Blender, Ponoko, and 3D printing

I’ve been shopping at Ponoko for several months now and I’m looking finally to get into making myself.

As a first project, I’m looking to create a layered Acrylic sign (about 18"x6") out of 2 sheets of Ponoko’s 3mm Acrylic. My hope was to have the top sheet “engraved” all the way through with text and to put some EL panelling behind it.

I’ve downloaded and started playing with Blender, but I’m at a loss as to how to ensure proper dimensions, select materials, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Have you ever tried out Google Sketchup? It’s a very powerful, but very EASY 3D modeling program. Ponoko has even developed a plugin for Sketchup to make the upload very easy. You can download the full version (free) at