Customizing on top of Customizing with West Coast Customs and Airwolf 3D at SEMA 2016

IMG_1568You may have heard that Airwolf 3D was at SEMA this week in Las Vegas to introduce our newest 3D printer, the AXIOM 20. While at SEMA, Airwolf 3D Wolfpack Member Eva dropped by an airbrushing class at the West Coast Customs exhibit. Attendees at the West Coast Customs Academy learned airbrushing, custom paint techniques, and many other skills in car customization from world renowned expert Ryno Templeton.

Preparing for an airbrushing class taught by expert artist and West Coast Customs star Ryno Templeton.

Preparing for an airbrushing class taught by expert artist and West Coast Customs star Ryno Templeton.

Eva is not one to show up empty handed, so she brought along a gift for her generous hosts at West Coast Customs. She designed and 3D-printed some custom stencils to use as part of the airbrushing class.

Ryno with his new 3D-printed West Coast Customs stencil custom-made by Airwolf 3D Team Member Eva Wolf.

Ryno with his new 3D-printed West Coast Customs stencil custom-made by Airwolf 3D.

Are you interested in designing your own custom 3D-printed stencil? We have good news for you! Eva shares 5 easy steps here:

Step 1: Find the logo that you want to use.

Choose a logo for you stencil. In this case, we use a jpeg format file of the West Coast Customs logo. You will want to use an image with one color.


Step 2: Convert your jpeg file into an SVG format.

Eva uses this free website: http://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-svg.


Upload your jpeg file to online-convert.com and hit “convert.”


Your SVG file will automatically download.

Step 3: Design your 3D stencil in TinkerCad

If you don’t already have a TinkerCad account, get one now! It it super easy to model with TinkerCad and it’s free!

Start a new TinkerCad project. The first thing you will want to do is import your SVG file. TinkerCad has this great feature that allows you to import an image and to extrude it.



After the image has been imported, you will want to convert it to a “hole”.


Next you will want to drag a “box” into your workplane.


Resize your box until the length and width cover the entire area of the logo. Then change the height to 2mm. This is the thickness of the stencil. Don’t worry if the over all dimensions aren’t perfect at this time — you can always make final adjustments in APEX 3d printing software.


You are now ready to select all components on the worksplane and “group” them.


And Voila! You now have a stencil to 3D print.

In some circumstances, you will need to add little rectangles to hold the center of an “O” in place. In this case, drag in another box and adjust the height to 2mm, then make it as long or wide as you like.


This is what the final CAD model looks like:


You are now ready to download your stencil for 3D printing:


Step 4: Adjust and slice your stencil with APEX 3D Printing Software

Open up APEX and load your model file as an STL.


One of the great things about APEX is that you can further adjust and refine the size and thickness of your stencil.


You are ready to 3D print your stencil.

Step 5: Print your stencil!



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