Feeds

How to get your bust in good shape

Got a 3D printer – now what?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Feature A 3D printer is a great toy, but only if you have something to print. If you want to address the big issue of “yes, but what can you do”, then just downloading models isn’t any more personal than buying the finished thing online.

3D scanning

The bust is back in vogue

You need to make your own.

To this end I looked at 3D scanning. This used to be the stuff of mega expensive custom hardware but it’s just getting into the hobbyist domain.

One approach is to use 123D Catch, an interesting piece of free software from AutoDesk. It takes 50 or so still frames, sucks them onto the AutoDesk mainframe - er, sorry, private cloud - and stitches them into a 3D model.

3D scanning 3D scanning

AutoDesk's 123D Catch iPhone app is a start but don't expect spectacular results

There is an iPhone app version of 123D Catch too. In theory, you don’t have to use a camera and a PC, but a good lens is always going to help. A DSLR, even with the resolution wound right down is going to be a better bet. It’s also not as seamless as AutoDesk would like you to think, so you really do need to use a PC. There's even an on-line version if you just fancy dabbling from a browser.

One of the important things to realise with 123D Catch is that the software uses the background scene to help with the stitching, so putting someone on a chair and spinning them round isn’t great.

3D scanning

Still life on Thingiverse, the modelling site of MakerBot Industries, manufacturers of 3D printers

The victim person also needs to stay still. It’s telling that among the huge number of online models produced using 123D Catch the vast majority of the good ones are of things like statues, there are very few of people, none of which look good enough to print and there are no models of people generated with 123D Catch on Thingiverse either, the general repository for models. Yet with a huge amount of perseverance, I managed to capture a face good enough to print.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: The waiting game

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.