Introduction: Make Your Own 3D Printed Bust | 3D Scan at Home

About: A Self-confessed geek from the days computer memory was measured in Kilobytes. I love reading, travelling and anything to do with tech.

If you are not able to tell what’s special about this, it’s supposed to be a model of me. I was surprised at how easy it was, so let’s go step by step on how I made myself.

Step 1:

I’ve been into 3d printing for a month maybe. Trying out a lot of techniques, and learning along the way, i thought i would try to find a way to print my own 3d selfie/bust.

Step 2: Microsoft Kinect Sensor (Gen 1)

First you need a scanner like this one, the kinect from the Xbox 360. It has 3d scanning capabilities as it can use the depth scanner to make 3d models.

Step 3:

You can’t connect it directly to the pc as it has a proprietary USB connector. I had to purchase a USB adapter which also has power adaptor.

The usb port on the kinect has this weird indent which doesn’t allow it to be used in standard usb ports. Plug in the usb port of the kinect into the adapter, power it via the power adapter provided and it should be ready. Now that we have the hardware, we need to install the software.

Step 4:

Download the kinect sdk, links in the description. Install and connect the hardware. It should be found and the led stops blinking indicating its ready.

Step 5:

Skanect is what I first downloaded.

Step 6:

Open up the software and it detects the kinect, which is shown on the top right. Hit start to start scanning

Step 7:

It starts to scan quite nicely, and I turn around slowly and bow down to get details of the top of my head.

Step 8:

The model once scanned looks great, but on exporting the free version limits to 5000 polygons, and the paid option is $129 so not ready to shell out that kind of money.

Step 9:

Reconstruct me is the next application I downloaded. I left the options on default except for device selection, which I set to MIcrosoft Kinect (1st gen)

Step 10:

Now that I have the app working, I initiated a scan. I turned around slowly

And it scanned me quite well, i bent forward for the scan to get the top of my head too. Ugh, doesn’t look good, so just saved it anyway and set the quality higher. Same process again, rotate and scan done. Save the scanned model, but i still wasn’t happy as the light was causing shadowing on one side.

Step 11:

Then I changed the surface setting to not capture color. And there is a cool option to make a selfie 3d scan.

Step 12:

Scanned again and slowly rotated, and voila a mesh was generated. Saved and then opened it up in meshmaker.

Step 13:

I generally smoothed out the mesh, cleaned out the excess polygons and ready. Now to export to a 3d slicing software to slice the model and make it ready for printing.

Step 14:

I use cura for slicing and here at its original size it would take 7 hours and 23 minutes to print.

Step 15:

I scaled the model down to 75% and it would now print in 4 hours 34 minutes. Using a tree support the print would be supported in areas where overhangs are present, as the printer cannot print in the air.

Step 16:

Copied the gcode to a micro-sd card, now let’s get it to a printer and start printing.

Step 17:

The print comes out pretty good, with the tree support helping with the overhanging model sections. Not bad for a first try, maybe Skanect would have been more accurate, but this is the free way to print your own 3D bust/selfie.

Step 18: Make Your Own 3D Printed Bust Video