3D printing a logo presents a wide variety of opportunities. You could make company Christmas ornaments or keychains on your desktop 3D printer. Converting a 2D image, such as a company logo, into a 3D model to be printed was once a very long and difficult task. However, with new programs such as 3D Slash and Tinkercad, 3D printing a logo has become easier than ever before.
One program that allows you to create a 3D model from an image is 3D Slash. This program uses the subtractive method, which means you begin with a cube and take away material until you are satisfied with your logo. To upload an image to 3D slash, you must first register, which is free and easy to do.
After that, the process is quite simple. First, you create a cube and adjust the size, using the drill tool to remove the material outside of your build area. Then you use the project tool to upload your logo onto the block. Finally, you use the chisel and drill tools to remove the material from around your logo, leaving only the parts you want printed. After this, you only need to export the model as an STL file to slice and then print it.
There are some downsides to 3D Slash. While the program is easy to use and makes modelling fun, it is time consuming. The more detail that you need in your logo, the longer it will take to chisel away all the unwanted material. Additionally, a Premium subscription is required if you want to make a high-resolution model as the lowest resolution available on the free plan is half a millimeter.
The other common program used to convert a logo into a 3D model is Tinkercad. Like 3D Slash, you must register for an account to use Tinkercad; however, this program is completely free, and you gain access to all of its features with your account.
The process of making a 3D model in Tinkercad can be easy or difficult, depending on your logo. To begin, you must convert your logo to an SVG file. This can be done by using online programs that are free and easy to use. Once the logo is converted, you can import the file into Tinkercad. It will automatically give the image a third dimension. You may have to scale the model to fit the build space, depending on how large your image is. After this, you may need to tweak the image to fix any details that did not transfer well. This can include adding or subtracting material to secure all parts of the logo to a single back or to add a hole to the logo which could be used to turn the logo into a keychain. After this, you only need to export it as an STL file, and it is ready to slice and print.
As with 3D Slash, there are also downsides to Tinkercad. It is more difficult to use and takes longer to learn all of its capabilities. Additionally, there could be some difficulties with different types of logos, such as multicolored logos.
Which Program Should You Use?
This depends greatly on your logo. 3D Slash will work better with logos that do not need a higher resolution as it works in blocks. This program will also do well with multicolored logos as you simply use the image of your logo over the model.
Tinkercad, on the other hand, will do well with logos that only contain a few colors. This is because, when converting to an SVG file, color details are lost. To create an effective model in several colors, you would need to have a separate SVG file for each color and then layer them. It is also more difficult to use Tinkercad to create a model without a uniform height. However, for logos that will have a uniform height and are only a few colors, Tinkercad is much quicker and easier than 3D Slash.
Tips and Tricks
If you have a limited knowledge of 3D printing software and have access to 2D design software, Photoshop may also be an option for 3D printing a logo. Photoshop is not as user friendly as Tinkercad or 3D Slash; however, there are numerous tutorials that assist with 3D printing from Photoshop. One example is Paul Trani’s video showing how to create a custom iPhone case to be printed.
You may also have difficulties while printing text logos. One common issue is when gaps appear in between the walls of the letters. Visit Simplify3D’s troubleshooting tree to resolve this or other possible issues. Or search for other troubleshooting trees depending on your problem.