Daniel Shin – Assignment 4: 3D Printing

In class, I learned how to use ThinkerCAD and Meshmixer to create models and edit them. Here are the models I created using these tools:

On the following week, I learned how to use an iPad app and Kinect to 3d scan objects/people.

With these newly acquired skills, I was ready to move on to create my final prompt.

I came up with an idea for each prompt.

  1. Utensil – A utensil you can equip on your fingers so you can use one or more utensils with one hand
  2. Cultural idea – A military name tag is a significant object in the culture of Korea since all men are required to serve in the military. I combined this object with my educational and artistic background to come up with this design,
  3. I decided to come up with a design influenced by a famous concept artist, Nivanh Chanthara. Combined two factors commonly found in his works: futuristic helmet and horns
  4. Something I needed in my daily life was a bag sealer.

I made a simple model for the utensil and the artist’s work as a rough draft.

I had some background experience using Blender, so I’ve done most of my work on blender.

Started from a basic cylinder, I emptied the center faces to make a ring. Extruding faces from that point, I made a rough shape of a fork. Then I used the solidify and subdivision surface modifiers to complete the design.

The rough draft of the artist’s work is in the building process of my final product.


Nivanh Chanthara is a freelancer concept artist that worked on various films, including “The Walking Dead Spin-Off,” “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “Kin,” “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” and “Ghost in the Shell.” You can find his works here: artstation.com/nivanhchanthara

I was looking for concept arts that featured both hard surface and soft surface objects so I can practice on both hard surface modeling and sculpting. Nivanh Chanthara focuses on a combination of bio-mechanical designs, which was precisely what I was looking for. I decided to combine these two artworks to come up with my 3d design.

I planned to include the hard surface helmet on the right image with the soft surface mask and combining it with the horns on the left image for more advanced design


I started the building process with a basic cube. From there, I extruded edges and faces, moved vertices around to continue building up to the desired helmet shape. For the mask, I created the base mesh with a cube and used the sculpting tool to sculpt the cube into a mask. I followed the same process with the horns: used an ico sphere as a base mesh and built upon there using the sculpting tools. The final image is the rough draft of the prompt.

I spent lots of time on improving the model. Since the process includes multiple steps and images, I will number the steps in the order of the images.

  1. Added a stand for the helmet using two cylinders
  2. To improve the shape of the mask, I imported the model into Zbrush (tool specialized in sculpting) to sculpt the mask into a more realistic natural shape.
  3. Added some pipes on the back of the helmet to fill up the emptiness on the rear.
  4. To add some rocks on the base of the stand, I made some low polygon rocks.
  5. Used particle system within blender to randomly place rocks I made on step 4. I randomized the size and rotation and limited the placement in certain areas, so the rocks don’t get placed right beneath the helmet or the edge of the stand.
  6. Placed some large rocks on the back and side of the helmet to give some background.
  7. To cut off the rocks so that nothing sticks out, I duplicated the stand and extruded up so that I can use the boolean modifier that lets me cut off objects in certain areas.
  8. I created a large cube, used the boolean modifier to cut out the cylinder I made in step 7. Then I used the boolean modifier on the large cube so that everything inside the cube cuts off. This way, the parts of the rock that are in the cube gets cut off.
  9. The completed 3d design

Part of the prompt was to include a 3D scan of an object, so I decided to 3d scan a rock to replace the low polygon rocks I made previously. The methods using the iPad and the Kinect wasn’t sufficient for scanning small objects like a rock, so I had to come up with a different approach. I decided to take multiple pictures of the rock from different angles and import those images to a computer program that creates a 3d model based on the images. Below is the following setup for the photographing.

This method didn’t work out as planned because the program wasn’t able to properly process the images. I assume the problem might be due to using a smartphone camera without a steady stand to take pictures from the same spot. Also, the object being too small might have caused the problem.
I figured it was best to use the method I learned in class, so I tried to figure out how I can use the iPad 3d scanning to scan a rock. Since it was difficult to find a large rock around campus, I decided to make something that looks similar to rock: a crumpled paper.

I crumpled a piece of paper to mimic the shape of a rock. The crumpled paper was large enough for the iPad scanner to detect. I 3d scanned a total of 3 variations of the crumpled paper, so I will have enough samples once I made small adjustments to them with 3d programs.


Once I imported the 3d scanned crumpled papers, I removed the laptop and the table that was scanned along with the paper. Then I imported the model in the Meshmixer to use the auto cleanup function. In this process, one of the scans had an error, so I ended up with two scans. Back in Blender, I duplicated both models and made slight changes for variations. Then I replaced the low polygon rocks with the new rocks and applied the particle system to place the rocks on the stand.

3D Printing

My first try with 3D printing was a failure. I wasn’t sure what the exact cause of the failure was, but it was an expected outcome since my model had a complicated shape.

I separated each part of the model and scanned the base and the parts separately to decrease the chance of printing failures.

This time, the printing was successful. I removed all the supports and sanded out the surfaces to smooth them out. Sanding and smoothing the small parts was difficult since they were small, weak, and curvy.

I added some color to the parts by using spray paints and nail polishes.

At first, I used super glue to glue each part together. but gluing small, weak parts together with superglue did not work so well. I needed something that would support the parts and glue them instantly. I used hot glue to glue each part together since the bulk of glues functioned as great supports to hold parts together.



This project was one of the most extended projects I ever worked in 3D. I think the designing took over 10 hours, and printing took 8 hours in total. I encountered multiple problems throughout the process, and I had to come up with ways to overcome or bypass those problems. There are still many limitations to 3d printing, such as low-resolution printing, rough surfaces due to supports, and long printing time. If I were to do this project again, I’m most likely to choose a design that is more simple and made of hard surfaces.