9. February 2013 13:50
The 3D design tool I'm using is Autodesk 3DS Max 2011, this has the standard feature of creating cross sections of your object which is how I make the framework the panels sit on.
I first give the object depth so the printed sections will sit flush on the framework, then create the sections, no real science with this just as many as I feel are needed to keep it true but i do offset their positions so they do not line up with where my extruded edges will be (otherwise I'll need to manually take more off the outline in order for the sections to sit flush)
I then export the shapes to another program (I can't seem to find a print to scale option in 3DS max so I use another very simple CAD program called AllyCad) and print them out to scale (normal printer that is). With these I transfer the shape to MDF and cut it out (you could use a 2 axis CNC machine for this but a jigsaw works just fine)
These are then glued / screwed together using square blocks to keep it square.
There's a good youtube video about this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTg5kpzXkJg