3D Object from a 2D picture

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.  

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