In this tutorial I will teach you how to use a custom font in blender and I will teach you how to use it with shapeways.
Step 1: Creating the Scene
Start by running blender. Click outside of the info box. Blender will automatically create a new scene when you start it. It should look something like this.
Step 2: Clearing the Scene
Next hit A twice to select everything. After you have everything selected hit X then Enter to delete it all.
Step 3: Adding the Text
Now hit Shift-A and a bar will appear. Select Text from the bar and it will create a flat text model.
Step 4: Giving the Text Some Thickness
Now zoom into the text by scrolling the mouse wheel. Next click on the F in the bar to the top right to bring up the properties for the text. Under the Geometry tab change the depth to .01 the extrude to .1 and the resolution to 10.
Step 5: Customizing the Text
Now you should have something that looks like this. But we arent done yet we still need to change the type of font we are using. So we will now go to the Font tab and under Regular we will click the button that looks like a file with paper sticking out the top. You will now need to navigate to a font you have previously downloaded. Once you find the font you are looking for click on it then hit Enter. I used minecraftia in this tutorial. If you want to change what the text says then select it and hit Tab. Now we can type or remove text just like on a document.
Step 6: Exporting the Model for Shapeways
Now select your text hit Alt-C and select Mesh from Curve/Meta/Surf/Text. Your object is now a mesh whereas it was a Text. Again make sure you have the object selected then click File in the top left corner. Go down to the export and select OBJ from the list. Now find where on your computer you want to export the OBJ and name it something. Once you have named it and found a spot to export you text hit Enter.
Step 7: Shapeways
Now go to shapeways.com and click Make + Sell. Click Select 3D File. Navigate to the place where you exported the text and select the .OBJ. Now select the type of units you want to use and click Upload Now. You can pick whatever kind of plastic you like and purchase it right from Shapeways.
Step 8: Your Done!
Congrats! You're done hit checkout with the appropriate info and in a short time you will have a physical copy of your model.