If you have ever been interested in 3D scanning, you may be surprised to find that you may already have a 3D scanner in your pocket. Using the front-facing TrueDepth camera on iPhone X and newer models (unfortunately, Android is not supported), you can create a 3D scan of the face, export it as a 3D model, and use a 3D printer to create a copy. In this article, we will introduce how to create a 3D selfie with a mobile phone and how to do 3D printing. No 3D sculpting experience is required because the application we will use creates a fully printable model without modification.
We will use the iPhone app FaceApp by Bellus3D For this article. The application is free to download and use, and you can use it for free to create unlimited scans. The application costs $0.99 to export 3D models for printing, but you can scan any number of times before printing to master the scanning process.
what do you need
- 3D printer: In this article, we will use the Anycubic Vyper FDM 3D printer, One of the best 3D printers You can buy it in 2021.
- filament: For fast printing of models on Vyper, PLA is a good material choice. We will use Begonova branded PLA in this article.
- Slicer application: Ultimaker Cura is the slicer application we will use with Anycubic Vyper, but your slicer may vary from printer to printer. Most of the steps for all slicers are similar, so no matter what you use, you should be able to follow.
- iPhone: Most 3D scanning applications require LiDAR sensors (such as the front TrueDepth camera on iPhone X and later), so you need to check to make sure this is a feature on your phone. We will use iPhone 11 Pro in this article, but the app we use is compatible with iPhone X and newer.
- Bellus3D FaceApp; You can use many 3D scanning applications to make 3D models of faces, and most use a similar process. We will use Bellus3D FaceApp for iOS, which can provide quick and easy results.
- SD card: Anycubic Vyper requires an SD card to transfer slice files from your computer to your printer, so you need to make sure you have one on hand. However, if your printer has Wi-Fi, you can also transfer STL files in this way.
Before we start, you need to download the FaceApp scanning application on your iPhone, as well as the slicer application for 3D printers.
1. Download the FaceApp scanning application From iOS App Store. This is a free application that can be downloaded and used, so you do not need to purchase any scans or subscriptions to try the software.
2. Download slicer software For your 3D printer.We will use Ultimaker Kula, A free application with Anycubic Vyper and other slicer applications for FDM 3D printers, such as Prusa Slicer, Simplify 3D, Flash print And others will have a similar workflow.
Part 1: Use Bellus3D FaceApp to create 3D selfies
The first part of the project will create a 3D model of the head for 3D printing. The model we create needs to be 3D printable, so we will make a complete model of your head and make sure it is a file format that your 3D printing software can use after export. At the end of this step, you should have a working 3D model.
1. Open Bellus3D FaceApp on iPhone And pay attention to the different scanning options. FaceApp provides three independent scanning modes: face, face + neck and full head.
2. Select full head option Create printable 3D models.
3. Follow the prompts of FaceApp And rotate your head to the sides, up, and down so that the app fully captures your face. FaceApp will take this scan data and automatically generate a mesh of your face, while extending the sides to create the back of your head.
4. After scanning, select “Light” and then “Surface” View the 3D scanned grid. The grid is the actual geometry of the model, without the colorful textures wrapped around it. This is the 3D printing we are going to do, so we want to make sure it looks satisfactory before proceeding. If you are not satisfied with the grid, you can rescan until you get a satisfactory grid.
5. Unlock 3D printed models By selecting “Unlock”.After unlocking, the scan can be used as a 3D model or just a share Link to view 3D scan.
6. Toggle watertight setting Create a solid 3D mesh. This will create a solid foundation for your model so that it can be 3D printed.
7. Select HD for the grid resolution Create high-resolution grids. This will get more detail at the cost of a slightly higher file size, but it will produce a clearer 3D model.
8. Choose to export STL file Export files that can be 3D printed. After exporting, this file can be loaded into your slicer application to prepare for 3D printing.
Part 2: Prepare 3D scans for 3D printing
In this step, we will create a 3D printable file from our 3D scan.If this is your first time printing a 3D model, you can Our guide to making your first 3D print from .STLAfter exporting from FaceApp, the 3D scan can be sent to your slicer application, ready for 3D printing. The model itself will be exported from the application as waterproof (no holes need to be filled), so no additional sculpting is required.
1. Import 3D scan .STL file Drag it into the Cura workspace. Please note that the model is imported in full size (the size of your actual head), so we need to adjust its size and angle before printing.
2. Zoom model Therefore, it is perfectly suitable for the build volume of a 3D printer. In this article, we scaled down this model to 35%, but you can scale it up or down.
3. Rotating model To reduce the amount of support material produced. By rotating the model on the Y axis so that it faces upwards, the amount of support material generated under the eyes and nose is minimized. Rotating about 45 degrees should give the best results without making the model unnecessarily difficult to print.
4. Slice model Preview the complete tool path before printing. Before printing, you need to make sure that “support” is selected to generate supporting materials. You can see the difference in the amount of support material generated between the original model and the rotated model, which results in faster and cleaner printing.
5. Check the tool path Check if there are any problems before printing.This model is sliced using the default slicer app that comes with it Arbitrary cube Vyper, Only minor changes have been made to speed up printing.
6. Save and export the model to SD card Once it is sliced and ready to print. After completing this step, your 3D scan is fully prepared for 3D printing.
Part 3: Print a 3D selfie
Once the model is sliced and ready for export, the file can be transferred to the printer and the printing process can begin. In this step, we will introduce what is needed to load the model in the printer and start printing. These steps are specific to Anycubic Vyper 3D printers, but most FDM 3D printers will be prepared in a similar way.
1. Load PLA filament Enter the printer and make sure the bed is properly calibrated.Correctly calibrating the printer bed is a key step in the 3D printing process. You can check our Guidelines for printing the first model.
2. Insert the SD card into the printer And select the exported model to start the printing process. At 35% of the actual size, this photo took 5 hours and 26 minutes to complete.
3. Remove the model from the bed After printing is complete. On Anycubic Vyper, this can be easily achieved by bending the textured platform and allowing the parts to be easily separated.
Part 4: Removal of support material and final steps
In the last step of this article, we will remove the supporting material from this photo and prepare it for display.
1. Remove support material Be careful not to damage the surface of the model or your hands. The support material should be separated from the surface of the model without leaving any traces or defects.
2. Check the model For any defects or areas that are not printed correctly. At this point, your 3D selfie is complete and ready to show.
After the parts are completed, you will successfully create your own 3D selfies using the 3D scanner application and 3D printer. You can further realize this idea by using this 3D selfie as part of the chess piece, creating a custom shaking head for your friends, or making a family portrait by scanning your family and printing their 3D selfie.