Saturday, May 24, 2014

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids - how I scanned and 3D-printed my kids

The kids scanned and 3D-printed
Medio 2011 I bought a Xbox Kinect sensor and adapter. This adapter feeds power to the sensor and has a normal USB-connector to connect it to a PC.

Adapter to connect a Xbox Kinect to a PC
I did no buy it to play games with, but to play with it on the PC using the than just released Kinect SDK for Windows. At the end of 2011 I saw the Kinect Fusion presentation held at 28C3 about reconstruction of 3D surfaces using the Kinect sensor by David Kim, a PhD student from Newcastle University sponsored by Microsoft research. Since then several software products were created that did something similar. I have tried several and liked Skanect the best. It is not free software however. You can scan and recreate a model using the trail version, to save the model file you need the licensed version. To scan a model, it is better not to circle to much around it. Try to do it in one go. I thought: the more times I go around the model, the better. But that’s not how it turned out. The resulting file was big because there seemed to be a model inside the model. So, it’s best to go around the model just once.

Self portrait
I like the full body scanner rig they build at 3Dify. Hope to find the time and space to create one myself.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Align STL model to bottom plane

Sometimes I am handed a STL-file with a model rotated such that is hard to print on a FDM (Fused deposition modeling) type of 3D-printer. Like the heart in this model (created using
The model is opened in netfabb Studio Basic 4.9, which is the freeware version. For a FDM type of printer, most of the time, you want the biggest plane facing down. You can do that by performing following steps in netfabb Studio Basic:

Click the 'Align to bottom plane' button from the button bar.

Now rotate the model (right mouse button + move) such that the part you want to be facing down (the backside) is visible. Once it is visible, double click it.

Alakazam: now its back is aligned to the bottom plane. Save it by a right click on the model and select: Export part - as STL.