How does it work? Read on for a thrilling example scenario!
(Alternatively, skip to Step 10 to find out how I made it.)
Step 1: A Text-based Adventure in 3D Printing and Alcoholism
You try to get up, but your stomach climbs up your throat and tries to smother your brain. You lie back down.
>Drink the water.
You are too far away from the water and you lack the coordination required to crawl.
You doze off again, in the hope that sleep will somehow solve your predicament. You wake some time later. Your head still aches. The hedgehog in your mouth has been joined by its unruly, even less healthy family.
>Remove the hedgehog.
The hedgehog is not a literal hedgehog. It began as a simile then became a metaphor while you were napping. It represents dehydration and regret.
You lurch to your feet and, after swaying on the spot for over a minute, you manage to remain upright. After another minute, so does the room.
> Drink the water.
You drink the stale water. It feels pure and cleansing. There is not enough of it.
>Go to the bathroom.
You stagger to the bathroom. There is a sink, a mirror, a toothbrush and a toilet which has been soiled in an unholy manner.
>Use the sink.
You put your lips over the faucet and fumble for the taps. The water is warm, but still good. You drink until you are dizzy. The vile taste in your mouth remains.
>Brush your teeth.
You squeeze toothpaste along the entire length of the toothbrush and, on your third attempt, insert the head of the brush into your mouth. You brush gingerly. With nothing better to occupy your mind for two minutes, you try to make sense of what happened last night. You draw blanks. You glance in the mirror. A message is printed on your forehead.
>Read the message.
Step 2: You Read the Message
Your car keys are at Penfold's Bar
Last night starts to shift into focus.
Step 3: It All Started With a Quick Drink After Work
Step 4: You Experienced Your Typical Four Stages of Drunkenness
Step 5: You Found a Place to Sleep
Step 6: Safety First
Step 7: An Exercise in Branding
Step 8: Somehow You Made It Home
Step 9: And Here You Are...
At least now you know where your keys are.
Step 10: How It Was Made
My three stamp designs were:
- A message to let you know where you've left your keys.
- A suggestion that you may want to reconsider your lifestyle.
- A recipe for a classic hangover cure, the prairie oyster.
Step 11: Positioning the Text on the Stamps
Once I'd positioned the text, I used the Extrude tool to turn the 2D outlines into 3D solids.
Step 12: Designing the Handle
I made the tabs on the rear of the stamp face by Revolving a 2D outline through only 90 degrees, then duplicating it.
To make everything into a single object, I glued it all together with the Combine tool.
Step 13: The Finished 3D Models
I exported each of these as a different .stl file, making sure that each file contained only a single component (for the purposes of fabrication, most 3D printing companies require that each file contain only a single object).
Note that the stamp faces were designed so that they would print in reverse, thus becoming legible when read in a mirror.
Step 14: Sending the Files to Ponoko
While I needed the stamp faces to be printed in high resolution, I was not so concerned about the detail on the handle. I therefore opted for Superfine Plastic as my face material and the cheaper Durable Gloss Plastic as my handle material.
I'd like take a moment here to praise the level of customer service I received from Ponoko. I was aware that if I made parts of my 3D model too thin there might be problems with the printing process, but I didn't pay too close attention to the exact dimensions of my stamps. Within 24 hours, I received an email from the customer support team at Ponoko not only warning me that my stamp might print improperly, but also asking if I'd intentionally printed my stamps so that they would print in reverse. The email was accompanied by detailed diagrams showing the exact points of potential weakness within my models. Color me impressed.