There are thousands of such 3D models on the Google warehouse. For the purpose of this instructable, we will start from Robert Indiana's world-famous LOVE sculpture and convert it into a unique piece of jewelry.
In the following steps, I will will show you how to use free 3D software to create a digital model of the pendant and send the file to a 3D printing service provider who will make a real Sterling silver object from it.
As a low-cost alternative, you may also choose to have the pendant 3D-printed in one of several plastic materials. For a small contribution to my funding campain, you can also get the pendant directly from here.
See my other instructable:
Step 1: Prerequisites
- Google Sketchup
- Netfabb Studio
As an addition to the base software, and to facilitate creation of the loop for hanging the pendant, you will also need to download and install the
- Torus Plugin for Sketchup
Step 2: 3D Design - Adjust the Model
- Download and open the model file from http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=227cf3bd83282eb9ba8aefa9b8c9557a
- Click the black arrow on the toolbar, click the woman's picture and press [Delete] to remove it.
- Click the model
- Click Edit - Group - Explode. This will remove the oddly oriented blue box around the model.
- Click Camera - Standard Views - Top. You are now viewing the model from the top.
- Click the Rotate Tool on the toolbar.
- Move the mouse pointer to the outer edge of the letter L. Make sure it snaps on the edge and click.
- Move the mouse pointer along the edge until it is outside of the model. Make sure the tooltip reads "Parallel to edge" and click.
- Move the mouse pointer in a counter-clockwise movement around the model until the model snaps on the green axis, the angle indicator in the lower right corner reads "~141.5". Click to lock the model's position.
- Click Camera-Standard View - Iso followed by Edit - Make Group. You will see that the blue box is now exactly oriented along the model edges and surface.
- Click Tools - Scale
- Click the green square in the middle of the model front
- Move the mouse until the scale indicator in the lower right corner reads 0.25, then click to lock the scale factor.
Step 3: 3D Design - Create the Loop
- Click the rectangle on the toolbar
- Move the mouse to a point roughly in the middle of the upper edge of the letter L. Click and hold the mouse and draw a n approximate square on that surface. The Dimension indicator in the lower right corner should approximately read 6", 4.8". Release the mouse.
- Click the Push/Pull tool on the toolbar.
- Click the previously created rectangle and move the mouse to extrude the rectangle into a bar which hits the letter O. Click again to lock the bar.
Click Draw - Torus and enter the following into the dialog:
- Inner Radius: 14.00"
- Outer Radius: 20.00"
- Click OK. The newly created torus will follow the mouse movements.
- Move the mouse to the upper right edge of the letter E and click to lock the torus there.
- Click the Rotate tool on the toolbar and re-orient the object. Working with the rotate tool may need a little practice and you will need several rounds to understand how the tool works. Rotation by exactly 90 degrees is easiest when you first lock the rotate tool to one of the three perpendicular edges of the letter E. You should also pay attention to the tooltips which appear when you move the mouse.
- When satisfied with the orientation, click the Move tool on the toolbar and move the object to the middle of the previously created bar. This again may need a little practice to understand the workings of the move tool.
- Click File - Export and save the file in the "COLLADA / .DAE" format. You may now close Sketchup.
Step 4: 3D Print Preparation
- Open Meshlab, click File - Import Mesh and open the previously saved .DAE file.
- Click Export Mesh As ... and resave the file in the "Alias Wavefront Object (*.obj)" format. You may now close Meshlab.
- Open Netfabb Studio, click Project - Open and open the previously saved .OBJ file.
- The file is not ready for printing, yet. Click the red cross on the toolbar, followed by [Automatic Repair], followed by [Apply Repair].
- Click Part - Scale and enter the factor to scale the model to about 0.85". The exact value may vary by the regional settings on your computer, but the factor is basically equal to 0.85 / length as displayed in the Netfabb program.
- Click Part - Export part - as STL. Another repair dialog may come up. Click [Repair] again, followed by [Export]. You may now close Netfabb Studio.
Step 5: Submit to 3D Printing Service
Both providers offer silver printing in addition to the more popular, low-cost plastic printing in various qualities and colors.
If you want to save yourself the work, you can also get the pendant directly from here.