Saturday, 30 March 2013


I decided to have a go at reproducing the pose in Jian Xu's picture shown at the bottom of my last post. Tricky parts included getting the fingers into the correct position, particularly since it seemed to push the right elbow into odd places, and dealing with the deep mesh overlap where calves met thighs and thighs met trunk.

I'm still struggling to get good quality solid hair and I don't always like the models looking bald! This time I used Sculptris to fashion a short hair style starting from a simple sphere. It's not great but it kind of works.

Here is the cleaned up version in Blender beside the reference picture.

Metamorphosis looked beautiful in the translucent blue but, being made of PLA, I couldn't use the acetone vapor bath to smooth the surface. PLA isn't soluble in acetone. I knew that I wanted to have a smooth surface on Curl, so I thought I would try printing a copy in black ABS.

My first attempt was sliced in Slic3r 0.98 but again I was disappointed with the way it generates support structures, so I abandoned that print and sliced again in Kisslicer. This version looked much more promising and I have learned that the initial raft is an indispensable feature for supporting this type of model.

Here is the model on the print bed and in close up, showing the support structures (under LED lighting).

Here is the bottom section of the support material after it was peeled away from the model. I am still impressed with how well the support separates from the model given that they are both made of the same material.

And here is the final version after processing in acetone vapor.


  1. Could I possibly use a couple of your photos of this sculpture in my thesis project? I'm doing it on how people design for 3D printing. Your systematic description of how you work through the design process and finish off your prints would be very valuable to include. As part of the work I am making a slideshow for students to view, which will include example pictures of how to think about support material and shallow curves. Could I include the pictures there as well? I will of course credit everything to you and use whatever licencing format you prefer.

    Thanks so much if you can help, I haven't come across pictures like these anywhere else!

    Hannah Wray
    Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

    1. Hi Hannah

      Yes please feel free to go ahead and use my pictures with a suitable acknowledgement and perhaps a link to the blog.
      Thank you for asking.

      Best wishes

  2. Thanks so much! I'll make sure to put a link to the blog and acknowledgements into any presentation that includes your pictures.

    Best wishes,
    Hannah Wray