Introduction: 3D Scan and Print Yourself Using FREE Software!

In this instructable I will show you how to 3D scan yourself using an xbox 360 kinect sensor and software you can download for free. While trying to scan and print myself I found that many of the programs used had changed or no longer existed, or the instructions were no longer valid. Once I figured out how to do it I had to make a video to explain it to others since I spent a lot of time trying different applications before I settled on this method. You can save yourself the trouble by following these simple steps!

Step 1: Requirements

How to 3D scan yourself using an xbox 360 kinect sensor and print a statue using free software.


The Setup:

  1. You'll need to download and install the programs from the above links.
  2. I found it is easiest to scan people if you have them sit in a spinning chair where they can rotate around without moving their upper body. In my case I use the stool from my drum set which has no back and spins freely.

  3. I set the kinect sensor on the corner of the desk so that it has a good view. Make sure the area around you is clear so the scanner doesn't see things that aren't you.

Step 2: 3D Scan - ReconstructMe

ReconstructMe is the program that generates "3D Selfies" that you can print.

  1. Before you start you may want to quickly review the suggestions from ReconstructMe on how to get the best results out of their program.
  2. Launch ReconstructMe
  3. Click on Surface
  4. Check the "Selfie Scan" box. This will make you watertight and fill in the empty spots under your chin or on the top of your head where the scan couldn't see. It also makes the bottom of the scan flat.
  5. Click on Volume
  6. Resize the bounding box until the person you are scanning fits in it.

  7. It will reconfigure if you change any settings which takes a moment.

  8. Once you are ready click the Start Scan button. It will do a countdown so you can get ready.

  9. Once it starts slowly rotate around in a circle holding as still as possible until you go all the way around. It will ding when it is finished so you can scan yourself without having to look at the screen.

  10. The free version of ReconstructMe claims they slow the model building process down intentionally and this next part does take a while while. It also adds some text and spheres to your model when you save it. We will fix this in the next step using netfabb.

  11. When it is finished you should see the scan of yourself.You can rotate it using the mouse.

  12. Check it over to make sure you're happy with it. It may take a few tries before you get a good one.

  13. If you tilt your head at all you might end up with 2 noses or messed up ears. I usually have the kids close their eyes while being scanned otherwise their heads move looking at things such as the monitor.

  14. Once you find a scan you like save it as an STL. You can also save it as other file types too so you can retain the color part of the scan if you wish. Make note of where you save the files. The default is something like [Your Documents]\My ReconstructMe\Scans\

  15. You can close ReconstructMe now.

Step 3: Netfabb Basic

"netfabb Basic is a free (as in free beer) software for handling triangle based mesh data." We need to use it in this case to clean up the extra stuff added to our ReconstructMe model.

  1. Launch netfabb Basic.
  2. You will probably have to wait while it does a countdown since it is the basic version unless you've registered it (not required).
  3. Open the STL that you previously saved.
  4. You will see all the spheres and text added by ReconstructMe. We will get rid of that stuff now.
  5. Click the Repair Button (big red +).
  6. Click the "Select all triangles" button.
  7. Right click on the person part of the scan and choose "Remove this shell from selection". This will leave you with just the extra stuff selected.
  8. Press Delete on your keyboard. This should leave you with just your 3d scan.
  9. Click the Apply Repair button on the bottom right.
  10. Choose Remove Old Part otherwise the stuff you wanted to get rid of will still be there.
  11. You can get a better look at your 3d model at this point to make sure you still like it. The mouse wheel will zoom you in and out and you can rotate it by holding down the right mouse button. The colored texture in ReconstructMe generally makes it look better than it really is.
  12. Click Part->Export Part->as STL
  13. A warning dialog will probably pop up telling you it needs to optimize things so holes aren't generated when you attempt to print it.
  14. Click the Optimize button
  15. Click Export.

Step 4: Print Time!

If you don't have a 3D printer you can use a printing service such as shapeways or one of the other many that exist now. They will print your statue and mail it to you.

I have an Ultimaker 2 so I use the Cura slicer software that was designed for my printer. Your print settings will vary depending on what type of material you are printing with. In the video I printed my younger son in Laybrick filament, which requires different print settings than anything else I've ever printed with.

  1. Open up your repaired STL file in your slicer and set it up to print according to your target material.
  2. I suggest printing with supports enabled otherwise you will end up with a very ugly chin area.
  3. Scale your model as big or small as you want, depending on how patient you are. :)
  4. I printed mine with a 20% fill, which is probably overkill.
  5. Save your gcode to the SD Card or send it to your printer (depending on your printer)
  6. Start the print
  7. Wait... then wait some more. :)
  8. When it is done you should have something similar to these photos.
  9. Once you have completed this process it is time to scan the next person, then the next, until all your friends have statues of themselves and you have presents for mother's day finished. :)

For more cool stuff be sure to check out my cozmogeek youtube channel!

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