For UMW’s reunion weekend I was asked by the head of Access Services here at the Simpson Library to come up with something to give to alumni. After playing around with all sorts of different complicated ideas I finally decided on making a simple keychain with the UMW logo on it. Initially I attempted to create my own UMW column logo in SketchUp, but this was my first time designing in the program and I found my progress to be far too slow. In the middle of my poor design I suddenly recalled that there way a way in Tinkercad to take an image and make it in to a 3d(ish) print.
First you’ll need get an image. I’m using the UMW logo for my example:
After you’ve downloaded your image you’ll need change it to an .svg (scalable vector graphics) file if it is not already in that file format. There are several websites out there that will do this conversion for you, I used Convertio. You could also build your own svg image in a program like InkScape.
Next you’ll open up Tinkercad and import the .svg file in to the program and choose whatever size and settings you want for the import. Assuming everything is kosher with your file it should create a nice like 3D file that looks something like this (this image already includes a few of my edits):
Since I was making these in to keychains I added a hole to the design in a corner that had some extra space in it and made the keychain a bit thinner (I was trying to keep print time down so I could print lots of copies). I exported the file out of Tinkercad and used the software that goes with our Dremel 3D20 printers to ready the prints for the build phase. The prints took 21 minutes to print (it feels like a lot of time for not much plastic, but there are a lot of holes and curves the printer has to deal with on this one). In the end I think they came out pretty well:
I think next time I’ll move the hole to the diagonal corner because they hang upside down once they are on the keychain. Also, I might make the print bigger or find smaller keyrings because the print probably weighed less than the keyring itself. Despite the adjustments I’d make in retrospect these were quite popular at our table for reunion weekend.
If you want to print your own here is the stl file: