Drawing 3D Text / Initials on Top of the Heart Pendant / Keychain in 123D

If you haven't yet done the fist part of this tutorial to create the base shape go here: Making a Customized Heart Pendant (or key chain! or dog tag!) in Stainless Steel - with 123D and Ponoko’s Personal Factory.



Now that you’ve finished with the initial heart tutorial, it’s now time to customize your 3d model even more with some text.

Go to the view where it shows your heart (or other shape that you made) straight on. In this case I started from the right view.

The heart model I’m using is about 23mm by 20mm and 3mm thick

Drawing the Text
From here go to the top toolbar and choose Sketch > Draw

Draw the letters, keeping an eye on the ruler in the bottom right hand corner so that you check you’re making the letters more than 1mm thick. Remember you can adjust the shape later using the little white handles. I made my letters around 1.4mm thick.




When drawing you can put exact inputs within the text box, this way you can know exactly how thick you're making the letters.




*Remember a millimeter is a pretty small length. I sometimes keep a ruler near me when modeling so the huge objects on my screen don’t distract me from actual measurements.

As in the case of the P and the O I put in a center hole. If the hole is too small it may not print correctly, but you can adjust the outside of the P and O to accommodate.




Extruding the Letters into the Third Dimension
Go to the “home” view so you can see the model at an angle. Go to the top toolbar then Create > Extrude. Choose the letter you’d like to extrude, the program will automatically know that where I made a “P” and put a hole in the center to only extrude the surrounding area. To chose the P and the O at the same time I hold down the Shift key and left-click to choose.




*Tip: If your sketches disappear, they’re probably just hidden (shown by the X over the picture of an eye) in the drop down menu to the left.

I generally at least extrude 1.5mm or the detail may not show up (remember stainless steel goes through a polishing process after, so if it’s not extruded enough it may be polished away).

Combine the Heart and Letters
Go to Create > Combine. From the little blue drop down menu choose Join. Then select the letters, go to the second little green box icon (see below) on the right, then select the heart.




Finishing Touches
Of course, you can print the model as-is, but I always like to add a couple finishing touches, which are especially relevant the larger a piece is or the more detailed the material it’s printed is.

If you want the text to be smoother around the edges we’ll revisit the Fillet tool.

Go to Create > Fillet and choose the edges of the extruded letters. For letters this small (about 1.4mm thick) I’ve chosen a radius of 0.3mm.




Time to Upload
Go the the upper left hand corner of the screen and from the drop down menu choose Save As, then save as an STL and upload it to the My Designs section in your Ponoko account!



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