could have used super glue but it would have had a fast setting time. Opted for contact cement instead, one that was well suited for plastics.
Did away with the tiny letters at the bottom by using the colour printer to print on vinyl label.