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Custom Cruising Ducks

We recently went on a cruise, and while planning for it, we discovered an entire community of cruisers that will hide little ducks all over the ships for people to find. These ducks come in lots of sizes and designs. There are entire Facebook Groups dedicated to this, and the guests (sometimes the crew!) enjoy finding them and sharing their finds. People can re-hide them, or they can keep them.


We decided we wanted in on the fun, so I took to thingiverse and found a great Rubber Duck.


Now, a plain duck would be okay. I wanted to add my own bit to it by adding the name of the ship we would be on, the year, and the cruise line logo. I did this using Microsoft's 3D Builder, which may already be installed on your computer. This was the result:




The original size of the duck was a bit too large to travel easily with, and we wanted to take more than just one with us, so we made a raft of ducks in different colors.



Custom logoed 3D Printed Rubber Ducks
Custom logoed 3D Printed Rubber Ducks


Let me show you how I added the text and logo using Microsoft's 3D Builder.



Import Object into 3D Builder

Download the Rubber Duck file from thingiverse.


Open 3D Builder on your computer. If you do not have 3D Builder already installed, you can get it here.


Open the Rubber Duck file by going to Insert -> Add -> Load Object


The Rubber Duck will load into 3D Builder.


You can move around the object by holding down your left mouse button and moving your mouse. You can use the scroll wheel on the mouse to zoom in and out.


The object loaded as grey, but I want to see it as yellow. Go to Paint -> Color and choose the color you want and then click on the object to change the color. Make sure to click the Checkmark that says Color when done. This helps me see the object better.




Using Emboss Feature for Text

The feature that allows for the text and logo to be added is called Emboss. To get to this feature, select the Duck object and then go to Edit -> Emboss



Duck object with Emboss feature turned on, showing sample text on object
Emboss feature clicked

The sample text of "abc" shown in the Text field at the top is what will show on the Duck. You can left-click and drag white sample text to where you want to Emboss. In this example, I moved it to a wing.


Sample text for Emboss feature placed in approximate location of real text
Sample text placed in approximate location

Next, in the Text field at the top, change the text from "abc" to whatever you wish. In this example, I am using the ship name "Rotterdam." You can also change the font, which will reflect the change on object.


You can left-click and drag the blue arrows to change the size of the font being Embossed.


Changed sample Text to Rotterdam and selected the font to use for the Emboss
Changed Text to Rotterdam and selected the font

The Emboss feature has many different options. I am choosing to turn off Bevel so the edges of the Embossed text and image won't be beveled. I'm also going to sink the Embossing into the object by changing the Z number to -1.0.



Changed the depth of the Embossed letters to -1.0
Changed the depth of the Embossed letters to -1.0

To complete the Embossing, you have to click on Emboss. You can also Cancel the Emboss feature by clicking on Cancel.



Cancel and Emboss options in 3D Builder
Cancel and Emboss options in 3D Builder


Completed Embossed ship name
Completed Embossed ship name

I repeated the steps above to add the date to the other wing of the Duck



Completed Embossed year
Completed Embossed year

Using Emboss Feature for Image

The Emboss feature not only can emboss text, but it can also emboss images. I wanted to take my duck a step further by placing the logo of the cruise line on the duck's chest.


To get to this feature, select the Duck object and then go to Edit -> Emboss


Next, click on Pattern and choose Load to select your image. I am using a simple jpeg of the cruise line logo.


3D Builder Emboss Pattern choices of Text and Load or built-in shapes
3D Builder Emboss Pattern choices of Text and Load or built-in shapes

Using the same steps above, you can resize and move the logo around to place it in the best location on the duck. When done, you can click on Emboss to complete the process.


Choosing Logo placement on the Duck object before Embossing
Logo placement



Completed cruise line logo Embossed
Completed cruise line logo Embossed


Export the Object to Print

When you are done with the object, you can then export the object to print. To do this, click on the hamburger menu on the top left and choose Save As.


You can save the object as several different file types, including 3MF and STL. I work with STL, so that is what I will save my file as.

3D Builder Save As options
3D Builder Save As options

Now you can print your duck in any size, color, or filament type you want. The sky's the limit!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you found it useful. You can use this for many different projects. Another Duck example is Jeep drivers. You can customize a duck for your favorite Jeep owner or make some cool and hand them out to Jeep drivers as you see them. Since those would be placed in a car, you may want to print them in ABS instead of PLA or PLA+ so they will withstand the heat better. If the Jeep is mainly just kept open, then PLA+ will be fine.






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