3D models are great gifts for kids and adults! Learn how to make a wooden 3D  model from any picture for a gift or just for yourself!

What did you make?

     I made wooden model of an Apache helicopter. I originally made it as a gift to my younger brother but thought I would go ahead and make an instructable! Since it is just a model it doesn't really do much except sit there and look really cool! The materials I used were a laser cutter (thanks to my awesome job! and boss), wood, and the Corel Draw program.

How did you make it?

     I am the new laser operator at the place I work (Creative Pewter Designs) and my boss gave me a key to the building and told me to practice making stuff and cutting it out with the laser cutter. I have started to cut many things and got the idea to make this when Christmas was coming up. I had not got anything for my younger brother so I thought he might like it if I cut him something.
     Basically, I took an image I found online of an Apache and traced it on the program CorelDRAWX4. I then made different layers for the model so that it would have a 3D look. I also added some detail to each of the pieces which I think made it look a whole lot better (my little brother thought so too!) After I had finished all of the pieces I cut them out with the laser and assembled it to make sure it all went together well, then I dis-assembled it, wrapped it up, and gave it to my brother.

Where did you make it?

     I did most of the work at home. But then when I had completed drawing all of the pieces I had to finish the rest at work and cut it out there. Since it was a gift for my little brother I brought it home and helped him assemble it after he opened it on Christmas.

What did you learn?

     I learned how to make a 3D model from wood. I wasn't following any instructions or tutorials so I had to figure everything out on my own. I also learned how to use CorelDRAWX4 better which is helping me greatly at work, this is very important since my boss is depending on me.

You will need:
-Laser cutter
-A program that is compatible with your laser (I am using Corel draw x4)
-A picture of the model you desire to make
-Wood (I am using 3 ply finished birch)
-Wood glue

Step 1: Choosing Your Model

I suggest you choose something fairly simple and nothing too extreme, for this instructable I have chosen an AH-64 Apache.
Once you know what you want to make, find a picture online or from a book that gives you a good front, side, and top view of the object. Having a picture of the top, side, and front will help greatly in designing your model. It's very helpful to have a "line drawing" of the image as well, I simply searched "Apache" into Google and filtered out the images so that it only displayed the "line Drawings" Below is the picture I used for the Apache model. Try to find the simplest picture possible, nothing that has to much detail.
<p>have you tried putting a small bearing in the rotor to make the rotor less wobbly? i did and it worked perfectly</p>
<p>how thick is the wood?</p>
Sweet dude! Now I all I need to do is to just save 3000 for a laser cutter. . . then. . .
Thanks! actually full spectrum has a laser for 1800, which is pretty cheap!
Yeah, that one looks totoally with a removable floor. . .! AWESOME! Which one do you have? That's probably the one I'd be getting, if and when I get one. But that would be next year when I get my driver's permit, and a job, which are really hard to come by. . .<br>
Check if there is somewhere around where you live that hires cutters out or a laser cutting place which (for a fee) will cut what you want.
Hmm yeah, I just don't have any idea where to start. I live close by Chattanooga, but I've never really seen any businesses that would even look like they'd have a laser cutter.
Maybe you could look through local classifieds or craigslist or something.
Im not sure what the brand is, but it is a 60 watt 18x24 in.
This is awesome! Please retitle it so that I may feature it. (And if someone else with featuring powers beats me to the punch, change the title anyway.) Laser-cut Apache Helicopter is a pretty good start. <br /> <br />If you're itching to make some cool stuff with the laser cutter, try using 123D Catch to generate a 3D model of something, then run it through 123D Make to turn that into a series of eps files that layer to recreate what you initially 123D Caught. Or make Scoochmaroo's sweet Settlers of Catan game set.
Thank You, <br>Title changed! I notice I do tend to be a little bland when titling instructables. And I have heard a little about those programs and I think I may have to check them out!

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