Step 1: Tools and Software Required
• 123D Catch*
• Mesh mixer*
• A 3d printer (a V-flash from 3D Systems was used in this project) or access to one of the online 3D print services
• Flush cutter pliers
• A computer capable of running the software
*The software is free from Autodesk
Step 2: Select and Object!
Find an open area in the game where an all-around view can be obtained of the object. There can’t be any reflective parts or other objects blocking the view, also the object must contrast with the background. Then take a large number (depending on the object, this one took around 100) of screen shots of the object from all angles as to cover every surface of the object. If there are any tool bars or constants in the pictures, they will need to be cropped out.
Step 3: Create the Mesh
Step 4: Edit the mesh
For the real object, using Meshmixer to edit the part is often a necessity because the mesh from 123D Catch will almost never come out printable, especially if the part is not hung from the ceiling. Parts that are placed on the ground will inevitably come out as a shell (very thin feature that is hollow). To fix this, Meshmixer has a repair function called “inspector”. This will close off any holes in the mesh that cannot be seen as well as fill the material into a solid object. Use this tool after every build before exporting as a .stl file.
Step 5: Print the Part
Step 6: Part Cleaning and Finishing
This process is very time consuming and has a bit of a learning curve. The part that comes out will be better as long as you spend more time on it. There are endless possibilities on what to make 3D in this world and this is one of the methods. It is challenging but do not give up! There are many resources on each of the programs and it is highly recommended that you do a little research before beginning that next big build file.