3D Printing my Dog
Two months ago I lost my boy to cancer. For 13 years Lando was my best friend, and his loss was devastating. When I first brought him home, he would not let me trim his toe nails at all. The vet told me that if I played with/pet his feet all the time, he would get used to it and trimming his nails would no longer be a problem. Over time this turned into me holding his paw like it was a hand whenever we would cuddle on the couch.
When he passed, not only did I miss him, but I missed the feeling of holding his little hand. I have heard rumors on the internet that it is possible to use software to turn your phone into a cheap DYI 3D scanner, and since I had a paw print taken before his passing, I theoretically had what I needed to recreate his paw so I could hold it again.
Enter Reality Capture
The software I looked at was called “Reality Capture.” As you can see from the above image, this software could allegedly create a 3d model from nothing but photos. It all seemed like bullshit. Marketing images always make the product seem better than it is in reality (pun intended).
In a nutshell:
- It is software that allegedly creates 3D models from still images
- Bought out by Epic Games 🤮. I have no idea how Epic Games makes any money. I know no one who has ever bought a game from their shitty store, and yet the company had money to buy this software and bandcamp.
- Free to use, pay to export files
- Closed source, windows only
Fuck it, lets take 43 pictures
Step 2, “Align” photos
After all the photos are taken, the software needs to “align’ the images, which is a fancy way of saying that it tries to looks for similar points in the photos so it can create a 3D model. The software places a white dot on points it recognizes. If you squint hard enough, you can kind of see a paw outline.
Step 3, render and hope for the best
Reality Capture has two render modes, high and low quality.
As you can see, the high quality render looks very promising.
Step 4, holy shit it can texture
So it turns out that the marketing images weren’t bullshit after all. This thing can make high quality 3D models.
Its pretty clear that the payment area of the application was tacked on as an afterthought. When I tried the password for my epic account, it did not work. I had to create a secondary “pin.” Yes, a 4 digit pin is so much more secure than my 20 character password. Good job epic.
Oh look, price minimums
And now we know how epic makes money off of this application. On the plus side I now have a ton of credits for future scanning.
Working with the model export
Once the software exported the paw as an obj file, I was able to import it into PrusaSlicer and edit it to trim it down.
The next step was using OpenScad to create an inverse model of the paw imprint. The following code produced pretty good results.
The Final Result