In reality this started several years ago, with an idea I had with no way to implement. I've been using 3D printing for a while now, but even the most inexpensive material can be costly. I wanted to be able to print cut outs on paper to build a model using paper. But paper isn't cheap either. And how do you slice your model? I'm no programmer. In comes 123D Make. You can slice, you can make interlocking structures, and then print it out or send the file off to be produced. So you could send it off to Ponoko and have them cut it out with lasers and send it to you. But it's still not cheap, and who wants to wait that long to find out you forgot an important detail? So I'll show you how I did it on the cheapest of cheap, and had my item built by the next day.
What you'll need:
A computer with 123D Make (it's free!!!)
A material, I used corrugated cardboard, Easy to find for free.
Hot glue gun and hot glue. Unless you plan to use it all the time, go to the dollar store and get the gun and glue for a few bucks
Scissors, you really don't have a pair of scissors? I'd get a decent pair that is sharp enough to slice through some cardboard. You could use an exacto knife if you'd like
A 3D file. If you don't know how to make one, you can easily find one for free online.
Step 1: Import your model into 123D Make
So you have your file. Is it an OBJ? Well it has to be for 123D Make. If it's not, it shouldn't be hard to get it there. As long as it's an open file type you should be able to import it into Blender, Netfabb, or Meshlab (all free programs) and be able to export it out to OBJ. Now that you have your OBJ open up 123D Make and import it. There is a button on the left that says Import..., click that and select the file. Once it's uploaded, you'll be able to select your Construction Technique. Play with them all, see what looks best and works for you. For my example, I used Stacked Slices as the item was to project sound and I wanted it to be as closed as possible. Now you can set up your material.