AMS Spring 2023

Make Your Own 3D Printed Full Color Bobblehead — Of Yourself!

Inkbit

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The selfie craze is obviously here to stay. Right? And 3D printed selfies, or commemorative family portraits, or long-lost and greatly printed pets are also getting lots of play in this personalized and customized world of 3D scanned and printed objects. Many of these prints are sentimental, and intended to mark special events in you or your family’s life. And of course, your deceased dog, Fido, who now sits on your office desk as a 3D printed and highly accurate model is one of your prized possessions. But there’s another way to go with this personalization/selfie trend. To throw a little more fun and humor into the 3D printed selfie craze, here’s a fun reminder that you can print a selfie bobblehead!

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Thanks to one of those ever-handy Instructables, the 3D printed bobblehead selfie proves to be in your immediate grasp. An oldie but a goodie type of project posted two years ago, “cpramuk” shows us how to do this in 7 simple steps. You first create a model of your head using 123D Catch. This app is available on iPhones, iPads and in the AppStore. A web app version is also available. And to do some manual stitching, a desktop PC version helps you improve the final appearance of your bobblehead. As cpramuk describes, you take about 20 pictures from different angles to ensure full coverage and he lists tips in the Instructable about how to shoot the best photos too.

Next, you are going to “import the head capture” into Meshmixer — a tool to make 3D mashups and remixes. There are guidelines included about exactly what to do here as well.  After Meshmixer, you  clean up your head capture, heal the mesh holes, and then use 123D Design to cut out the bottom cavity where the body attaches to the bobblehead.

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Finally, you are ready to 3D print your head model in full color using your own 3D printer or a company like i.materialise or Shapeways for prints in full color sandstone. Once you get possession of that gorgeous printed head, you are ready to assemble the bobblehead. For this you need a 3/4 inch spring and a glue gun.  By now, you should have been thinking about what bobblehead body you want to place your face on.  Dolly Parton? Your favorite athlete? Well, that’s obviously where all of the fun and humor really comes into this project.

Our designer, cpramuk, chose the bobblehead body of the San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence. Assembly directions included getting the spring sized right so the head won’t hit the body as it bobbles.

And there you have it! You have now reached a higher plateau of 3D printed selfiedom as you perfect the bobblehead instead of settling for the relative boredom of a fixed figurine.  Will you be turning yourself into a 3D printed bobblehead?  Let us know in our forum.

 

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