Introduction: 3D Printed Bookmark

Picture of 3D Printed Bookmark

This collectable is to work through how I 3D printed my 'BOOK' bookmark. This is a simple bookmark made out of the word 'BOOK' although I have done the same bookmark with names and multiple lines of text. The cylinder at the top of the bookmark keeps the bookmark in place while it is in the book, without adding significant bulk to the top of the book.

To have a look at this product in my Shapeways store - see here

As you would have guessed, I don't use my own 3D printer (yet), preferring to do all my printing through Shapeways (who are fantastic!).

I use a 3D design program called 123D Design, part of the Autodesk suite. There are many different design programs out there, the reason I moved to 123D Design is that while it is free, there are additional features and programs available through Autodesk (some free and some paid) that I can grow into without having to change systems.

Step 1: Step 1: Starting the Design - the Cylinder

Picture of Step 1: Starting the Design - the Cylinder

Start up 123D Design or your chosen design program.

Add a cylinder using the menu at the top of the screen. Before placing the cylinder use the toolbar showing at the bottom to select the size of the cylinder. I work in millimetres and chose 2mm radius for the circle and 25mm length.

The cylinder is placed vertically, whereas I would prefer to work with it horizontal. Click on the cylinder and a toolbar will appear at the bottom of the page. Select the move function and the 3D move function will appear. This allows you to move the object in three dimensions and also rotate the object in three dimensions.

Rotate the object 90 degrees so it is horizontal. Now move it down so it sits just on top of the plane. Cylinder ready!

Step 2: Step 2: Adding the Text

Picture of Step 2: Adding the Text

Now we are ready to add the text. Select the insert text (T icon) option at the top of the screen and select where you want the text to go. You can always move it after it has been placed on the plane.

Write your text in the box and select your font. Once this is all ready, click on the word(s) you have chosen and select the extrude option from the menu. I use a thickness of 0.7mm as this is the minimum for my chosen plastic material through Shapeways. I have also found that much thicker and it doesn't sit in the pages nicely.

You now have a cylinder and a 0.7mm thick word.

Step 3: Step 3: Bringing It Together

Picture of Step 3: Bringing It Together

As you can see in the first image, both the cylinder and the word objects are sitting flat on the plane - but we want the word to meet the middle of the cylinder. You can either lower the cylinder or raise the word - I chose to raise the word.

Select all the letters - they are individual objects now that they are in 3D - and using the move object tool raise the letters 1.65mm (2mm gets the bottom of the letters on the midline of the cylinder, lower it half of 0.7mm (.35mm) to get the two centrelines matched up).

Now change view so you are looking from above and use the move object tool as before, move each letter so that it overlaps with the other, so when you print your bookmark it comes out in one piece.

Step 4: Step 4: Finishing the Bookmark

Picture of Step 4: Finishing the Bookmark

Due to variations in font sizes (one size in different fonts will give different sized letters) the cylinder is unlikely to line up properly. I used the move object tool to move the cylinder along and the pull tool to make the cylinder slightly longer to fit to the letters.

Then, just to make it prettier, I selected the bookmark and used the materials tool in the toolbar to make it red - you can also make it metallic, wooden - lots of options!

You now have a complete bookmark!

Step 5: Step 5: Exporting and Uploading

Picture of Step 5: Exporting and Uploading

Using the menu in the top left corner, export your file. I use STL files.

Then go into Shapeways under the 'Design' section and select the Upload button. Find your file, make sure the units on the screen match the units used in your program and hit upload!

Shapeways will then check your file and tell you what materials you can print in and for what price. This model came in at $3.79 in the various colours of strong and flexible plastics.

You are now ready to order your new bookmark!

Note - my BOOK bookmark uses a different text and is not the exact same size as the one I designed in this instructable.

Please also have a look at my Shapeways store for more of my designs - Madasu design

PleaseThank you and let me know if you have any questions!


seamster (author)2015-03-18

Very clever! The cylinder at the top is a brilliant little touch.

madasudesign (author)seamster2015-03-18

Thanks seamster, often it is the simple things that work the best!