Introduction: Introduction to 3d Modeling by Making a Sonic Screwdriver(no Previous Experience With Modeling Softwares Required)

In this I will show you how to 3d model and 3d print your own custom doctor who screwdriver without any previous experience in 3d modeling!

The materials you will need for this are: a computer, a 3d modeling software similar to autodesk inventor(the one that I use in this video, you can use it for free if you are a student, or if you aren't a student and you don't have access to autodesk I would recommend using OnShape, which is browser based and completely free), and access to a 3d printer(you can use one at shops like 8 days a week, where you can pay to 3d print things).

Step 1: Making Your Sketch


First you want to start a 2d sketch, to do this click on the icon that says 2d sketch in the top left corner of your screen, when you do this a bunch of work planes will show up(the orange rectangles), click on one of those and it will give you a sketch screen.

From here you want to select the rectangle tool, and click and drag to create a rectangle. It does not matter what size or shape you make it, we can change that.

You then want to select the Dimension tool, and click the top of the square and make it 0.75 inches wide(the thinnest point on the grip will be this, so if you feel like you want a smaller or larger grip you can change this as needed, I just set 0.75 for myself.) Then using the dimension tool again set the height of the rectangle to be 5 inches(again, you can change this if you want, this will be however tall the part of the screwdriver you grip is, I changed it to 5 inches because I think that it will be most comfortable for me).

Right-click and then hit OK. Then right click the dimension on the top of the rectangle and click delete, the width of the rectangle will stay the same, but now you have the ability to right right click the line on the left of the rectangle and click delete. Then go and select the arc tool on toolbar and drag an arc from the top left edge of the rectangle to the bottom left edge, click, then an arc will show up, drag your mouse right until the arc is in the middle of the rectangle(or however far inwards you want it, this will become the grip), and then click.

Now here's where things get really customizeable, if you are not familiar with how to use inventor or similar programs go ahead and create a new document to play around with sketch mode for a bit if you need to to get a feel for it, though after using those basic tools you should have a minor understanding for how you use sketch mode, go ahead over to the 3d model tab thats in the upper left corner, and click revolve.

After you click revolve, click on the sketch you just made, and then click on the right side of the start of the grip.You will see something like this, this is how we are creating the base part of our sonic screwdriver, now, right now it looks like nothing but a grip, so hit cancel.

Now go into sketch mode and play around with a design you would like to revolve. You could copy my design or you can create your own if you feel like it,

Once you have a design go ahead and click revolve, make sure the entire sketch is selected and make sure to highlight the axis(the far right side) I based my design off of the eleventh doctors sonic screwdriver!

Step 2: 3D Modeling

Of course, we aren't done yet! No where near, that was the easy part!

On the top bar there will be a tool called “plane”, click that

and then you will see on the bar to the left of the screen there will be some files, click the + sign next to Origin and 3 planes and 3 axis will show up, when you hover over a plane it will show up on your screen, select one of the planes that is parallel to the side of the screwdriver, like this: , when you double click on the plane with the plane tool seleted and the side of the screwdriver selected you should get something called a work plane, the corners of this blue plane should be highlighted, if you drag click right now you can move the plane up and down(you will see a grey copy of the plane moving up and down, not the actual plane yet), drag it upwards so that it is slightly inside the edge of the sonic screwdriver, like this:

When you get the plane slightly inside this go ahead and click the checkmark underneath the box that says “_____ in”

Now go ahead and click : start 2d sketch: and select the line tool, find a line on the revolved part and hover over it trying to get as close to the center as possible, when you are close to the center it will create a little green dot you can click on that puts the line exactly in the center, and pull the line up to the top of the sonic screwdriver:

Place the line and then click the arrow underneath rectangle, and select 2 point center rectangle:

Now what we are making here are the little knobs on the end of the sonic screwdriver, so you want to drag the rectangle to where on the sonic screwdriver you want those stick things.

After placing the rectangle go over into the 3d model tab and click extrude

Click the checkmark when you get the desired width of the nutt grabber thingy Right-click the work plane you extruded from and uncheckmark visibility to get that out of the way.

Now click “start 2d sketch” and click on the side of the grabber thingy, and create this pattern or one that is similar if you wish, and make sure to also create a box that is the exact dimensions as the grabber-thing’s side(you can do so by using the rectangle tool, move your cursor close enough to the corner that the corner of the grabber-thing highlights, and then drag it to the opposite corner)

Now go over to 3d model and click extrude, and click the areas of it that are outside the pattern. Then you want to look at the printer symbol things and click on the second one down, hovering over it should say “cut”, after selecting cut look at the icons of arrows coming out of a flat surface, if it isnt already selected click on the second icon to the right, hovering over it should say “direction 2”, finally click on the bar that says “distance”, and change distance to “all”, once everything looks in order click ok.

