Introduction: Creating a Fancy Stand for a Hologram

My team at work recently received a really cool thing: a hologram made from a 3D model. It's really dramatic, but I felt it was not being shown to its full potential: we needed a way to display it.

I created an easel using 123D Design, made for 3D printing. You can see it in the 3d viewer below and in the picture.

Step 1: Concept Design

I wanted a shape that was futuristic (to go with the hologram), easily 3D printable, and that really made the most of computer based design tools.

My concept was to make a series of "blades" with a notch cut out that would act as an easel.

Step 2: Make the Segments of the Stand

Each of the blades is actually deformed dome, or half-sphere.

Here's how I made them:
  1. Add a sphere into the scene, with a radius of 10mm
  2. Add a box into the scene with dimensions of 40x40x10mm
  3. Line them up so that the top half of the sphere sticks up above the box
  4. Select the Combine icon on the toolbar
  5. Select the sphere as the target
  6. Select the box as the additional primitive to combine
  7. In the little pillbox menu, at the end, select Subtract
  8. Press Enter
  9. Voila, half sphere!
Next, deform it into the "blade"
  1. Select the half-sphere and then the Transform icon, then the Move icon
  2. Move it down so it is touching the ground plane
  3. Now select the Transform icon from the toolbar, and then the Scale icon
  4. In the little pill, select Non-Uniform scaling
  5. Adjust the size in each dimension - maybe 6x taller, 2x wider, 4x deeper
You should now have something that looks like blade!

Step 3: Cut Out the Notch

Now we're going to cut out the notch for the hologram:
  1. Make a box 40mm wide x 60mm tall x 7mm deep.
  2. Select the box and move it so that it overlaps the blade - you might want to use the side view while doing this. Select it by clicking on the view cube in the top right
  3. Tilt it backwards, about 10 degrees, using the Transform icon
  4. We want the notch to be angled forward too, so grab the Tweak icon from the toolbar, and now select the top forward edge of the box, and pull it forward
  5. Looks good!
  6. Select Combine from the toolbar
  7. Select the blade as the target, and the box as the primitives to combine. Select subtract from the pill menu. Enter!
  8. You can give a nice curve to the edges of the notch by using the Fillet tool - select it from the toolbar, and then edges of the notch.
You now have a blade with a notch cut out.

Step 4: Copy the Shapes

Now we need to copy the blades!

Select the first one, and copy it by typing Command-C or Ctrl-C. Now type Command-V or Ctrl-V to paste it. You'll see the arrows for moving appear. Slide the blade over, about 20mm. It should snap to the grid.

Do this again, 3 more times, for a total of 5 blades.

Step 5: Join Them Together

Let's join the blades together with a curved cylinder.
  1. Add a cylinder from the toolbar - make it 100mm x 10mm radius.
  2. Using the Transform icon, turn it on its side
  3. Make a box just bigger than the cylinder, 10mm high
  4. Just like we did with the sphere at the beginning, subtract the box from the cylinder to leave a half cylinder
  5. Move the cylinder down to the ground plane, and slide it forward so that it overlaps the blades
  6. Use the Combine tool again, this time to Join everything together
  7. Select the cylinder first as the target
  8. Select the blades as the primitives to combine
  9. In the pill menu, select Join as the action
Everything is now one piece! Yay!

Step 6: Print It

Use the Export feature in 123D Design to export the file as an STL suitable for printing.

Use the software that came with your 3D printer to prepare it for printing. This model prints well with very sparse infill and a high number of shells.

When it is done, put your hologram in it, and enjoy!

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