Introduction: Make a Personalized 3D LEGO Mini Fig Head

Picture of Make a Personalized 3D LEGO Mini Fig Head

This is the ultimate gift for any lego-maniac.  A minifig head with your face on it!

There are 4 steps to doing this:

1) digitize face
2) digitally combine face with lego head
3) create 3d printout
4) paint

All the software to do this can be found for free online, the only cost will be time and the 3d print.

I made a video podcast of this build as well with a short semi stop motion video.

Please check out my other instructables as well!


Step 1: Digitizing the Face

Picture of Digitizing the Face

First you need 3 views of your models face. Left Right and Front.  Try to take them in an area with good light and a background with one colour.  Also pull any hair obscuring the face back out of the way. get your model to keep the same expression on their face for all shots.  I just took a video and captured the still frames I needed with VLC media player (also free) 

There is a free version of an amazing piece of software called FaceGen modeler .
Once downloaded, click on the photofit tab and follow the simple wizard. this will create a 3d model for you.  When my son saw this he said "Wow, that is really weird, it feels like part of me has been taken away and put inside your computer"  I believe that means he approves of the results.

Step 2: Digitally Combine the Face and a Lego Head

Picture of Digitally Combine the Face and a Lego Head


We used a cad program called solidworks for this.  If you don't have solidworks you could accomplish this part of the project with the freely available google sketchup. 

If you don't have any cad experience, this is the tough part.  You are basically just trying to put the face inside the lego minifig head and then smooth out the joints.  Keep in mind you want to be able to still place lego hair / hats / and helmets on it. 

The lego minifig head can be measured or just do a google search for the filetype you need and somebody probably has already modeled it and put it online. (for solidworks users it is in 3d content central)

Step 3: Create a 3d Printout

Picture of Create a 3d Printout


I had access to a 3d printer.  The solido sd300.  If you do not have access to a 3d printer, you can go to www.shapeways.com .  I imagine there are other companies out there that do similar things, but I am familiar with shapeways.  You send them your cad files and they mail you your pieces.

Step 4: Painting

Picture of Painting


The 3d prints came out white so I needed to paint them.  I just used spray paint to make them yellow. I had 2 heads so I tried to paint a face on one to see how it would look.  I used a helping hands set with the magnifying glass to hold it steady and get in close.  I took a cheap paintbrush and cut off most of the bristles so I could make fine lines.

I ended up liking the non detailed face better.  Trying to paint a mini fig type face on it just seemed to take away from the 3d detail.  You can be the judge.  Maybe if I didn't suck at painting it would have been better.   My son loves it so that is all that really matters, right?

Comments

Katiejoey (author)2011-11-23

Awesome wish I knew how to do it

tinker234 (author)2011-06-12

wow

craftyv (author)2010-12-18

Love it to bits: Lego bits of course. If I could I would make these for my grandson, he would really get it. Unfortunately my photo/etc. skills are non-existant. Well done.

MechanicalMashup (author)craftyv2010-12-18

I was the one who printed this out and wonder what would you pay for a head like this? I wonder if there is a business in it...

craftyv (author)MechanicalMashup2010-12-19

Yes I think there is a business in it, but. Lego would block any attempt to connect your idea to their name. Thinking more broadly, what about providing the service of putting the "client's" provided image onto whatever they want it put on.
Come up with a list of the ideas. eg. Pencil heads, other models, pictures and carvings, chess sets, and so on. I think people would pay for the personal image
but how much I can't guess. [ I'm a pensioner so have no spare funds].
Good luck.

craftyv (author)2010-12-18

Love it and I have some ideas for you. I am cooking a roast dinner right now, so see you later.

CrLz (author)2010-12-18

Great idea!

About This Instructable

13,091views

15favorites

License:

Bio: I have had a few careers so far, soldier, school teacher, arborist, millwright. I love change and I love learning.
More by dave spencer:Personal Pizza Pot PieSimple bedroom camera obscura for under $5How to use fondant to make an awesome cake
Add instructable to: