Turn a logo into a 3D printed object

Turn a logo into a 3D printed object

After the last post about how I turned the Computer Society logo into a key ring (Here), I thought I’d go through the process of turning a logo into a 3D printed object in more detail.

First you need to find a good quality version of the logo (I’m going to use the crest of my university).

Take the image into Adobe Illustrator and run “Image Trace”, The settings I used were configured to simplify the design and make it clearer. I would suggest just playing with the values until the result looks good. I would recommend using the “Black and White” profile and make sure to tick ignore white and untick create strokes. Then expand the result.

Export the logo as an “AutoCAD Interchange File (*.DXF)” this is a vector file that can be imported into SolidWorks.

The logo needs something to be cut into or extruded from so we will get the outline of the logo and add a stroke to it.

In order to create a shape from the object we need to select the pat and run Object->Path->Outline Stroke, Object->Expand Appearance and Object->Expand. In order to create a fully defined shape.

We need a solid shape so I drew a rectangle in the empty space and used the Unite Pathfinder tool (Window->Pathfinder) to join the rectangle and the outline.

Export the shape as a .DXF.

Import the body .DXF file into a SolidWorks sketch (Drag & Drop), I would suggest drawing a construction line the same width or height that you want the object to be so that you can gauge the size that you need the “block” to be. Change ratio until the size fits the reference line it will usually be small enough for example the ratio I used to get a 50mm object was 0.02. The body can then be extruded after it has been finished.

The design is imported and done the same way as the body was done. Because this logo is very intricate I had to modify the sketch that was imported in order to fix some “Zero Thickness Errors” and make it more suitable for 3D printing. The design can be cut or extruded from the body.

The finished object can be seen below. In order to 3D print it you would just save it as an STL file and slice that.

This design is quite intricate and may not print well due to the 0.4mm tolerance on my ANET A8 but it does show how to take a logo from a 2D picture to a 3D object.

(Unfortunately I didn’t get time to print the design before this was published, but it was the same process that I used for the keyrings which can be seen in a previous post)


As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask,


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