Learning to Scan and Meshmix – Week 11

On Monday, we met back in our home base, the digital printing lab. We have now moved far beyond simply looking up prints online, we have begun to create and edit our own 3D models. We used two different types of scanners to capture our faces, and create busts of ourselves using a program called Meshmixer. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the scanner captured my head. All I did was rotate in a chair while my partner captured my head using a scanner attached to an iPad. From the iPad, I emailed my the file of my face to myself, and began to play with it in Meshmixer. Meshmixer was a really cool software to use, however, it was also a bit frustrating. Manipulating my own face on my laptop was difficult because I had to even out an strange edges the scanner captured and fill in any holes. After that, I attempted to attached my bust to a base with my initials attached. This part was much easier because the program attaches the shapes together for you. By the time I got all this done, saved on a SD card, and in the printer, my print failed. Just goes to show you 3D printing doesn’t always come out perfect. I still have the file, and will have to get back in the lab sometime before the end of the semester to print myself out correctly.

Learning how this type of technology works is especially important because it allows people to recreate things that they already own, and make any additions that they see fit. By owning one of these scanners and a 3D printer, one could print anything they already own. These scanners are basically replicators straight out of a science fiction movie. What’s even cooler, is the fact that by using Meshmixer, or a software like Fusion 360, one could improve on the products they already own. For example, if I had a coffee mug that was perfectly sized, but had an uncomfortable handle, I recreate the mug and design it however I wanted.

Although it was one of my more frustrating days in Digital Making, I would say that it was one of my more impactful lessons. When watching 3D objects get transferred to the computer, then reprinted in real life, I thought a lot about the economic impact this scanning technology could have all over the world. If poorer communities had scanners and printers like ours, they could provide household items and other living essentials for everyone they knowing simply by printing them out.

2 thoughts on “Learning to Scan and Meshmix – Week 11

  1. I think it’s really awesome that you already came up with application for the 3D scanner. Forsure, people at home can start improving and creating products that meet their immediate needs and wants. Such power is awesome and I think should be more broadly accessible, but it comes with legal entanglements like liabilities and such. Hopefully, the maker mindset can find me at home soon enough.

  2. It is the first step that is troublesome. I received some tips before scanning a person in the use of the Ipad, so my partner and I successfully create a model in the first scan. The most difficult thing I thought was modifying the file and being familiar with the new software.

Leave a Reply