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Yesterday I delivered one of the Big Ideas Generators Hands-on 3d printing workshops  for Madlab, This is part of a program held at libraries all over Manchester introducing people to TinkerCad and the Ultimaker 2 which is now available in a number of Manchester’s Libraries.

One of the attendees asked if it would be possible to 3d print a replacement badge for his 1970’s VW camper van, his particular model is quite rare so the badges are hard to find, and when you can, they demand a premium price.

Being the former owner of a VW T25 myself I immediately understood the issue and thought it would make a fantastic example of how 3d printing can help us hang on to our history.

So as one of the examples if how to design for 3d printing I decided to recreate the badge in a few simple steps.

1. First we needed to find the font that was used, a couple of minutes looking at Google Images revealed that what we were looking for was a font called WolfsBurg.

2. Having found the name of the font we were able to download it from

3. Next I needed an image of the text, I used Photoshop but any graphics package would have worked.

4. Now in 3d builder, a fantastic bit of software that comes with Windows 10 that nobody seems to know is there, we created a new scene.

5. Load the image into 3d builder using the “File”, then  “Load image” menu options.

6. Toggle “Inverse” in the right hand corner, then click “import image”

7. Reduce the height of the text

8. Add a cube

9. Stretch the cube and reduce its size to form the bar that holds the text together.

10. Finally the bar was positioned behind the text, this could then me merged together and exported as an STL file for printing.

There you have it, 5 minutes work and a 3d printer can help keep a piece of motoring history looking the part, so given the chance what would you 3d print?

The next Big Ideas Generators Hands-on 3d printing workshop is at Oldham Library on Friday 9th or March, I’m not delivering this one but if you are interested in 3d printing I’d recommend you book a place anyway. 😉

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