Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2D to 3D Print - Sparky the Fire Dog

I thought it would be helpful to show a second 3D print that originated as a series of standard photographic images.  This time I printed out Sparky the Fire Dog.

Sparky is a large remote control vehicle that fire departments use at events to help them teach children fire safety.  Here is one of the images that I took at the Montgomery County Fair (Maryland).

Sparky The Fire Dog R/C Vehicle

There are some interesting things about this subject.  For instance, aside from Sparky, himself, most of the features are relatively shallow.  Also, the crowd passing by means that the background scene changes, at least to some extent, in every image.  I was pleased that the 123D Catch engine seemed to be able to sort this out and find points with which to stitch the images together.  Finally, the light on the top of the car is semi-transparent and that DID give the 123D Catch engine a bit of trouble.

Here is the video that shows the resulting 3D object rotating in space of my first attempt to capture Sparky.  Only 6 images were successfully stitched in my first attempt.

Fortunately, I was able to go back to the fair and take another series of images.  This is the result of the second attempt.

As you can see, this one was MUCH better than the first.  And, it is this "Catch" that I used in my 3D Printer test.  Notice, however, that the light on the top still gave the engine some problems, creating some holes in the mesh.

Here is the final print done on my RapMan 3.2.  The Cube would produce a smoother outcome.  But, this is good enough to show you that it is possible to create and print a 3D model of real objects without having to draw a thing!

Sparky The Fire Dog - 3D Print
Considering the shallow features, the issues raised by the semi-transparent lights and the issues my current 3D printer has with the "Y" axis slipping, the result is quite remarkable.  And, it can only get better as the 123D Catch engine is improved, my expertise with clean-up improves and I get to use the Cube to create the final print.

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