Jun 14, 2015

Gmail catches up to Google Docs - with a 3D Printed Logo

Showing off my 3D Printed Logos of Google Docs, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Classroom at work gets other Product Managers in an envious state.

"Where's the Gmail logo?"

I heard that almost immediately, and at every subsequent showing, from the Gmail guy.
Well - as I explain to the Gmail guy, the Gmail logo, as we all know, is two-color, so quite challenging for a single extruder printer.

"You figured that out for the Drive logo - do it for Gmail!".

OK - done.

The Design

The Gmail "M" is red and the "envelope" is white. I created small protrusions on the "legs" of the M which fit into small receiving holes in the sides of the envelope. I also created a base in the envelope so that the protrusions on the M could be printed flat on the print bed and not show from the back of the logo when put together. This also makes it so that the M could not be seen from the back - which may have looked good, but definitely not necessary.

The M is also made so that the top part of the M is higher - a larger Z depth - to make it look like the edge of the envelope flap... exactly as done on the 2D graphic of the Gmail logo. Otherwise, it's a really simple model.

The Results

The first pair (envelope and M) I printed were not a perfect fit by any means - tool lots of cleanup of edges on the M to fit it into the receiving space on the Envelope - but I got it to fit and made some adjustments in the model to give some more room for error (more clearance) without making the fit too loose. The red filament I used - from Ultimachines - also tended to be a bit over extruded and oozy - so there was more of a brim than expected. I also think the humidity had an effect on the day I printed this particular model.

The current version of the model prints well and is easy to put together. Looks great as a useless keychain ornament... You're welcome, GMail guy.

The Model

If you want to try printing this yourself, the STL files can be found on the Google Product Logos page. Warning: on my printer, the bottom layer is almost always a bit squashed and creates a slight brim which needs to be shaved down with a knife a bit to fit well into the white part.

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