Jul 18, 2015

5 Name Tag designs for 3D Printing

One key benefit of 3D Printing is the ability to create custom designs aimed at a specific purpose or even a specific person. In traditional manufacturing, it's hard to get small quantities in the color and size you want, and even harder if you require more personalization - like your own name or logo or message as part of the product. This is where 3D Printing shines in comparison to traditional methods.

I wanted to get more experience working with 3D modeled text and to play around with some designs that I could offer to friends and colleagues - something more personal and unique to them. I decided to create some simple name tags - using my Twitter handle as the name.

The Big Curved Bird
I created 5 designs to start - but I could see getting carried away quickly with dozens of additional designs. These designs are mostly twitter oriented - and even with that constraint, there are so many small alterations which can be made to make additional unique designs.

The key feature of all these designs are that they must have a hole for a keychain loop. That's the only intended use so far, although small alterations could easily make these magnetic or pin ready.

Autodesk 123D design (still my main 3D Modeling app) has a text object which allows you to pick the font from a long list of about 174 fonts (!)... BUT... Not all of these actually render. I took some time to pick a few which have enough weight/thickness  and less detail (eg serifs) so they print well at small sizes.I'll definitely follow this post up with one solely focused on tips for working with text when 3D Modeling.

You can see all 5 designs in the pictures included here. The Big Curved Bird design was definitely the toughest of the bunch to get right, simply because I had to rotate each character individually. But overall, each of these was pretty simple to create. I expect to tweak these designs a bit and come up with new ones as I create some for my friends - so I'll post a new set of designs. Comment here if you have design ideas you think I should try (or pictures of your own designs!).

The Big "@"
The Right Bird

The Negative @Bird

The Basic Twitter Handle


  1. How did you create the bird?

  2. I used Google Drawings - pulled in a picture of the bird - traced it with the polyline tool, then exported as SVG... then pulled that into Autodesk 123D Design. I describe this process in another post: