Introduction: How to 3D Print Text
Need a new name tag or a cool 3d logo? All out of magnetic alphabet letters, or play letters for your kid? You can now have all of these things and more with this tutorial. I will teach you how to print off all of the sentences you want, and any font that you have on your computer. In this tutorial, I will being showing you how to do this using the 3d animation program, Blender. Blender is free and can be downloaded here: http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/
If anyone wants my .blend file or if they have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that you are satisfied with my descriptions, pictures, text, and other stuff. Cool. We're all good? Great. Lets get started!
Step 1: Start a New Project
Open up Blender and go up to the FIle tab. Click on New, and then click again to confirm. This should clear all the settings and place a blank cube in the center. If nothing happens, it is because the default settings are already set up. Now we move on.
Step 2: Delete the Cube
The next thing that you have to do is delete the cube that is in the center. To do this, right click on the cube. This should make the cube outlined in yellow. If not, right click again. Next, press "x", and click to confirm. This should delete the cube.
Step 3: Insert a Text Mesh
Next we will insert the text or letters you wish to print off. Press "Shift" + "a" to bring up a list. Move your mouse down the list until you find the word "Text". Click on it. This should place the word "Text" on your screen. Click the scroll wheel on your mouse and move the mouse to center the text on your screen. If you are not using a mouse, use 3 fingers on your trackpad.
Step 4: Edit the Text
To edit the text to say what you want, the first thing that you will have to do is press "Tab" to go into edit mode. Press "Delete" until the word "Text" is gone. Now type in what you would like your print to say. When you have finished typing what you want to print, press tab to return to object mode.
Step 5: Edit the Font
Next, go over to the properties tabs on the right of the screen. Click on the "F" tab at the top. Then scroll down until you see the spot where it says "Fonts". Go to Normal and click the folder icon. This should bring up a window allowing you to choose the font. I suggest you move the font to an easy place to find such as the desktop. Select the font you want and click the top right button to choose it.
Step 6: Edit the Color
Next go back up to the top of the properties window and click on the pink circle. Go down and click on "New". This will add a new material to your text. Click on the white bar underneath the word "Diffuse" in order to bring up a color wheel. Select the color you wish your text to be. Click away from the color wheel pop up to close it. Note that changing the color here won't actually determine the print color, the plastic that you use will.
Step 7: Edit the Size
Next, scale the text to the size that you want to print, assuming that each blender unit is one millimeter. Scale it by going to the bar at the bottom of the object viewing screen and clicking on the line with the diamond on the end, not the one with the arrow. If you dont see this option, then click on the red, green, and blue triangle at the bottom of the object viewing screen. Next go to the text. You should see red, green, and blue lines with boxes at the ends. Drag these across the screen to scale the text.
Step 8: Make It 3D Printable
Next, you have to make it actually a 3D object, not just 2D. To do this, go back to the properties window and click on the "F" again. You then have to go down until you see the word "Geometry". Then go down a little bit further to find the bar that says "Extrude" above it. Click on the bar, delete the existing numbers, and place in ".25". This sets the thickness of the text.
Step 9: Save and Export
Almost done! You lastly have to save your project. Go to the File tab again, and click Save As. Change the name to whatever you like and click save at the top left. Then go to File again and click Export. Then click on .STL. If it asks you, be sure to export it in millimeters. You are now all done, and you have your file ready to print! iFive! Now go and share this with the world!