I am also taking Interactive Design for Museum class. When I went to Met, I was fascinated by Marble Column from the temple of Artemis and Sardis. My proposal is to 3D model the column that i saw in the museum.
At the beginining, it took so much time to get used with Maya software. So, first i used Sketchup to design my 3d model. Then after doing the Maya Tutorials, i felt like i could be ready to give a try to Maya. Step by step, creating from the scratch, i took me hours and hours to have the last model to 3d print. Also, i used my file as .obj to make it work in Makerbot.
Basically, it took so much time to create the spirals, i ended up drawing the spiral with Adobe Illustrator, exported it as a SVG file. Then, I imported it in Maya and also created another circle and loft as a 3d spiral.
When i had the last look. I decided to check the model with netfabb. I realized that i had too much holes. Also, i spent many times to find and merge them together.
When i went to the ARC, i scaled it in MakerWaver, i gave my first try and failed, because of the Makerbot machine, i couldn’t have a precise model that i wanted. So, i changed to other machine and gave other try to print it. And the process of 3d printing and the result: