Intro: My Daughter who is almost always gracious enough to print out something 3D for me asked me to design a crest for her students National Art Honor Society club.
How could I say no, plus it gave me a chance to really test the limits of TinkerCad at the time. Since I designed this they've added a lot more bells and whistles.
Step 1: Draw Out Rough Sketch
Using other crests/shields/coat of arms as inspiration I drew out a rough sketch on lined paper. I wanted to incorporate the iconic Presentation Academy Tower that is part of their school and logo. So the tower has a dominate presence in the design.
I added an artist palette at the top with a pen/pencil/brush. Placed a shield behind it all and enhanced it with a recessed design in the center of the shield to give it more depth.
I placed some floral filigrees along the top of the shield as well. Plus added the downward arched ribbon with Academy at the bottom. And of course put Presentation across the top portion of the shield to finish it off. With a few other tidbits and flourishes here and there.
Step 2: Create Separate Custome Elements
I knew a lot of basic geometric shapes in Tinkercad will but usable to complete my design. But some of the elements I've sketched out would have to be created as custom shapes then imported into Tinkercad. I created an Adobe Illustrator file and scanned in my rough sketch.
Then using the pen tool to drew out some of the more complicated elements. I did basic outlines for some of the elements to later be extruded. Other elements I drew single stroke but thicker lines to enhances other elements.
Step 3: Export - Import SVGs
Now some of the items needed opposites or mirrored versions. For example the floral filagrees at the top, after drawing out the basic shapes and then mirrored them to give me both sides using the reflect tool.
Rather than list all of the separate files I just labeled them to show the groups to be exported. Once I had all the elements grouped I set each group to separate artboards.
Then saving the file as SVG it generated each group of elements for importing into TinkerCad. Be sure to set to SVG and check Artboards: All. Or if you end up just needing to tweak an element export just that page.
Step 4: Import - Adjust and Merge Elements - Part 1
Once you've logged in to Tinkercad, and started a new design, click the Import button. This will bring up the import window. You'll notice there are three file types that can be imported. So if you have some other software to generate shapes it doesn't have to be Adobe Illustrator. Find and select one of the elements to import. Now I almost always use "Art" instead of Artboard. The scale is important as you may find the original .svg file size is too big to fit in the Tinkercad work area.
So in other words take maybe the largest element to import first. If it ends up being too big delete it and import again setting the scale to a smaller percentage scale. But once you settle on a basic import size be sure to use the same settings for every import.
After you get the elements all imported you can then start to merge and assemble the pieces. Since I used my sketch as rough scale and position for the individual elements, this kept them fairly close to the finished size I needed for the assembly phase. Shown are all the individual imports.
Step 5: Import - Adjust and Merge Elements - Part 2
I mentioned before that some of the basic geometric elements in TinkerCad would help me complete the design. Like the columns for the tower I used cylinders, and for the cross at the top. The cone for the tower top and the half sphere for the dome base, and box to do the grid work for the inner part of the shield.
By taking each element I adjusted the depth (or height) to give the crest a true 3 dimensional look to it. Adjusting some of the solid line elements to hole instead of a color then positioning and grouping with the other elements to add the accents or flourishes to each part.
For example the floral filigrees, the single lines I positioned and then set the fill to be a hole instead of a color. Position the element down into the other element. Then by grouping it gives the element a grove or knockout. You may have to un-group and adjust the position or depth to what you eventually want.
Step 6: Add Finishing Touches
I used the text tool to do the word ACADEMY for the raised ribbon at the bottom. Doing one letter at a time. I positioned each letter and rotated them until it looked natural along the curve of the ribbon. I then grouped an made it all a hole and lowered it into the ribbon to the desired depth and then grouped with the ribbon to create the inset look.
Hind sight I guess I could have done the lettering in Illustrator like Presentation and just imported it as a separate element.
I kept pushing, pulling, rotating, & positioning each of the elements into place. Raising, grouping and adjusting as I went I get to the point where I just needed some final pieces to finish. As shown its all set to white here in its completed state.
Step 7: Export and Print
You can color your grouped file however you want. But it doesn't really matter for printing purposes as you can spec whatever color your wanting to print it in. For example I originally thought it would be cool as a gold color. But my daughter decided to print it in the dark blue school color.
Select Export button. Then choose whichever format you know that your printer will accept. I exported the file out as an .STL file format (that is the format my daughters 3D printer uses).
They were happy with the finished result. And are now thinking of making their own badge ID's for the club.
I was pleased to do it for them and learned a lot by experimenting with the Tinkercad program. So if you haven't had a chance to play with Tinkercad, give it a go! Its free to design stuff. They have resources where you can send your file for printing (at a cost mind you). But just being able to design something 3D is pretty gratifying in itself. Have fun.