Monday, March 4, 2013

Three Dimensional Portraits

My husband and children are early adopters. When it’s time to play, they play with the latest and greatest. Three-D printing is all the rage around here. My husband has been designing kettle corn measuring cups and phone stands. My daughter has been sculpting virtual portraits.

She sculpted her profile using virtual clay in the free program Sculptris, exported the file to the open source program Blender, and then exported the final object to the file format .STL, which the Solidoodle 3D printer can read. Yeah, it’s just that easy for an early adopter.

sc portrait 1

The tile is over 4–in. square and took 11+ hours to print. We calculated that it used about $8 in plastic.

Art School Daughter then needed to do her homework. She wanted to recreate the vase–face optical illusion in 3D using her face as one side and her boyfriend’s face for the other. These portraits are about 1.5– to 2–in. tall.

Finally, why not try sculpt a full face? The printer “draws” each layer of plastic onto the previous layer. It’s like a precise, computer–controlled glue gun.

What are we doing with all this plastic artwork?

Besides making functional phone stands, we’re making art, and art begs to be displayed.

My kids declare the face magnet to be cool and creepy at the same time.

We’ve been branching out into animals. Stay tuned for the results of the raptor hunt.

Are you an early adopter or a late majority?




  1. Hi Aimee, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Thanks, Chris! I love your projects. Mine keep me out of trouble too.


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