Making flat 3-d looking logo, into actual 3d logo
April 7, 2014 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I am creating a physical 3-dimensional object from a flat logo (that looks 3-dimensional), help needed.

I am trying to create a physical version of this logo (can also be seen here) out of corrugated cardboard. My plan is to have the separate facets laser cut out of corrugated cardboard sheets, then taped together with cardboard tape.

Which brings me to the execution part, obviously I can't just send this logo in pieces to have it laser cut as is, because this is currently flat. I need to dimensionalize the logo and then take those facets and have them cut out to assemble. I am ok in sketchup and can probably have this redrawn dimensionalized in sketchup, but from there I am lost. How would I break up the pieces from sketchup and have them cut flat, also, the round corners are probably going to be an issue?

If you were tackling this, how would you go about it?
posted by Sreiny to Technology (7 answers total)
It might not be the best way to do it, but in sketchup I think you could build the 3D model, fill the areas, then cut and paste the fills into a separate document (all oriented on the same plane) where you can then print and cut out the pieces.

There is probably a more efficient way to do this, but it's the first thing that comes to mind.
posted by chambers at 9:51 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The round corners won't work at all with flat pieces, assuming you don't want to bend the pieces of cardboard.

I would take that text, put it in Illustrator, and the vectorize it (if it isn't already a vector graphic). Then just stretch each shape by a certain percentage width-wise. If you wanted the angle to be 45 degrees, you'd stretch the width by 141.4% (sqrt(2)). More if you want it taller, less if you want it shorter.
posted by supercres at 9:52 AM on April 7, 2014

(To my eye, the round corners don't quite work in the flat logo because they break the 3-d effect; you can't have a sharp crease where the base is round on a normal real object.)
posted by supercres at 9:54 AM on April 7, 2014

separate facets laser cut out of corrugated cardboard sheets

Foamcore might be a better material, and may "play nicer" when it comes to those rounded edges where the intersect with the sharp angles.

If you're going to be painting it after assembly, you might want to fill the gaps and corners with something like wood putty, then sand to get the best looking edge, then paint it.
posted by chambers at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

This looks like something I would mock up by hand first, then flatten and scan my pieces to have geometry to build my digital version from.

Museum board can be bent,* so try that if you're going to curve those round corners.

*Wikipedia says in one direction only because of the grain of the fibers, so you'll need to plan out the grain orientation when you have your pieces cut.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2014

Response by poster: Supercres, your stretching method is basically correct, and it's blowing my mind that the solution is that simple. For the vertical part of the letter, stretching horizontally works, and for the horizontal parts of the letter, you have to stretch it vertically. I kept the curves in, and they work (although they don't sit flush, but no big deal). Those little triangle pieces are their own problem, but I can figure that out easily.

Here's what it looks like flat, and mocked up.

Thanks all.
posted by Sreiny at 11:50 AM on April 7, 2014

Yeah, sorry. That's what I meant by "widthwise". Looks good!
posted by supercres at 12:04 PM on April 7, 2014

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