In this Instructable I am going to show you how I built my Deadpool Knife "Block".
Usually in my Instructables, I just walk you through the process to repeat what I have made. This Instructable is a bit different. I figured that by not just only sharing the final stl file, but also the process I used to design it and what I learned, this Instructable could benefit others (and to be honest myself by getting feedback on how to improve).
I recently cleaned out my kitchen drawer and realized that I have some really nice knives that deserve to be placed in a knife block.
So while I was searching for one I liked I read an Asterix comic and the idea for a "Ceasar Knife Block" was born. The Adventures of Asterix is a French comic series which you should definitely check out, should you not know it. So I googled to see whether I could buy one anywhere and found this picture. Sadly it was obvious that it was just a photoshopped image, so I decided to build one myself. The only problem was that I have absolutely no modelling skills.
Once I was nearly done designing the knife block I watched the Deadpool movie and decided to rather go with a Deadpool one instead.
All the programs I used are freeware so anybody should be able to replicate what I have done.
Step 1: Trying Out Autodesk Recap 360
I had an around 14 cm high figure of Caesar, which I wanted digitise. So I decided to try out Autodesk Recap 360.
It's a free online software and to be quite honest due to the small size of the figure I wasn't expecting too much. Though since I have seen really some nice results with bigger objects I decided to give it a shot.
You can see my first and second attempt in the pictures. I set my camera up on a tripod and placed the figure on a turn table. For the first attempt I used a white backdrop (just a white blanket) and took 50 pictures (the maximum you are allowed to use in the free version). As you can see, while I was already getting quite a nice model, the program had a few problems to distinguish between the background and the figure.
So for my second attempt I decided to use a black backdrop (just a black blanket). I took 36 pictures. Since I was only interested in the head and not the body I focused on that area. I uploaded the pictures once again and was really surprised how good the result was.
As you can see in the third picture, the head still needed some improvements. I used Sculptris to do so and found it really easy to use, even though I had no experience.
Simply import the *.obj mesh that you got from Autodesk Recap 360 and start playing around with it. If it is asking you whether you would like to "go to paint", simply state "No"
Here is a good video to get you started.
I used Autodesk Meshmixer to cut the head off the body. You can also use it to improve the head, but I found Sculptris easier to use.
Step 2: "Designing" the Body
While I was trying to figure out how to design the body of the bust I stumbled over an awesome project: Scan The World
Here is what they say about themselves:
Scan The World is an initiative that is creating a digital archive of
sculptures, landmarks and monuments from around the world using 3D Scanning and Printing technology. We are calling on the public to scan sculptures near them and submit them to us, read more about the project on the Scan The World page!
You should definitely check them out, the quality of the scans is amazing.
So I looked for a roman bust I could use and found this one of Marcus Aurelius at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Once again I used Autodesk Meshmixer to cut the head off.
Next we will have to add the head to the body. I originally wanted to use thinkercad to do so, but sadly there is a limit of 25 MB for importing files. So I tried to use MeshLab. I managed to connect the meshes after using multiple filters, but when I wanted to reproduce what I had done for this Instructable, I couldn't (pathetic I know, but a month had past and I just couldn't remember what I had done, there are internal faces I just couldn't remove properly the second time around). Then I tried to use FreeCAD, but even though it is quite interesting and has a lot of features, I could not manage to connect the meshes. Next I tried to use netfabb basic, but uniting meshes is sadly a "pro feature" you will have to pay for (also there is only a 32 bit version for windows). At this point as you may imagine I was really frustrated.
So I decided to use a program I had all along: Meshmixer
And I was surprised how easy it was to unite the two meshes. Simply import them, scale them (here is a good instructable on how to do so) and move them around so that they fit.
Then select both meshes by holding the ctrl key, click on "Edit" and "Boolean Union" and you are done.
After uniting the two meshes I went back to Sculptris to smooth the transition.
I've uploaded the design to this step, should you want to use it.
Step 3: Going With Deadpool Instead
As you can see in step 3 I was nearly done with designing the Caesar bust, when I decided that I would rather like to go with Deadpool.
Deadpool is famous for shooting himself in the head to save himself from boredom, so I figured that he would be perfect for the knife block.
So I started over from scratch. Before once again using a figure, I decided to search the web for a 3D design I liked.
Here are a few I found:
I decided to go with the last one, but pick which ever one you like.
Step 4: Preparing the Head (wow That Sounds Weird)
First I removed the belts. I found that the best way to do so is in MeshLab. Click on "Select Connected Components in a region", select the belts and hit "delete".
