Cloning Sheep




About: My work combines conductive materials and craft techniques to develop new styles of building electronics that emphasize materiality and process. I create working prototypes to demonstrate the kinds of electr...

This Instructable describes how to clone a willing sheep. First of all you need a volunteer sheep with good intentions, who will not mind to be cloned and reproduced multiple times. In the case of the sheep that i chose to clone, he had a secret plan for world domination.

>> Sheep cloning project website

Step 1: Materials and Tools

- 1 Sheep volunteer
- 3D scanner
- 3D printer
- Mold casting material
- Plaster, gypsom or other casting materials
- Casting equipment: mold release spray, cups, sticks, newspaper....
- Good intentions

Step 2: 3D Scan

Get your sheep subject to sit still while you 3D scan them. Sheep tend to get super excited to representations of themselves and are easily distracted.
Once you have a clean 3D scan, you still might need to clean up the data, close all the holes and prepare it for printing.

Step 3: 3D Print

From your 3D scan you can now print out the first replication of your sheep. You will need to keep your original sheep close at hand though, to make sure the 3D print bears a close resemblance.
After 3D printing the first sheep clone must undergo a horrible etching bath to remove support material. Be nice to them and reward them for undergoing this process. It is not fun.
And, as the original, also it's clones are fascinated by representations of the self and are easily distracted by them.

Step 4: Mold Making

3D printing is not a cheap process, so in order to make multiples of your 3D printed clone sheep it is best to make a mould from it so that you can cast multiples.
Build a rig from legos and submerge half of the clone sheep in liquid polyurethane, which becomes rubbery when cured. Once one half was ready apply Vaseline to the surface and fill up the other half. This way the two halves do not stick together and you can open up the mould to safely remove clone sheep.

Step 5: Casting

To make replicas of sheep you need to prepare the mold for casting. Make the hole in the mold (the result of how you mounted your sheep when casting the mold) cylindrical so that the casting material will flow in nicely and that it is big enough for air-bubbles to escape.
Use mold release to insure your casting materials will not stick to the mold. Use rubber bands to hold the two mold halves together.
Prepare your casting materials. Pour into mold. Let Cure. Remove.
The clones of your clone resemble your clone much more than your first cone resembles the original. This can lead to tensions and might require some effort on your behalf in making them all feel comfortable around each other.

Step 6: Mass-Cloning

Now you're all set to replicate your sheep as many times as you want. The casting process does not always run smoothly so do not worry if a few of your clones turn out different (missing parts of the body, or miss-aligned mold halves...) you should still love them and count them to your army of sheep.



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    20 Discussions

    Very good job.
    It's amazing the work they can do, with some important tools at hand.
    Combining the knowledge of 3D software, ease of ordering models made starting at 3D printing, I believe that this fosters creative and technological development.

    Congratulations on your work.

    Daniel Domingos


    7 years ago on Step 3


    I would love to see it added to the 3D print group I have just started



    7 years ago on Step 4

    with those inverted bumps you can let the clone cure inside lego city :P


    7 years ago on Step 4

    I love the use of legos for molding, very clever!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Only 1 question... What does this have to do with april fools day???


    7 years ago on Introduction


    Hello, Nice 'ible! Can you tell me what 3d scanning setup are you using? looks different from David and Maker Scanner that I have seen in other 'ibles.

    How easy is it to clean up and merge/stitch it's scans?


    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    the scanner was a konica minolta. i think it's actually a pretty expensive setup that we have here at the lab, so it is nothing as available as milkscanning. i forgot the name of the software, but i might have documented more of it here: >>

    ahh I love the way you wrote the instructions it was very entertaining i might not ever make a sheep clone but it was a blast to read about it

    Void Schism

    7 years ago on Step 4

    With the loop formed by the legs it might be a better idea to make a 3 part mould, this will allow the legs to be easily removed. As you can see in pic 4 in this step the legs are trapped inside a half of the mould.
    It's also a good idea to add some keys at this stage to help align the mould parts.

    oh, and pet hate:
    The plural of lego is lego, just like the plural of sheep is sheep!
    "Legos" is not a word!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh snap, that's awesome! I would've just used Mold Builder and simply painted over it, but I love 3D Printers and you can preserve the plush!

    Oo nice. I'd love something like this for personal use but I probably could not afford one of those 3D printers.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't understand why this is a April's fools intructable?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. Which 3D printer was used? I haven't seen the process done with supporting material and then etched away.

    1 reply