Ring Template for Shapeways

  • December 02, 2015
  • Blender 2.7x
  • Render: Blender Internal
  • Creator: BrainSprockets
  • License: CC-0
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Hi, This is my first model on the Blendswap site. The models are just simple rings. No real effort was put into the textures or anything like that. But I do think this project could be useful to others.

Most of the 3D work I do is pretty specific, and really wouldn't be of use to anyone else. But for the current project I am working on, I developed a guide for creating rings, that are properly sized, measured, and can be printed by Shapeways ( http://www.shapeways.com/ ).

This project began while I was working on specific stylized rings that can be purchased at Shapeways ( http://www.shapeways.com/shops/conundrumcomics ). In order to get the sizing right, I had to do some research, and in doing so, I developed this guide. This could save you time figuring out the different ring sizes, widths, and thickness.

Here are some tips for having something printed from Shapeways.

For these basic models, I didn't apply the subdiv modifiers to the models. I would image that you will want to alter them to suit your needs before the subdiv are applied. So be sure to apply all the modifiers to the models and apply the scale to the models as well before you send it off for printing.

Second, don't worry about high poly counts. If you have curved surfaces, you will need a lot of polygons. Every edge on your model will show up on the printed version. Smooth shading, dump maps, normal maps, none of these things that add detail will show up on the printed models, so don't even bother applying it to your model.

Wall thickness is a real issue with things to this scale. It is really else to model something and then find out you have to start all over again because the walls of your model aren't thick enough.

When working on a ring, I am constantly pulling out the ruler and checking my wall thickness. Also pay particular attention to details on models that you scaled down. Details on a size 10 ring might become unprintable if you scale that model down to a size 6 ring. I ran into this issue a couple of times.

Also wall thickness requirements varies from material to material so be sure to check the material's design guidelines for the specifics requirements of wall thickness.

Last tip for Shapeways, I found when exporting my model, the Collada .dea format is the one that Shapeways seems to like best. I'm in the habit of using obj files for use with After Effects and Video Copilots plug in Element. The Shapeways site says it will take obj but I found I have less problems with the Collada file.


  • marcusm profile picture

    This is awesome! And so helpful!! I'm definitely going to use this:)

    Written December 03, 2015
  • ericblender7 profile picture

    yeah. They might be helpful to more people out there...

    Written December 04, 2015
  • BrainSprockets profile picture

    Glad you guys like it. Hopefully, I can get more stuff up soon. Thanks

    Written December 10, 2015
  • reidh profile picture

    what about the .stl export ? I thought that was the best for 3d printing.

    Written February 13, 2016
  • BrainSprockets profile picture

    Hey, Sorry for the late reply. Here is a link with info if you wanted to use .stl


    I found it was a bit of trial and error when uploading models to Shapeways. The model would look nice in blender but when it was processed by Shapeways, I would get weird errors in the model shape. Their site has a good back-end tool for seeing how well your models will print up. It helps because when you are working at a really small scale it is easy to make something that is unprintable.

    So I just went with the model type that seemed to have the most consistent results when uploading.

    Written April 19, 2016
  • puber002 profile picture

    just what i need!

    Written December 10, 2016
  • themattpeterson profile picture

    this is an awesome resource thanks

    Written October 26, 2018