As you can see in the first picture, the original mesh is quite rough. This can easily be corrected in Sculptris. Simply open the mesh and click "SUBDIVIDE ALL".
I did all the other editing (like closing the eyes, removing the weird bump from the nose and some more smoothing) in Meshmixer. Here are some great tutorials to get you started.
I've uploaded my final version, should you want to use it.
Step 5: Choosing the Knives
These are the knives I used:
- Wüsthof Classic 4.5" Cook's Knife (4582)
- Wüsthof Classic 5-Inch Tomato Knife (4109-7)
- Wüsthof Knives Classic Paring knife (4066 / 10 cm (4")) (actually I have one from WMF, but they are basically the same)
- WMF Vegetable Knife 3 1/4 inch
- WMF Chef's Knife 8 inch (the one from this set)
- WMF Bread Knife 8 inch
Use any 3D modeling tool you like to design the knife blades (e.g. tinkercad). Make them slightly wider and longer, in order for the knife to fit later on. As you can see in the next step, I used a fairly simplified version of the blades. In most cases a rectangular box should be enough.
You can also use Meshmixer to design a rectangular box, simply click on "Meshmix", make sure "Primitives" is selected, click on the cube and pull it into the designing window, as shown in the second picture. Deselect "Uniform Scaling" and simply put the measurements under "Size X", "Size Y" and "Size Z".
Step 6: Removing the Knives
Meshmixer is great tool to move the knives to the correct position and to cut the mesh. Use "Edit" and "Transform" to place the knives. You can hide the head by clicking on the small eye in the Object Browser. Make sure that the knives don't overlap.
Sadly you can't remove the knives all at once in Meshmixer. Select the head and a knife (by holding the shift key) and select "Boolean Difference". Deselect "Preserve Group Borders" and "Auto-Reduce Result" and click accept.
Repeat the process with all the knives.
Step 7: Making It Fit the Print Bed
My 3D printer, a Replicator 2 (thanks a lot to instructables!), is not big enough to print the whole head in one go. So I had to slice it into multiple parts. Here is a very nice and detailed explanation on how to do this.
You will have to click on "Edit", "Plane Cut" and select "Slice keep both". Once you hit accept you won't see a difference. Click on "Separate Shells" to see both parts in the object browser.
I decided to hollow the face out (underneath the first cut in order to need less support structures), to make cleaning easier and to cut down print time. In order to do so I constructed a cylinder in Meshmixer, scaled and positioned it and cut it from the figure the same way I did with the knives.
Step 8: Time to Print and Paint
I tried printing the first part, but couldn't get it to work right. Either the piece was impossible to remove from the raft or (when I printed without a raft) it started to warp. So I decided to invest into a hot plate and while I was at it, I also got a new full metal z-axis (I got them here and here).
Thanks to the upgrade I was able to print the pieces without any problems.I suggest to print the middle part upside down. This way you won't need any support structures.
The settings I used were (I've uploaded the profile to this step):
Printer Brand: MakerBot
Printer: MakerBot Replicator 2
Layer Height: 0.25
The print took about 40 hours.
Afterwards I glued the pieces together. I noticed, that using acetone and rubbing the head down with a towel saved me quite a lot of sanding later on. I highly suggest to spend some time on sanding and priming (use a "Filler Primer"), since it will improve the smoothness of your final product quite a lot.
Now all that is left to do is to paint the head. Congratulations, you are done.
Step 9: UPDATE
After about a two weeks I realized that some imperfection were starting to show up. I didn’t pay much attention to them until after a month cracks started to form where I had glued the parts together. After spending hours priming and sanding I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I used "Universal Primer Filler" from Spraila which seems to have different material properties than the PLA and so due to the temperature changes in my kitchen it started to shrink.
Since I had recently bought XTC-3D I decided to give it a try. It’s a resin specially developed for coating 3D prints. I used a thin layer, which didn’t cover the cracks, so I decided to use a thicker layer. This was a very stupid decision, due to the low viscosity drips started to form and I had to spend a very long time sanding the head to get rid of them. As you can see in the second picture I accidentally sanded through the XTC-3D in some places. So I filled the cracks with Autobody filler, used a thin layer of red primer (Dragon Red by Army painter) and went with two thin layers of XTC-3D. After carefully sanding the head I primed it again and painted it.
So far it still looks perfect, I will keep you posted.
Check out this link should you want to see a video of it in action.