Intro: Body As Design Tool
Generate point clouds from a kinect and use them to make 3d printable meshes.
Step 1: Material
You will need:
- 1 Kinect (Xbox 360 or Microsoft);
- 1 Kinect Adapter;
- 1 Computer;
- Software: Processing;
- Software: Rhino + grasshopper;
- I have also used a trapeze, but you can record anything you wish within the infrared limit (4 meters / 13 feet).
(the easiest way to do this is with a Microsoft Kinect and Rhino + Firefly).
Step 2: Installing Kinect
I used a kinect xbox 360 when I did this (if you have a Microsoft Kinect it should be even easier) and Windows 7 or 8.
You will also need to install a few drivers in order to connect kinect with your computer. Follow these steps:
Also install Processing:
And Processing´s library "Simple Open NI":
Step 3: Recording the Point Cloud
If you explore Processing Examples that came with SimpleOpenNI, you should already be able to generate point clouds with your Kinect but it´s not being recorded. As my knowledge on programming is very limited I had to get my way around in a patchwork of codes. So then, I found this other code that saves each frame´s point cloud in a text file (csv or ply) that contains the list of coordinates of all points:
You can also use the Control P5 library to add some slider (controllers) to edit values as the code goes (the denser the point cloud the slower the computer gets, so you might want to work in low resolution before deciding what to record).
Step 4: Using the Point Cloud
In Grasshopper (Rhino) you can read each text file separately and place your points following the same coordinates, either for one or many frames of "video". With the point cloud you can Cull Patterns to clean your point cloud (I used to remove other objects that were accidently in the focus of the camera and were also scanned), Remove Duplicate Points (if you didnt set the density back in Processing), use Delaunay Mesh or Weaverbird to generate meshes and 3d print them.
But again, if you have Microsoft Kinect and Rhino + Firefly eveything should be a lot easier.
Step 5: 3d Print It!
Find your nearest 3d printer and print your meshes. Check the minimum thickness necessary for the material you choose and make sure you thicken your mesh in that value or higher. You should also join all vertices before that. To make sure your mesh is good to be printed follow these steps: