Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sculpt Tutorial #5 - Repairing Poor STL Files

There are a number of developing ways to create 3D objects based on already existing items.  Scanning, while expensive now, is destined to both drop in price and yield more useful results.  Another way that several companies, including 3D Systems, are pursuing is turning a series of 2D images into a 3D object that can then be printed on a 3D printer.

But, all of these techniques can have difficulty capturing things like hair or highly reflective surfaces.  This is where an application like Cubify Sculpt can be invaluable.  As a test of these capabilities, I decided to see what I could do with an object that I created several years ago using the beta version of 123D Catch (Then called Photofly).

The item captured was a hair styling manikin.   I sometimes use these to test new photo lighting configurations. 

Styling Manikin Head

123D Catch did a great job on the facial features.  But, the hair didn't turn out as well.  This is common in 2D to 3D capturing.  The defects in the hair made for a poor 3D print.  Until Cubify Sculpt was released I had no way to correct the problems.  I've been waiting for an application that could fix the head so that it printed well.  So, it was natural to bring it in to Cubify Sculpt and see what we could do with it.

Here is a video that explains the process and shows the outcome.

While we do not need to paint objects that are to be printed with the Cube 3D printer, I decided to go ahead and see what I could to color the head.  The painting functionality of Sculpt is pretty basic.  So, it turned out to be the most difficult part of the process.  My primary criticism has to do with the inability to make the bush small enough.  And, my primary suggestion would be that the developers add the ability for us to place an image, for each axis, in the background to help select colors and refine shapes.  What does help is to use the BLENDING function to create the appearance of finer features.  

It was a lot of fun tackling this one.  And, it encourages me to look into Cubify Capture to see if it will allow me to capture members of my family to create 3D printed sculptures.  There wasn't much point for me to attempt to use Cubify Capture before this because I know that it would probably have the same issues with hair, etc.  But, now that I know what Cubify Sculpt can do to repair that problem it just might be time to give Capture a try!

No comments:

Post a Comment