This is my own personal skull design, it took a lot of time to shape it into what it is, and there is always room for improvement. I attached the CAD files to the the CADing step, and the final STL file to the final step. This way if instead you wanted to add your own creative touch, you can modify it to your liking.
I can't express in words how much I love the idea of 3D printing and that is why that would be my ideal choice of turning the 3D model into a physical model however if you have a really nice CNC, it would be hard but could be possible, to make the skull out of a material of choice like foam, metal, or other composites with good material properties for being machined.
Step 1: Develop Ideas
In order to do this effectively I can't stress enough how important it is that when you start a project you expose yourself to as many worldly items as possible, don't limit yourself to researching what has already been done. Walk around the aisles of a large superstore, look at toys, household items, electronics, or even food. On your daily drive (or ride) to work or school observe everything as something that could possibly work for what you need. It is amazing how sometimes an item used in a totally different area in your life could be applied to the field of what you want to create.
For this project I started with Google's image search because my design didn't have to be functional, it just needs to be visually appealing. Where best to look for something that you find visually appealing, than browsing through hundreds of pictures and art? Several skulls caught my eye, in general finding dragon skulls themselves was a lot harder to find than I had originally thought. After browsing through both live and dead dragons I started sketching to get some ideas out. The two main features I had to decide on were the general skull shape itself and what type of horns and horn placement did I want to have. The main picture is what I came up with.
If you have a hard time with drawing or need a place to start for general dragon form, look here to help you get started.
The really dark spots on the skull will be material that is removed to take into account things like eye sockets and breathing holes (some are just for decoration). The dark-fading-to-light spots are there to indicate that the skull is indented and the indent gets shallower as it reaches the main surface of the skull. The horns are (poorly) shaded to look round. Then, I decided that for simplicity sake, I would start with the design that had the least amount of features so that I could get practice seeing how to make this form right in Pro-E the CAD software I used.
After I chose my design I needed to think about how big I wanted the skull to be, I just chose easy dimensions but I wanted a 2:1 ratio for length of the skull to width and height. A really rough sketch of the top view of the skull is shown with the dimensions. I think that my dimensions turned out way different than I had planned since the horns have to be almost as long as the skull is.
The beauty of the shape of the skull is that because it is hollow in nature it has an enormous range of uses. In general my nerdy nature made me start to think along the lines of armor for this project, however it is your own creativity that makes "something" into anything.
• Wearing as a mask, helmet, shoulder guard, backpack, etc.
• Household decoration such as a wall trophy, mantle piece, room decor, or upside down as a basket or dish.
• Miniature sized for a figurine, doll dress up, or game oriented.
***This design does have a jaw bone (which I have hidden in some of the pictures) included in the CAD files in case you wanted to use it as well.