Next we are going to look at the bar to the left of the modeling screen, on it there should be something labeled “work plane 2”, right click on that and check mark “visible” Next click “start 2d sketch” and put it on the work plane, and recreate this pattern or a similar one directly under the grabber-thingy(you wont be able to see the full pattern unless you right-click and click: Slice graphics)

After you make this right-click and uncheck “slice graphics” if you did that, then go over to 3d model and click extrude, make sure not to select the slot that i made in the center, but select everything else, and then make the distance 0.1 or 0.1, depending on how pronounced you want this, and then look at the icons labeled direction(they have pictures of arrows pointing away from a flat surface), and click the one that is second to the left, it has 2 black arrows pointing away from it and is labeled symmetric if you hover over it, when everything looks good click ok

Right click the workplane and uncheck visibility, we don't need that work plane anymore. Now select the circular pattern tool that is in the hotbar above under the tab 3D model, select the grabber thing and the flat thing that we just made, also on the bar to the left of the screen make sure to click “extrusion 2”, otherwise the grabber things will just look like blocks: Now click the orange pointer to select the rotational axis, when the pointer is highlighted just select part of the cylindrical part of the screwdriver. Now select the placement to be 3 at 360 degrees, or if you want you can play around with these to create as many grabber things as you want, for instance, for 4 grabber things you can change it to 4 and keep it at 360, for 5 just set it to 5, and again, 360, etc. And thats it, that is how to make a sonic screwdriver, mine is based of of the eleventh doctors but it definitely isnt the same.

Now if you want to make a sonic screwdriver that looks more like the third or fourth doctors’ sonic screwdriver, instead of making the gem and gem grabber things you can go over to the sidebar and click the plus next to the folder labeled “Origin”, then select whatever plane you originally sketched the sonic screwdriver on, and start a 2d sketch like so:

Then if your making a circle, draw a line from the top middle of the sonic screwdriver to however long you want the radius of the circle to be, and then from the top of that create a center point circle to a little past the base of that line so that when you extrude the circle it will be slightly nestled into the base, then from the center of that circle create whatever design you want. When you have your design go over into 3d model and click extrude, select the design and set the extrude length to what you want, also click the symmetric option, which has an icon that looks like 2 arrows pointing away from a flat plane.

I went ahead and repeated that step a second time to create a slightly more extruded cylinder in the middle(if you want to recreate the edges I used, there is a simple tool called chamfer that you can use from clicking the arrow below “fillet” and selecting chamfer. From there select whatever edges you want to chamfer

Step 3: 3D Printing + Painting

Once you have your model, you will need to 3d print it, if you don't have access to a 3d printer you can easily go to a shop such as 8 days a week where you can pay to 3d print things, your going to want to bring a copy of the 3d model on an sd card or a flashdrive, the people at these shops can help you 3d print something with no prior knowledge, but im gonna show here anyways just in case.

Before you do anything save your screwdriver as a .stl file.

So to prepare the 3d print i'm going to use a program called MakerBot, this is because I’m using a Makerbot Replicator 2 printer. First when opening the program I will open the prepare tab:

Now at the very top of the screen you can choose the type of 3d printer you are using be selecting devices: Select type of device: (insert 3d printer here).

Again, im using a makerbot replicator 2, so i will select that.

Next you want to click: add file, and the browse through your computer to where you saved your 3d model as an stl file, select the stl, i'm going to print both of the sonic screwdrivers i made, but at half size to save time.

Now, after importing your stl file(s) you can move them around using the move tool(highlighted with orange below) by selecting the 3d models and moving them around.

Now, your screwdriver probably won't be the size you want, but we can fix that, using the resize tool, now keep in mind the platform that it is on is the size of the 3d printer base, and don't quote me on this but i think each of the large squares represents an inch, by clicking on the tools icon a second time after originally selecting it you can get a menu for exact resizing, but you can easily eyeball this without the menu, by simply having the tool and the screwdriver selected you can just click and drag to size it up: Or size it down:

I went ahead and rescaled both of my sonic screwdrivers, im making the first one i made rather small and the second one that i made close to the size that it would be IRL, after you have the size you want I would recommend double clicking the rotate tool and then clicking “lay flat” in the menu

Next you will want to click: Settings on the bar on the top.

You will want to try and duplicate the settings I have here, and then once you have these settings go and click “ok”, once you have done that we can print it, you will want to go and click “preview print, your going to get a screen that looks something like this: If you are worried about the material underneath the screwdriver, don't be, those are a raft and supports, the raft helps hold the screwdriver in place during the print, and the supports help lower the chance of print failure, if it looks good go ahead and click “export”, and go and export it into the file location, for this step you will probably want to have an sd card and sd card reader on hand, as most 3d printers print off of a sd card, and save it onto the sd card.

Once it’s saved onto an sd card, go and and plug the sd card into the printer and you can start the print.When the 3d print is finished carefully remove them from the printer, as the base will be stuck onto the platform. Next you will want to remove the bases, again, do this carefully, because they are attached to the screwdriver

I just removed the bases using my hands, tho you can use stuff like screwdrivers and pliers to assist you as long as you don't break the screwdriver. Next are going to want to remove the scaffolding/supports, I found that the best way to do this is using a mix of tools, i used a screwdriver, some pliers, and my hands for this, when you're finished you will be left with some roughness where the scaffold was attached, so your going to next sand down the whole thing

After you have finished sanding it and it feels smooth or close to smooth you can go ahead and spray paint the screwdriver, and keep in mind the plastic is really weak, I accidentally broke the head off so later I'm going to have to glue it back on or reprint it:

And after you have spray painted it the colors you want if you wish you could add some black tape for where the grip would be. And now your done! You have your own custom sonic screwdriver, and if you feel like it or your not satisfied with your results you should be able to relatively easily go through and create another, as this was not just a tutorial on how to 3d model and print a sonic screwdriver, i also taught how to use the basics of 3d modeling software! I hope you enjoyed this!