My friend Kai started this amazing company called Tinkercad–you can design 3D models online and then print them out either using a 3D printing service or with a MakerBot. I wanted to try it out, so I decided to start with a ladybug. Tinkercad is a solid modeling tool, so I used squashed spheres to make the ladybug–a little one for the head, a bigger one for the body, and a bigger one split in half for the wings. Then a couple finishing touches–I removed some cylinders from the wings for the spots, and used tiny cones and spheres for the antennae. A little under an hour and it was all done!
There are a couple of options for 3D printing services; I went with i.materialise because I thought their site was the easiest to use. A few weeks later, a pewter ladybug arrived in the mail!