15-394 Assignment 4: Statue on a Pedestal

I. Introduction

In this assignment you will scan an object by taking multiple pictures with your phone, use Autodesk ReCap Photo to convert those images into a 3D model, construct a pedestal in SolidWorks, place your model on the pedestal using MeshMixer, and 3D print the result.

II. Scanning

  1. Since we don't have a 3D scanner, we will make do by taking successive pictures using a smartphone. Make sure that the object is well lit; try to minimize any shadows. When photographing the object, do not move it. Only move the camera. Be sure to get all sides, plus the top. For good results you should collect at least 20 images.

  2. Move the images from your phone to a new folder on the hard drive of a laptop on which ReCap Photo has been installed.

  3. In ReCap Photo, in the Dashboard tab, click on the "Create 3D / Photos" icon and select "Online" (cloud).

  4. When it asks where to select photos from, choose "Local Drive", navigate to the folder with the photos, and select all of them. ReMake will then upload these photos to Autodesk's cloud and queue them for processing, which will take a few minutes.

  5. When processing is complete, download the model. You can put it in the same folder as your images.

  6. In ReCap's Editor tab, click on the Export icon and export the file in "MeshMixer - OBJ" format with quality High. You can put the results in the same folder as the images. The program will place three files in the folder.

Alternative: If you don't have a usable model file, you can use this one: CozmoScans.rcm. Load this file into ReCap Photo and export it as a Meshmixer OBJ file.

III. Mesh Cleanup and Editing

Open the .obj file in MeshMixer.

Use MeshMixer's editing tools to clean up the model.

  • Edit > Transform can be used to translate, rotate, and scale the model.
  • Edit > Plane Cut can be used to cut away unwanted pieces.
  • Sculpt > Brushes can be used to deform the model in various ways.
  • The Export button can be used to write out the model as an STL file.

IV. Construct a Pedestal in SolidWorks

This image search will show you some nice looking pedestals.

Construct a pedestal in SolidWorks suitable for displaying your object. It should have some graceful curves, nice fluting, etc. Be creative.

Export the pedestal part as an STL file.

V. Mount Your Object on the Pedestal

In MeshMixer you can import the STL file of the pedestal and place your model on top of it.

You might need to add some material to connect the model to the pedestal if you want to prop it up at a certain angle. You can do this using the some of the Edit > Sculpt brushes.

012345678910Export your model as an ASCII STL file. The Zortrax client doesn't appear to like binary STL files from MeshMixer.

V. Prepare Your Object for 3D Printing

  1. Run the Zortrax Z-Suite client program and create a new project for the M200.

  2. Click on the "+" sign to import your STL file, and translate, rotate, and scale it as necessary. Don't make the object too large or it will take too long to print.

  3. Click on the Print button to slice your model and generate the tool paths to 3D print it.

  4. You can speed up print time by selecting lower resolution, less infill, and a thicker layer size.

  5. Click on the "Save to Print" button and save the .zcode file to your hard drive.

VI. 3D Print Your Object

Borrow an SD card from the IDeATe lending booth, and copy your .zcode file onto the card.

Put your card in the Zortrax printer and have it print your file.

Post a picture of your piece on Piazza.


Hand in a zip file handin.zip containing the following:
  1. Screenshots of your MeshMixer model (a couple of different views). Don't try to hand in the actual model files; they're too big.
  2. Your SolidWorks model of just the pedestal, and a screeshot of the combined model+pedestal in Meshmixer.
  3. The photo of your 3D printed object that you posted to Piazza.
Due date: check the class schedule or Autolab.

Grading (10 pts)

  • TBD

Dave Touretzky
Last modified: Sun Apr 30 15:29:25 EDT 2017