Introduction: 3D Printing-Creating a Printable 3D Keychain Using SelfCAD's Drawing Tool

Picture of 3D Printing-Creating a  Printable 3D Keychain Using SelfCAD's Drawing Tool

In this instructable, we are going to make the above 3D Keychain for printing in SelfCAD using the Drawing tool and the Boolean Union. To begin, you need to launch SelfCAD software at www.selfcad.com. You can register for a one-month free trial and later pay only $4.99/m but if you are a student or teacher SelfCAD is free. Claim your free account here SelfCAD for Students.

Step 1: Creating the Base

Picture of Creating the Base
  • To create the base of the Keychain, select the Cube( Cube is found at the Basic Shapes Section) and position it to the scene. Using the Scale Tool, scale the cube using the following measurement. X, to 300 and Y, 5

    and Z to 200.

  • After this, we need to position the model in the center of the scene and focus the camera on top of the base. To do this, the position measurements should all be zero, that is X, Y and Z should all be zero.To adjust the camera to be on top, click the Top Option in the camera.
  • Activate the Drawing tool in the Create Section. After activating the Drawing tool, you will see settings appear in the top left section.
  • And these settings are The Edge Style, and in this, there are three options. Beveled Edges used to Bevel shapes, Sharp Edges this will give you one sharp edge, and Round Edges which will smooth up the Edges. Check the effect of each of these settings in the second image above.
  • Then there is the Corner Style. There are three options here also. That is, Square, Round and Flat. If the model is not a closed shape, Corner style settings won't make a difference because the edge tags are strictly to polygons.
  • There is also the setting for Fill Polygon, this fills the shape. But if Fill Polygon is not selected, the inner part of the shape will be empty.
  • Finally, we have the Decimal Precision Settings. The higher the size the higher the distance between points.
  • On top of those settings, there is the Width and Height Setting. You can turn the Width Settings off to allow drawing of a good shape and you can do this only when the Fill Polygon is turned on.
  • Height Settings used to find the height of the object when the object has been finalized.
  • On the top right hand-side, there is the move points Mode that allows one to drag the points in which you are drawing. Just beside it, there is the Eraser Tool in which you can use it to erase or draw points.

Step 2: Inserting Text

Picture of Inserting Text
  • Click the Drawing tool again and select the Text Drawingoption.Type your text in the Type section. In my case, I have used hello.
  • Click on the plane in which you want your text to appear and start dragging. Using the Move Points option, position your text in the plane. Check the video to see how I did it.
  • Then click the Check and it will give you the letters, as shown in the 3rd image above.
  • Make them smaller in the Y direction using the Scale Tool and then move them to the center of the grade using by setting the position of X, Y and Z to 0.
  • Focus the camera on top and then Scale the letters a little bit.
  • To draw our Maze we need to have the entire surface filled. So to do this, open the drawing tool again and put the Fill Polygon ON.
  • Then place the Fill polygon off and in the Edge Style select Sharp Edges. In the Corner Style, select Square.
  • Setthe widths to 5, and decimal position to 100.
  • Use the Erasing Mode to draw the sections of the Keychain as shown in the 5th Image above and finalize it.
  • Our Maze is ready now and when you see it well the walls are too thin. To widen then, we shall use the Fine Polygon tool found in the Region Selection tab and then Scale (Check the video to see how it's done).
  • Adjust the Base according to the maze using the Scale tool.

Step 3: Creating the Ring

Picture of Creating the Ring
  • We shall use the Drawing Tool in drawing the ring.
  • In the drawing tool Settings, set the Edge Style to Rounded Edges, Rounded in the Corner Style and make the Width to 20 and draw the circle.
  • Set the Width to 10 and select Move Points option. Click a place near the circle you have just created and move the green point to the redpoint.
  • The Ring is now ready and we can now move it.
  • Then we can now unite the objects using the Boolean Operation Union and click Apply. The Key Chain is now ready and to download it, click File then Download.

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Bio: SelfCAD is an online browser-based CAD/CAM platform which allows the user to model, sculpt, slice and print online. With SelfCAD, users do not have ... More »
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