Posted in a how-to video here:
0:49 Choosing a Font
1:06 Blender the inadequate Intro
2:00 The “Fast” route that doesn’t always work
6:07 “Reliable” way
9:40 Deleting Inner Shells
10:43 Exporting to Shapeways via OBJ – No Texture
12:00 UV Mapping, Texture
15:31 Exporting to Shapeways via X3D – With Texture
Having now finished the video, it occurs to me that using a picture as texture would work very well with cylindrical or spherical mapping.
While in this video I’m focusing on printing at Shapeways, its possible to print at home – just export to STL. However, Shapeways uses a different process which allows for filler material which makes supports a lot easier for this kind of complexity, compared to the FDM process I would use at home on my Solidoodle.
Video captured using Open Broadcaster Software; edited down using Premiere Pro.