PROFILE - Large-scale Facebook-avatar Sculpture - 123D-Make Without Lasercutter

Introduction: PROFILE - Large-scale Facebook-avatar Sculpture - 123D-Make Without Lasercutter

About: visual artist

- a large-scale Facebook-avatar-sculpture using 123D-Make without any lasercutter.

Materials: wood, recycled glass, acrylic.

Your Facebook-avatar, surveillance and anonymity... the idea is to create a form by reducing information, to create a form with the lack of information.

With 123D-Make you can simplify an existing 3D-scan from a detailed view towards abstraction.

Cut out the parts with a jigsaw, assemble the parts; I then painted it with a color I`ve observed on traffic lights and electrical pillars to prevent flyerpostings. It creates a rough, "non-digital" surface.

[The sculpture was realized during the General Exchange project at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow 2012]

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Step 1: Get Your 3D-scan Profile

Use 123D-catch or another 3D-scanning-method to make your 3D-scan,

or download an existing 3D-scan shared by someone else e.g. on or from the 123D-community.

Preferably use .obj format - if you you have problems with other 3d-scan file-formats, try to import them to Netfabb Basic (free) and export it from there as .obj

Step 2: Transform the 3D-scan in 123D-Make

Import the 3D-model into 123D-Make.

It`s great to play around with the different construction techniques, I preferred for this project the Interlocked Slices technique.

You have to decide right now about the actual size you want the sculpture to have in the end. You enter the size and accordingly choose the sheet size (which in our case will be the wooden plate size). Remember that the maximum sheet size determines the maximum size of the figure.

Define the material thickness of your wooden plate.

To find the form you want to achieve, you have to try out reducing and increasing the number of slices, their position etc.

Klick "Get Plans" and the sofware automatically slices, lays out and numbers the parts of the model.

Regarding the size and form of the model it will create a different number of sheets and parts.

Step 3: No Lasercutter! Project and Draw on the Wooden Plates

As we manually cut out the parts, we dont use the paths to lasercut but project the files with a video-projector on the wooden plates.

It`s very important to lean the wooden plates flush with the wall - so that the projection won`t distort and so that the slashes will fit later during the assembling.

Choose a position for the video projector where it can front the wall/ wooden plate, so there are no distortions in the projected image.

Draw manually the projected lines on the wood.

Step 4: Jigsawing the Parts

Jigsaw the lines that you just drawed to get the single parts.

Pay attention to cut a millimeter or so towards the inside of the slash parts (if not defined precisely in 123D-Make) - the larger the final sculpture will be, the larger you choose it to have play. If not it may become very difficult to force the parts together.

Step 5: Assemble & Postprocess

Call your friends to help assembling the parts! - it may be tricky to keep balance if the parts are large and heavy.

While assembling, open the 123D-Make application and follow the step by step assembly animation - this will show you the easiest order in which to assemble the parts, so that one part won`t block the next part during the assembly.

Postprocess the sculpture with painting, or with whatever else.

I used a specific color and material that I`ve observed on traffic lights and electrical pillars to prevent flyerpostings - it`s a very structured paint to create a rough, "non-digital" surface. The mixed small parts of recycled glass into black acrylic paint, and added a binder to keep the small glass parts inside the color-coat.


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