With this step by step guide, you too can make your very own custom, 3D printable award for any occasion! Additionally, you'll learn a bit about mesh editing using Autodesk Meshmixer.
Everyone loves to be recognized, from academic awards to sports trophies and fun contests. But, why stick with the go to designs and textures when you could create an unique award to honor your deserving recipient? That's where your creativity (and this Instructable) come into play!
Step 1: Step 1: Software and Files
If you don't have it already, download and install Autodesk Meshmixer. Next, head over to Thingiverse to download the award base, and another Thing of your choice to add to the top of the award (or you can model your own geometry using your favorite CAD program). For this example, I chose the Spiral Award Trophy by SteedMaker.
Step 2: Step 2: Recipient's Name
Go to tairt's name plaque customizer to create the name plaque for your recipient. To launch the Customizer app, press the green Customize button at right, and then mouse over the Customizer logo to reveal the "Launch App" button.
In order to make sure the plaque fits the base, be sure to set the length to 75 and the width to 2. Then, enter your recipient's name on the first line, and other information (year, date, award name, etc) on the second line. Press the Create Thing button in the upper right when you've finished, to download your plaque.
Step 3: Step 3: (Optional) Trim Topper
If the proportions of your award topper don't fit well on the base (long and skinny objects often have this problem), then you can trim your object in MeshMixer. Open your original STL file in the program, and then press Ctrl+S to save in the MIX format, which allows you to make changes without revising the original STL. Using the plane cut tool (which can be found by pressing Edit), you can remove part of the model by dragging the plane as pictured above. You can also click the outlying blue arrow to flip the normal on the plane, causing it to cut in the opposite direction. When you're satisfied with the plane's angle and position, Accept the cut.
Step 4: Step 4: Combine Meshes
Now it's time to bring the pieces of the award together. First, verify the scale and units of each of your STL's using the Analysis>Units/Dimensions tool in MeshMixer. Modify and export new STLs if necessary.
When everything is at proper scale, Import all three components into the same file (make sure you select Append when importing, otherwise each new import will replace the one before it). Use the Edit>Transform tool to place the meshes close together, making sure they overlap slightly. Using the object browser (if you don't see this, select View>Show Objects Browser, or Ctrl+Shift+O), select all three meshes at once using Ctrl+Left Mouse Button. In the menu that appears, select Combine to make the meshes one cohesive object.
Step 5: Step 5: 3D Print
You can now export the completed STL mesh for use in 3D printing. You're now able to print your custom award at home or using a service like 3D Hubs to obtain your custom award.