Introduction: Crumpled Paper 123D Catch & MeshMixer

About: Damon is a grad student & assistant attending School of Visual Art's MFA Product of Design program in New York City.

This is a fun step-by-step tutorial showing you how to create a CAD database from a crumpled piece of paper. I rendered my crumpled paper using KeyShot software, though I am skipping those steps in this tutorial. 

You need:
-an iPad with Autodesk 123D Catch to scan the image into CAD (free download) 
     *you may use a digital camera & Autodesk 123D Catch for online or PC instead
-Autodesk MeshMixer to massage & patch up the CAD surfaces (free download)

-KeyShotto render: optional (no free download :(

Step 1: 123D Catch the Paper

Using the iPad (or digital camera) open the Autodesk 123D Catch app. Take photos of the crumpled paper. You should start at a low angle & progressively increase the height of the camera. Move around the crumpled paper in about 15-20 degree increments for each photo. Use the maximum of the 30 allotted photos for a more accurate catch.

Step 2: Process the Catch

After you finish taking all of the photos, save & process the catch. You may have try a few catches with 123D Catch before you get one you are happy with.

Step 3: MeshMixer

Download the file as an OBJ from 123D Catch. Import the OBJ into MeshMixer. There will be a lot of unnecessary surfaces you need to delete in MeshMaker. You can use the surface & volume brushes to massage the surfaces. The inspector tool is useful for patching up holes in the model.

-you may now save your cleaned up file & render it using other software
-or you may send it to a 3D printer (like a MakerBot) to create a physical representation of your crumpled paper

Step 4: Optional: KeyShot Rendering

Open the OBJ in KeyShot & render.

I envisoned the crumpled paper as a perfume bottle that sprays a scent of copy paper. Who doesn't love the sensual allure of cubicles & spreadsheets?