The Trauma Series

About: Megan Conley was born and raised in Calgary, Canada where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Art at the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2013. Megan completed her Master of Fine Art in Visual Studies, Emer...

As an artist who grew up experiencing facial and dental deformity, my art practice for the past ten years has explored this experience of growing up feeling different, insecure and unsure of my newly formed identity. While working with the school board in Calgary, Canada, I became open to the idea of the pain of others and gradually became more empathic. I proposed to begin this new body of work, "The Trauma Series" while participating in the Luminous Bodies residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island.

During our welcoming dinner, I asked the other participating artists if I could 3d scan them. They had to use their body and face to hold a pose that expressed a traumatic emotional or physical period in their life. I'm happy to share this new body of work and its steps. Here we go!

Step 1: Prepare Tab - Start a New Scan

  • Open Skanect. You should start at the Prepare tab in the upper-left
  • Select New. Set the size of your scan area by using the Scene and Bounding box. Select Body and keep the other settings the same as the example shown. In the future, if you would like your scan area to be longer instead of a cube, you can select the Aspect ratio of Height x 2.
  • Click start.
  • Click the red record button. There will be a delay of three seconds.

Step 2: Record Tab

You are now in the Record tab. Your face/shoulders should be in the centre of the scan area.

  • Click the red record button. There will be a delay of three seconds.
  • Complete the scan of your face and shoulders. The person being scanned will sit in a chair and remain still while their partner slowly moves around them with the Kinect in their hands.

NOTE: During this process, be sure not to move too fast, or you may receive a “Not Enough Geometry” or “Camera Moved to Fast” error and you will need to restart your scan.

Green surfaces on your scan mean that the information is in focus and being properly gathered. Red and Black means the Kinect is having trouble reading the information. You should move around your partner's face/shoulders with the Kinect 360 twice to get the best scan possible.

When you have obtained full coverage of your partner's face/shoulders, click the red Stop button.

Step 3: Reconstruct Tab

  • In the reconstruct tab select Fusion.
  • Select GPU (if it is not crossed out). If GPU is crossed out, keep CPU on and change the Fidelity setting to High.
  • Click Run.

Skanect will reconstruct your scan at the best possible quality for your machine and software.

Step 4: Share/Save Tab

Now we need to export our images!

Since we are not using any colour when we print our images, is it best to select STL as your file type. This file type is also pretty universal.

Per-vertex is automatically selected for most machines

The number of faces will be different for each scan depending upon how long you were moving around your subject with your Kinect 360.

PLEASE NOTE: It says 0 for this example because I took a screen shot of this screen without a scan completed.

Colour space: SRGB is the most common (even though for this we aren't using colour) rather than linear RGB.

Step 5: Editing Our Images - Netfabb Basic

There maybe parts of your image you want to eliminate. For this series, I made sure to choose parts of the body/face to focus on, rather than keeping the entire thing!

  • Using your x, y, and z tabs located on the right hand side of your screen, you can begin to make cuts. For this example, I will be eliminating the bottom of the chair using a 'z' cut. It is easier and less confusing to do one cut at a time, rather than many.
  • Once you are happy with the placement of your cut, make sure 'cut all parts' is visible (turned on) on the pull down menu, and click on 'execute cut' then 'cut.'
  • If you have moved more than one of the 'x,y,z' sliders, Netfabb will ask you which axis you are trying to cut.
  • Click on 'z'

You will then see the two parts separated. When you click on one cut part, the other will be greyed out and vise versa.

Step 6: Repairing Our Files for Printing - Netfabb Basic

Viewing our files at all angles in Netfabb will allow us to see areas of red. This means, the file is not ready for printing and, if sent to a 3D printer, would not finish due to these areas of red.

  • Click on the red cross near the top
  • Netfabb has really great default repair settings, click execute
  • Netfabb will then begin to work its magic! While the software is working click on 'automatic repair' located on the bottom right followed by 'apply repair'
  • A pop up window will appear titled 'apply repair'
  • Click on 'remove old part'

Netfabb will then replace the old part, with a flat piece that is printable.

Step 7: Viewing/saving Our STL Files

It is now time to export our file and view it to see if it is printable.

  • Click on part, export as STL
  • Save your image to your desktop (or wherever is best for you)

I find it easiest to view these images in preview on a mac, so you can rotate the image easily and view your file at all angles to be sure it has flat, printable backings with no geometric shapes sticking out or holes.

Step 8: Printing Using 3D Hubs/final Product

Because I don't own my own 3D printer, I always make sure to repair files so they can be printed on This website allows you to print your files at reasonable prices within your city, as long as your files are repaired and ready to go!

Good luck and happy printing/scanning!



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