A fun Friday project to share and something you can do as well. I captured my own head in a 3D model using the free Autodesk 123D Catch software which takes a series of photos from a regular camera and generates a 3D mesh. It is quite simple as long as you read the instructions on how to take your photos. Since glasses are thin featured and also have transparent glass they should be removed. The most difficult part is sitting completely still for about 2 minutes as someone takes photos of your head from different angles.
123D Catch: Capturing my head in 3D using only photos
You can see my head in 3D in Autodesk 123D Catch and the positions of the cameras as it takes about 35-40 photos to get a good 3D model. Since my hair is rather thin it calculated a funny bump on my head and the model is not closed or watertight but have no fear we will solve that easily. Once I am ready to work with my 3D head model I export it as an OBJ. I could use this OBJ in almost any 3D software and have fun with it there but in this case I want to clean up the geometry and close it to watertight so that I can print it on a 3D printer or online 3D printing service.
Meshmixer: Cleaning the Mesh
I import the OBJ into Autodesk Meshmixer to smooth areas, zip holes, and the new feature plane cut tool (thanks Ryan!) to make my head watertight and ready for 3D printing. The new in testing build is what I am using from the Meshmixer forums and moderated buy the one man band and developer Ryan Schmidt of the Autodesk Research Team. http://meshmixer.com/forum/index.php?topic=514.0 Ryan and I are in the same organization as we both ultimately report into the Office of the CTO (OCTO as it is referred to) instead of into a specific Autodesk industry division.
Of course this being Meshmixer you can seamlessly mix other OBJ objects such as a giant ear or a bunny head onto the model if wanted for the Chernobyl nuclear accident human mutation effect. Meshmixer is highly creative and addictive. You can sculpt models very easily and export to OBJ for using in another application or even STL for 3D printing. Did I mention Meshmixer is free?
I would have the latest MakerBot Replicator which has a larger build area and two heads but unfortunately I ordered my MakerBot just two weeks before the Replicator model was announced and nobody told me I was ordering an old model 3D printer. To get the latest and the greatest MakerBot Replicator I would have happily waited or even donated my Thing-o-Matic 3D printer to a local school complete with me training them how they can use it.
Some in progress photos and video from my iPhone.