Picture of 3D printing on the cheap
As some of you may know, 3D printing is getting cheaper, but it's still expensive. And most prices for prints are based on volume. So how do you cut the volume of your print to make it cheaper? You can make it hollow (if you don't know how, I'll show you my method) which can take a lot of price out. But I have an item that at it's cheapest was about $43. If you want to make an item that sells, that's a little pricey for an impulse buy. So how do you cut out even more volume without a lot of manual work? Well I used a tool in a way it's not exactly meant to be used. I'll show you how to use 123D Make to cut as much volume out of a model as you'd like.

What you'll need:

Computer with 123D Make (free!!)
Blender (the modeling program, not the smoothy maker. Also free!!) - optional
A 3D model (If you don't know how to make one, you can easily find one for free online)
A 3D printer or printing service. I'll be using Shapeways in my example as I'm most familiar with them.
Filler - Anything that you can fill your model with. I'm thinking colored wax would be awesome - optional

Please note, if you'd like to make an even cheaper prototype, check out my instructable on prototyping on the cheap.
ramir01 month ago
I'm trying to make r/c car bodies what kind of 3d model files can I import to Blender, and how do I do it, I'm having no luck, my files don't show up when I try to import them onto Blender...
youknowwho4eva (author)  ramir01 month ago

Blender supports a few different file types. What file type do you have? If you're having trouble importing into blender, you probably want to find a blender community to assist you.

ramir01 month ago
It also says its not a valid 3dmk file. I'm new to all this. I don't know wahat it means...
youknowwho4eva (author)  ramir01 month ago

Sounds like you are trying to open a file instead of import. There should be a button on the left that says import, and from there you can import an obj or stl

ramir01 month ago
It also says its not a valid 3dmk file. I'm new to all this. I don't know wahat it means...
ramir01 month ago
Good stuff, how can I import a 3D modeld I have saved on my desktop to 123D make? Every time I try to import something it says "mesh could not be imported" import failed?. How can I overcome this. I need help.
afhaque892 years ago
Seriously fantastic tutorial man. I can't tell you how much of a difference this little trick makes.... One thing I'd recommend others using this tactic is that if you're designing parts to fit into one another, just play around the parameters or your design. It's usually possible to get the right slicing so that the joints still fit perfectly.
Tomdf2 years ago
I bet you could fill that with foam filler, add a few layers of bondo and paint, and then polish it to a super clean finish. One could print skeletons for all kinds of sculpture with this technique! I'm getting tons of ideas on how to use this, ty :D
This is incredibly clever, especially for making test pieces!