Week 11: 3D Scanning and Meshmixer

This week we learnt how to scan a 3D object as well as use Meshmixer to smooth the print out. Since I’ve printed my bust once during the 3D printing expo, I didn’t want to get another bust printed so I only scanned and edited myself in Meshmixer.

Getting a good scan is surprisingly hard! The scanner has to have a steady hand and move up and down to ensure that the top of the head is captured if not you’ll end up with a hole on the top of the scan. The person being scanned has to rotate steadily on an axis or risk going out of the scanning range. Lois and I also tried to scan my hand, and it took a couple of trial and errors before we finally figured out a way to get a decent scan out. Even still, we lost a couple of finger tips. Check out Lois’s twitter for a shot of the completed hand!

What we did with Meshmixer was basically smooth out the harsh edges so that the print will not come out with serrated edges. I took a shot of some of our classmate’s prints in progress. Check out the difference between an edited print and a non-edited one.



^Smoother edges as compared to mine below


^Print done during the expo without edits using Meshmixer. See how the hair looks sharp?

I’m glad I learnt how to use Meshmixer in this class, since being able to edit a scan is much easier than creating a model from scratch and is very useful for a variety of purposes (beyond scanning body parts as we’ve done here). I might use this for the hooks in my semester project, but I have a feeling the hooks need to be more precise than this so we’ll see!

2 thoughts on “Week 11: 3D Scanning and Meshmixer

  1. Learning to use MeshMixer was a crucial skill for 3D scanning, if only we knew about this at the Build-a-printer event! MeshMixer is an awesome, accessible program that I hope we’ll get to use in the future for our final projects!

  2. I like your thoughts about your 3D printing expo experience and learnings from the class. I agree that the Meshmixer adds more flexibility and creativity in the scanning process. The initial scanning might not be perfect, but the software allows us to fix errors.

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