Letterpress Design with a Slight Bevel
The default size for the grids in Maya are centimeters
Any type or designs should be drawn backwards.
Choose Create->Curve Tools->CV Curve Tool->
Click on Curve Degree 3 Cubic for rounded curves, use 1 Linear for straight curves.
Hit Enter button on the keyboard when you are finished.
Choose Curves->Open/Close Curves to close, or place last point on top of first with magnet
Add holes if you like. Draw them counter clockwise.
Select your curves. If drawn with holes, select outer curve first, then the inner curves to bevel with holes.
Choose Surfaces->Bevel Plus->
Under the Bevel tab
Select Create bevel: At start
Uncheck Create bevel: At end
Input Bevel width: .01
Input Bevel depth: .1
Input Extrude distance: 0
Select Create cap: At Start
Uncheck Create cap At end
Select Straight Out
Under the Output Options tab
SelectOutput geometry: Polygons
Input Along Extrusion, Section Samples: 1
Input Along curve: Span Samples: 6
Use Mesh->Combine to make all the parts 1 object
Make certain everything is not inside out.
Use Edit Mesh->Delete Edge/Vertex to remove extra edges and verticies.
Illustrator files can also be brought in to use with Bevel
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
When you 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!