Introduction: Turn Your Head or Anything Else Into a Stick Shift!

I will show you how you can turn a 3d scan of your head into a stick shift for your car! If you would like to use some other 3d model, you can skip to Step 3!


Kinect or other compatible sensor (check to see what is compatible with the software you chose)


Netfabb Basic


Autodesk 123d Design

Clamping vice

Access to a 3d printer

(Some other free software that you can use would be 123d Catch by Autodesk for 3d scanning, Kinect fusion for 3d scanning Kinect Fusion[requires downloading sdk and developers toolkit], and Meshmixer by Autodesk for the design part However this Instructable will not be covering these programs.)


Hex nut (size varies)

Epoxy or Jb-weld* (optional)

Step 1: Scan Yourself

This is the tricky part. You need a Kinect and some software to scan you into a 3d model. I personally like Skanect, but it's free version has it's limitations, and might not work for this project. I got my head scanned at the 3D Printing Experience while I was in Chicago. They used Reconstructme and a kinect to turn my head into a 3d model.

Step 1. Setup you Kinect on a a stand or table and point it towards you. Lighting really makes a difference, too much or to little, and the Kinect might not be able to get a good scan.

Step 2. What we need to do is to be very still and rotate to capture all parts of our upper torso. The best way to do this is to sit in a computer chair, and spin slow (turtle slow) in a circle.

Step 3. We are going to make the model watertight and export it as an stl, or an obj file * In the free version you are limited to 5000 faces, so you will probably have to get the full version for good detail.

Step 2: Import to Netfabb

Now we need to import the File into Netfabb. I used Netfabb Basic. Here we can fix any problems with the model, and we will cut off the part we won't need.

Step 1. First I would see if your model has any holes or problems with the mesh. If so you can repair the model using this software. (there are already plenty of tutorials online for this).

Step 2. Now we are going to make a cut where the bottom of our model will be. Look at the panel on the right, and move the Z slider until it is where you would like to make the cut.

Step 3. Now hit "Execute Cut", and then delete the portion we don't want.

Step 3: 123d Design

Now we are going to finish making the model that will become our stick shift.

Step 1. First we need to know what size threads our stick shift uses. It varies, but this link may help

Step 2. Next we need to know the dimensions of that nut, as we are going to press fit it into place (or use epoxy or jb-weld if you make the nut insert larger). I have a mazda, so I need a metric nut

Step 3. We are now going to import our model into 123d Design. (you can use other software, but this worked great for me)

Step 4. Now we need to scale it to the size we want our stick shift to be.

Step 5. Now we are going to create a hexagon using the dimensions of the bolt, and then extrude it to the width of the bolt.

Step 6. We now need to make a circle in the center of the hexagon shape, and extrude it upwards. This is where the excess threaded end of the stick shift will go. It needs to be a little larger than the threads on the stick shift.

Step 7.If you have ever used a 3D printer, you know that using support material can be a real hassle! Now we are going to modify the "bolt" shape so we won't need to use support material. We will do this by using "Chamfers" on the parts that would normally require support material.

Step 8. Select the circle surrounding the base of the hexagon part. Where the "threads" would meet the "bolt". Now go up to modify and select the "Chamfer" tool. Now pull on the yellow arrow out as far as you can. You might get an error if you pull the arrow out to far, but don't worry, just take it back a little until the "Chamfer" is as big as it can be.

Step 9. Now we are going to do the same thing to the circle on the very end of the "bolt" shape. Notice in the pictures it comes to a nice point, that should allow your printer to print this without support material!

Step 10 . Now we are going to move that object into the center of our scan (see photos)

Step 11. Now we are going to subtract that for from the head (or object) using the Combine/ subtract tool. First click on the head (or model), then on the hexagon shape and hit enter. It will then perform an operation to subtract that nut and bolt shape from our model.

Step 12. Export to an stl so it can then be printed off.

UPDATE: I updated step 7 through 9 to make it easier to print off!

Step 4: Print It Off!

Step 1. Print it off! You may need to use "support material" with this model because the nut and bolt shape will be layed on the bottom of the print. I also used a 20 % infill. UPDATE: I changed the last step so now you shouldn't need to use "support material"! If you want to use "support material" you can, but believe me it's worth taking that extra time in "Step 3"

Step 2. Remove all of the support material. This can be a little time consuming, but I believe in you!

Step 3. You now need to insert the proper size bolt into the hexagon shape using a vice. Be careful not to put too much pressure on it because you could crack the model. If the nut fits too loose, you can use an epoxy or jb-weld to attach it. (be careful not to get any on the threads).

You're done! Now you have the ultimate geek street cred! Enjoy!

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