A FREE Super Easy Way to Make a 3D Model of Yourself Using Your Microsoft Kinect and 3D Print.

With this 'able I want to show you how easy it is for you to make a scan of yourself or your family without having to buy any software as long as you have a Kinect or can borrow one. Also show those that do not own a 3d printer where they can Print it for FREE at a local Library, in fact if you have a Kinect and a computer this entire project can be done for free with no 3D Printer of your own.

I have seen other 'able scans but I have found this is the best free software that makes super nice prints that come out real nice and detailed with no need to edit afterwords.

Level: Beginner

This is a very easy instructables and hope you enjoy, beginner level.

In this one you will make a 3D Model of yourself that you can print or send to a 3D printer with a Kinect and using no tools.

Step 1: Costs

Free Cost: You don't need to buy a scanner if you have a Kinect and a computer and a local public library with a 3D printer (we will talk more later on that). Software we used is free.

$30 Cost:
If you don't have a Kinect you can find them used on eBay for $30 or so, a Microsoft 360 Kinect is pretty cheap.

Step 2: Tools, Electronics & Materials

Tools Required:


Electronics Required:

Computer running Microsoft Windows Kinect from Microsoft 360


3D Printer (optional), if you do not have a 3D Printer thats okay you can use shapeways to print, or your local library. Chair (optional), they can stand too. A Human (optional), or better yet you can scan a Robot too, Robots are better than humans or other objects too.

Step 3: Install Software - Microsoft and Skanect

  • Download the Microsoft Software, includes everything your PC needs to run the scanner.

Kinect for Windows SDK (version 1.8).


  • Download Skanect Try it version, its free for non commercial use.

Free download.
Non-commercial use only.
Free export to Shapeways 3D printing services.
Free export to Sculpteo 3D printing services.
Free export to Sketchfab online sharing platform.
File export limited to 5000 faces.
Community-based support.

  • 123 Design By Autodesk (Same people that make Instructables that we all know and Love :D) - Free


Step 4: Prepare: Find Object You Want to Scan and Put Them on a Chair or Table

Human, Robot or Other will work.

Here you need to select what type of object you want to scan.

You can scan objects or people.

Select the one you want.

This is the best way I have found to prepare your human scan

Put a stool or in the middle of the room where you can walk around it, walk around it with the Kinect to make sure that you don't get tangled, if so try putting your computer in different places, on the floor, on a table near you etc.

Step 5: Record: Scan and Take It Slow

To get a good scan you will need to use trial and error but once you have prepared in the previous step press the Start button.

The count down will start on the screen. Once it gets to Zero you will need to walk slow around your subject, please take it real slow, Green means you are going the right speed.

Red means to fast or to close, adjust until the it turns green again if red.

Keep walking around your subject until you have gone completely around your subject.

Then stop the scan.

Inspect and if it looks good continue, else move back and redo.

You will get better the more you do it.

I have added a little video demonstrating how to walk around slowly and keeping the subject green. I was not able to walk around because the table was in the way and wanted to keep the laptop high enough to be in the video to share. But you will need to completely walk around.

Step 6: Reconstruct, Process, Export: View and Edit Image

Reconstruct: Here you can view and move your image around.

Process: Use this to fill in gaps and holes

Export: Export your STL

Step 7: Import Your STL Into 123 Design by Autodesk to Make a Base

You have a nice scan of a head, but it wont stand up on its own.

You need to put a base on it. Using 123 Design lets it simple and add a rectangle to the bottom using the Primitives > Box menu.

You can later add text like in one of my scans.

I am not going to get into detail on how to use 123Design but its a very user friendly app with lots of videos on how to use.

Here are some Tutorial videos.


Also on youtube many others have made their own videos.

When complete export the STL for the next step of printing.

Step 8: Send to Printer or Shapeways or Go to Library for Free Printing

Option 1: I have a 3D Printer

If you have a 3D printer your create your G-Code from your new STL and send it to your printer like any stl file

Option 2: I do not have a 3D printer

That's okay, you can send your file to Shapeways and for the month of June they are offering Free Shipping, Wahoo. Cost depends on the size you pick, use 10% infill and 2 walls to keep it cheaper.


Option 3: I do not have a 3D printer and I do not want to spend any money on a print and would like it for free.

Many people do not know but there are a number of local libraries that now have 3D Printers and offer free print time each month. In fact there are 250 of them around the USA. There is often someone there to help you learn.


Step 9: All Done!

3D Printing Contest

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest



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      Classroom Science Contest
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      Planter Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest

    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's really cool that some libraries now have 3d printers that you can use for free. Thank you for sharing!

    1 reply

    4 months ago

    This was very helpful and I will definitely be using this when making the people! Love it!


    1 year ago

    Oh, forgot to mention, excellent instructable!


    1 year ago

    So it's 2017 and I had a terrible time getting the Windows Kinect SDK to work on my Dell inspirion with Windows 10 with Nvidia, etc. I stop at etc. because I never got the SDK to recognize the Kinect. So, I downloaded the Skanect software for MacOS X, ran it on my 2009 MacBook Pro, plugged in my Kinect xbox360 (the one used here). It worked out of the box, so to speak. Oddly, windows can't profile the Kinect and you have to use a Mac or Linux to get the USB device interfaces and configurations, etc. Lame. Use a Mac, even an old barely working 8 year old one like mine.


    1 year ago

    I've been working on this for a while. I have the software and my Kinect is plugged into power and my PC. Kinect Studio says it has 7 connections but I can't get anything to show up from the kinect. is there a step i'm missing?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    You skipped right over the most important part which is how to do the actual scan. When I tried this my image looked nothing like the one in your screenshot. Part of my back and the entire top of my head were missing, so you MUST be moving the scanner around rather than just rotating yourself.

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I have added a little video demonstrating how to walk around slowly and keeping the subject green. I was not able to walk around because the table was in the way and I wanted to keep the laptop high enough to be in the video to share. But you will need to completely walk around, you can put your laptop/computer on the floor or wherever works best for you.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    cool thanks. I've been using reconstructme and wrote an instructable for that actually but I'm not too happy with the scan quality. I think skanect might have more potential if I combine my "spin around in a chair" method with lifting the sensor up to get the top of the head and under the chin.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Step 5: The person will sit in the middle of the room and you walk slowly around the subject. As you walk if the colors turn red you need to slow down. It will take several tries until you get the hang of it, but I will add and improve on that step for sure.