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.