Select the Modeling section of Maya, choose from upper left, status line.
Model a charm.
Using basic polygon primitives (sphere, cube, cylinder, torus etc), model a simple emoji.
Hollow Body or Offset Surface
If you would would like a hollow body follow these instructions.
It is better to do this before you boolean the eyes, mouth and ring.
Select Keep Faces Together.
View wireframe mode, hit 4
Right mouse to select all the faces
Select Edit Mesh->Extrude.
Move the blue (z axis) extrude arrow to the desired thickness, not too thin.
Select your object
Select Mesh->Separate so the inside is a separate shape.
Make everything invisible except the inside shape
If it is not inside out, use Mesh Display->Reverse.
Check the outer shape
Keep a spare copy of your outer shape in case you need to modify the thickness again.
Don't boolean the inner cavity. The inner shape should not intersect the eyes or mouth.
For the mouth,
Choose Create->Curve Tools->CV Curve Tool and Curves->Open/Close if needed
Select the curve, then go to Surfaces -> Bevel Plus ->
Under the Bevel tab
Bevel width: 0
Bevel depth: 0
Extrude distance: .5
Create cap: At start and At end
Under the Output Options tab
Output geometry: Polygons
Along Extrusion, Samples: 1
Again, make sure that all shapes are safely intersecting, being well into each other and not barely touching, for the booleans to work properly.
Use booleans between your shapes. 2 shapes at a time.
For the eyes, select the face first and then the eye.
Repeat for the other eye and mouth
For the charm ring, select the ring and the face.
Inspect your model for holes or flipped faces.
Select your model.
Choose Display->Polygons->Custom Polygon Display...
Under Face, check Normals to display normals.
Make sure that all the green lines (representing the normals direction) are pointing outwards.
If they are pointing inwards (towards the inside of your shape), use Mesh Display->Reverse to reverse your mesh.
If you notice any holes:
Use Mesh->Fill Hole to fill holes
Use Edit Mesh->Merge to clean up your mesh
Scaling your model
Adjust the scale of your model.
Each square in your perspective view is 1 centimeter in print scale.
Make your model fit a 3x3x3cm bounding box. (size TBA)
Exporting your model
Select your model.
Choose File->Export Selection...
File type: DAE_FBX export
(Do not use STL_DCE it comes in the wrong scale when you load it back into Maya.)
Uploading to Shapeways
Go to www.shapeways.com and select upload
Make an account, make sure you apply for the 15% student discount.
Select and upload your DAE file
In the Upload dialogue box, make sure that Model Units: millimeters is checked
Shapeways offers a preview where you should inspect your model again.
Check the scale and look for missing/flipped faces.
You are ready to print!
Look at http://additivism.org/