Need someone to teach me how to turn 2-D art into 3-D

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by skaman1, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    I have 2-D vector (.eps and .ai Illustrator) files that I need to turn into simple 3-D files for 3-D printing in metal.
    Can anyone tell me what program can do this fairly easily?
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
  3. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Shapeways' creator for this works amazingly well, but if you want your own software for this most full featured 3D software can do this. I've found though that Zbrush can do it best since one can implement numerous effects to the extrusion.
  4. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    Thanks for the reply. I was not able to create it in Shapeways. When I added a base it seemed like there was no option other than rectangle.
    Did you look at the photos of what I am trying to print?

  5. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    No. Can you direct me to the photos. I seemed to have missed that. :)
  6. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member

    Attached Files:

  7. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Oh ok, I saw this in some other thread I think. There are numerous ways to do this. And yeah, the Shapeways creator cannot do the extra steps at this time.

    I'll try to see if I can come up with a way to do it using free software since you want to learn how. Or do any of the readers already know off the top of their head how to do this? I'll send a reply later. :)
  8. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Ok, this can be done using Sketchup, Shapeways' Create 2D to 3D, Netfabb's Cloud Service and Netfabb's Studio Basic.

    First install Sketchup.

    Then install three plugins for Sketchup. An STL importer called Sketchup-stl. The instructions are here. A deformer called Shape Bender and notice in the instructions it calls for installing Progressbar.rb.

    Then install Netfabb Studio Basic.

    Having done that the workflow will go something like this. Check the design rules for the material you want to print in. Then design your 2D design in Illustrator or whatever 2D vector graphics software you use as you already have and then make a separate file that will be your elliptical background. Upload and extrude both of those files using Shapeways' Create 2D to 3D. Then go to your My Models page here on Shapeways and download them. Click on the text to go to the model page to download, not the edit model link. This will get you the two STL files you'll need. You can avoid this step if you find out how to import AI files into Sketchup. I skipped doing it this way cuz I'm not sure what's a good way to do this.

    So now import the two STL files in Sketchup and use the Shape Bender plugin with some curves that you draw with the radii that you want. The scale should have been picked up from the STL file that you made with Shapeways' Create 2D to 3D. If you want to know how to do just about anything in Sketchup just search Youtube as there are bajillions of tutorials on there for Sketchup covering just about everything you would want to know. Once deformed, position them how you want with a little intersection between them. You need to have them intersecting a little so you can weld them together. After everything looks good in Sketchup export it as a single STL.

    Now take your STL and upload it to the Netfabb Cloud Service to weld everything together and delete all of the unwanted polygons inside. What The cloud will give you is a perfect watertight STL that you can upload to Shapeways. You can do all of this in Sketchup, it's just easier to do it with the Netfabb Cloud.

    One last step is to import it into Netfabb Studio Basic and double check that it is the size that you want. If it is you're all good, if not use this software to adjust the scale. Now all you have to is upload to Shapeways and pick the material you want to print in. :)

    Let me know if you get stuck and we'll sort it out.
  9. MrNib
    MrNib Well-Known Member
    I played with the shapeways creator to try it out. Worked great with a slightly modified shapeways logo jpeg.


    But when I uploaded it to Tinkercad I got this:


    I'll assume the problem is at the Tinkercad end. Probably some non-standard file format issue or other obscure computer item.

    Has anyone else ever tried uploading files to Tinkercad?

  10. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Perhaps someone reading does, but myself I do not know the detailed operations of Tinkercad. Some things you can do are:

    Upload the file to the Netfabb Cloud Service and see if the resulting file makes a difference when importing to Tinkercad.
    Try posting the Shapeways STL here as an attachment so we can take a look at it. The attachment button appears when you are composing a reply, just below the text window.

    If we can rule out whether or not the file is errant we can then possibly start looking at Tinkercad and what to do to get a useable file imported into it.
  11. MrNib
    MrNib Well-Known Member
    I'll try Netfabb later tonight and see if that works better.

    In the meantime here is a link to the model page. I've made the model downloadable.

    Also attached is the file I downloaded and tried to upload to Tinkercad.


    Attached Files:

  12. MrNib
    MrNib Well-Known Member
    I processed the problem file through Netfabb and reloaded the repaired file into Tinkercad and it worked.


    The top is the file straight from the 2d to 3D app and the bottom is the same file repaired through Netfabb, both viewed in a Tinkercad file. It's nice to know that there's a way to get this to work well.

  13. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Great! I'm glad you got it working! :D

    Thanks for providing the file. Sorry I didn't get back to you, I had to go away for a while. :)
  14. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    I work on a Mac and it appears that ShapeBender does not work on my platform.
  15. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Hmmmm... That's strange since it is a Ruby script that runs inside of Sketchup. It should be platform independent. Did you remember to install the Progressbar.rb? Does it install at all? Or is it more of a functionality problem? Try using the free Pluginstore to do the installs.

    How about the bend function of FredoScale. See if that will work for you.

  16. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    I can't seem to get any plug ins to download in Sketchup. Frediscale looks like a Windows program.
  17. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Sorry, I've never used a Mac so i don't know much about that. Try these instructions which cover Mac as well as PC.

    If that fails, post a thread in the SketchUcation forum, it's one of the top forums for Sketchup.
  18. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    I have two .stl files that are flat art. I need to combine them, one on top of the other, then put a curve to both.
    Attached is file 1 of 3. Can anyone tell me how to do this in MeshLabb or NetFabb?

    Much thanks.

    Attached Files:

  19. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    Here is file 2 of 3.

    Attached Files:

  20. skaman1
    skaman1 New Member
    Here is a photo of what I'm trying to reproduce by 3-D printing. I currently make them in brass.

    Attached Files: