The same method can be used to make just about anything with a little bit of tweaking.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy, any questions are welcome.
Step 1: Step 1: Design
I chose to design my own statue using Trimble Sketchup however any program which exports an STL file can be used.
Trimble Sketchup can be downloaded here
To give Sketchup the ability to export STL files I use the plugin SKP to DXF or STL from here or a different one here
Copy the skp_to_dxf.rb file into Program Files/Google/Google Sketchup 8/Plugins file on a windows computer
If you are on a mac there are many online tutorials which tell how to install plugins in Sketchup
The statue design is based on the Greek Statue of Nike
The design must be a single group in Sketchup, then under the plugins tab at the top select the export STL option and set units to inches. Save the file somewhere it can be easily found
My angel of Nike design can be found here
Step 2: Step 2: Slice Model: Intro
In the next steps I shall detail the exact process of using this program to make a statue cut pattern.
Step 3: Step 2: Slice Model: 1
Step 4: Step 2: Slice Model: 2
If the model needs rotated slightly there is a button in the program to do that though the rotation moves in increments of 90 degrees so fine tuning should be done in the design program.
The next step is to choose the technique to cut the model out. For my statue I choose stacked slices as it gave the effect I wanted and maintained a lot of detail however you should experiment with the other modes for a different effect. More information can be found on the 123D make website.
Step 5: Step 2: Slice Model: 3
The next step is to choose material. There is a drop down menu under the manufacturing settings tab on the left side of the screen however your material will not necessarily appear. You can create a custom material by using the input panel along the bottom of the screen. Be sure to set the page size to the size of paper you plan to print the model out on.
Step 6: Step 2: Slice Model: 4
Step 7: Step 2: Slice Model: 5
Step 8: Step 2: Slice Model: 6
When you think the model is ready to export use the get plans button. This brings up a screen like the third picture above. Select PDF in the file type selection box to print the file from your computer, ESP requires another program to open it. Press export and save the PDF somewhere where you can find it.
Print the PDF
The pieces are individually numbered and if they look like puzzle pieces they fit together by matching the numbers on the tabs.
Cut them out in preparation for the next step. If you leave a bit of paper outside the outline it is easier to glue them down.
Step 9: Step 3: Cut Out the Parts
Cut along the lines of the model with whichever tool you like. For cardboard a razor works well, for plywood a band saw, scroll saw or jig saw works well. Each piece gets cut out individually and it takes quite a bit of time.
Sand the edges of the pieces to remove any rough spots.
Step 10: Step 4: Assemble the Sculpture
Step 11: Step 5: Spackle and Sand
Step 12: Step 6: Paint!
Step 13: Step 7: Admire
There are many possibilities for statue designs such as the ones shown above. The last one is a project I am currently working on to demonstrate my method of creating organic shapes in Sketchup.
Thank you for reading!