I finally got a chance to try out the Autodesk 123D catch program and the results are fantastic. Autodesk claims that the program, “takes ordinary photos and turns them into extraordinary models”, and it is true! During one of my bicycle rides I noticed a few interesting statues in a local cemetery and decided to use one as my model. The goal was to print a small version of the statue on my Reprap 3D printer. I took about 50 photographs around the statue to capture it from every angle. I forgot to take some shots from the top down and I’ll explain about that later.
The next step was to upload all the photos to the ‘Cloud’ through the 123D catch program and then wait for Autodesk to process them into a 3D model.
Mesh tools were used to clean up the model.
The sculpture had a lump on top of the head because I hadn’t taken photos from the top down. I exported the 3D model as a .obj file and imported it into netfabb studio basic, trimmed the base, removed the lump from the head, repaired the model and then saved it. Next, I imported the model into Meshmixer so that I could fix up the flat spot on her head.
Meshmixer has tools for manipulating an existing mesh file so it was the perfect choice to round out the statues head. It would be nice if 123D Catch would include these kinds of tools.
The model was then loaded back into netfabb studio, scaled to be 80 mm tall and then exported as an .stl file.
The .stl file was imported into a 3D printer slicing program named Skeinforge to create the g-code used to control the 3D printer. The g-code was then loaded into a program named Repetier-Host that communicates to an arduino micrcontroller running marlin firmware that is used to control the printer.
The free software tool chain used to create the printed sculpture is:
Camera -> 123D catch -> meshmixer -> netfabb studio -> skeinforge -> repetier host -> marlin firmware
Download the STL file of the sculpture here: Thingiverse
By Karl P. Williams