Usually once someone has a copy your STL for 3D printing it’s pretty difficult to keep your name attached to it, but I think I’ve found a way to fix that. I’ve been kicking around the idea of physically marking my digital designs but hadn’t until recently found a practical way to do it.
I had looked into subtracting a logo or initials on the bottom of my prints but leaving an outline in the first few layers. Unfortunately this wasn’t always practical depending on your intended application for the part. So I took the idea of “stamping” a design into the bottom of the part and moved it up and into the center of my print.
Taking my username’s initials I sized the letters to fit within the structure of the print. The letters are 1.0mm in height which at my current layer height of 0.3 mm prints 3 layers of initials in the print before covering the top and continuing the print. Pictured in the header image of this post is a finished print that includes my initials inside. You really can’t see any evidence of my initials on the completed print so it doesn’t really modify the intended appearance of the peice. However if you’re printing the part yourself you will see my print “sign” itself with my initals about 25% into the print.
While this “digital/physical signature” isn’t impossible to remove I think it’s a good way for anyone from artists, engineers, and hobbyists to make their mark on their 3D designs. It’s pretty cool to watch this being printed as you can see in the video below. It’s almost like a secret message from the model’s creator. I think it would be pretty cool to see logos or initials “sign themselves” in the middle of more prints that I grab off the internet. It’s a good way to connect the cool object you’re printing with the cool person that designed it and you really don’t need to do anything to see it, it tells you who made it while it’s printing!