Picture of Prototyping on the cheap
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.

grannyjones7 months ago

--or model the original in clay, and slice it with a wire. My son did that for laminated plywood sculptures. The original was small, and the final was scaled up. Sometimes quite large.

Hey the sliced clay idea sounds interesting. Could you post some pictures and details. Was the wire a manual cutting operation?

He did it manually, but used home made jigs to help keep the layers equal and straight. Sorry, no pictures available.

joexdobs2 months ago

If somebody was
offering this as a service at about the price range I calculated then I would
probably send them 5 to 10 projects just this month. I would probably have generated at least 100
similar size projects per year for each of the last 8 years.

You could paper mache the end product, finish it with some form of coating (ie fiberglass) then create a mold in which you can make actual plastic duplicates!
that's a really good idea! what is this part for?
youknowwho4eva (author)  amandaghassaei2 years ago
If you go to the last page there is a link to a video of the part in use. It's an acoustic stand for almost any phone. I call it an Acoustabowl. If your interested, here's a blog on the item from concept to reality http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/1529-Acoustabowl-From-Idea-to-Reality.html
pcgate2 years ago
Great instructable, just what I needed for a project. One thing, throw some light on those items! The add the new photos, the current ones are too dark. Otherwise, thanks!
youknowwho4eva (author)  pcgate2 years ago
Thanks, I'll look into taking some new pics today. I made this instructable with pictures I all ready had, and was planning to touch them up. Glad this could help you out. I'm considering doing another one using 123D make, after I test it out and prove my theory.
pcgate2 years ago

that was done with my phone, so you get the idea.