About six weeks ago, I designed a mug using Blender. Well, okay -- the end result is a sake cup. Anyway, I wanted to make something for my and Mark's tenth anniversary.
First I used Inkscape to make a shape that I could virtually spin into a mug. I knew from past experience that when I tried to make objects in Blender with medium-complex topology that I got a lot of weird edges and orphan vertices and mesh faces. Also, it's sometimes hard to know how thick everything is in Blender and easier to start out with a known proportion in Inkscape.
Once I had a shape I thought I could work with, I went into Blender.
I used Blender's spin function as a kind of lathe to make a mug and then I used some Boolean Nots to cut oval wholes in the side. (I'm cutting out the parts where I goofed up and made things that didn't work.)
Then I went to the Shapeways web site and uploaded the build... and I discovered that ceramic materials are, um, kind of expensive (but not as expensive as bronze, steel or gold). Ceramics are the only food-grade material they offer.
Then I waited. And waited. And waited.
When Shapeways told me the build was ready, I tracked the shipment.
When I got the package, it felt kind of light.
But I was excited! There was a lot of packaging. I was glad that the ceramic mug was so well protected.
There were about three layers of bubble wrap. Getting smaller; the reality of how big six centemeters is began to sink in.
And TADA! The finished product in white. This one's for Mark. I'm getting a black one, which --although identical -- was harder to print and has been delayed.
I'm psyched that this came out so robustly, and yeah, it holds a tablespoon of liquid. I'd envisioned sipping hot cocoa or maybe sake (if I drank sake) from it, but I'm pretty sure we're the proud owners of a very artistic medicine cup.