A few weeks ago, my wife and daughters were out of town. I missed them a little so I decided to try to figure out how to turn one of their pictures into a 3D object on my Makerbot Replicator printer.
I stumbled across a cool program called PhotoToMesh. This program converts 2D pictures into 3D surface mesh files, which can then be printed.
Here are the results of my first try:￼
The image on the left is a picture of my daughter Ellen in front of an Arborvitae. The image on the right is the output from Photo2Mesh. It did a really nice job except for areas of really high contrast like her open mouth and eyes.
I then printed this in black ABS at 80 micron resolution, and here are the results.
Not too bad. I was pretty pleased with the outcome. I drilled a hole in the back and glued in a magnet.
But I wondered if I could do a little bit better and push the printer a little bit more. This time I found a picture of both of my girls together with Ellen looking to the side and Violet looking straight ahead. The software did a great job with Ellen’s profile and a pretty good job with Violet.
Here are the results:
The picture of the printed object doesn’t really do it justice, but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. As you can see, I made it into a keychain.