What’s Better Than One Superhero? How About Two or Three or Four, Thanks to 3D Technology

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Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman… the list goes on. There are literally hundreds of superheroes that children as young as 4 years old adore just as much as their parents and grandparents did years ago. There is something about super human powers that brings excitement even to the most pessimistic super villain.

Back in August we did a story on some incredibly small 3D printed figurines created by a man named Andrew Bougie, a 3D Technology Specialist for a company called ScanSource 3D.  He created them using a 3D Systems 3500 HDMax 3D Printer. ScanSource has really begun making a name for themselves when it comes to 3D technology, as they have a plethora of machines and devices at their fingertips. They are a distributor of both 3D printing and 3D scanning technologies.

Bougie is at it again, and this time it involves superheroes such as Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Incredible Hulk.

“My sister had given [a] superhero set to my son for his birthday,” Bougie tells 3DPrint.com. “As a true geek, I couldn’t resist borrowing them for a little bit to scan them in. Scanning these action figures didn’t have a specific use other than creating some scan examples and some images for our customers, but it was definitely a fun project and good scanning practice for myself.”

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The scanner Bougie used was an Artec Spider. It has the ability to capture color detail as well as geometry detail. During the scanning process, it projects a blue lighted grid onto the surface of the object/model being captured. Then, using three geometry tracking cameras to measure distortions on the surface of the object, hundreds of point cloud frames are created. These hold precise information about the model’s geometry, and they are aligned and fused together by the Artec Studio software, to provide a final mesh which can be exported into various formats including STL, OBJ, and WRL.

“The Hulk was the first model I scanned and I only had a chance to scan in two more figures before my son needed his toys back,” Bougie tells us. “Each model was created from multiple scans that were aligned and stitched together to create the final model. Performing multiple scans allowed me to re-orient the model as needed in order to capture surfaces that would have been hidden had I only performed a single scan.”

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Bougie then did the same for his son’s Captain America and Spiderman figurines.

“If you look closely at the scans, you will see the sharp detail the Spider is able to capture,” he explains. “These digital renders of the models were created in Blender.”

As you can see in the images displayed, the white figures are what the scanned superheroes look like after being printed on Bougie’s 3D Systems 3500 HDMax in VisiJet X material. Once printed, they need to be hand painted. Bougie’s other option is to import the scanned models into ZBrush and paint them digitally, and then 3D print them on 3D Systems’ ProJet 660Pro in full color.

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“I have already had many requests from people to replace the Hulk’s head with their own, so who knows what additional uses I might get out of these scans,” said Bougie.

Anyone can embed, download, modify, and 3D print these three models by visiting their Sketchfab links below:
Incredible Hulk
Captain America
Spider-Man

It seems as though just a few years ago 3D scanning technology was still in its infancy, with people complaining about the lack of detail captured. Now, 3-dimensional objects, both large and small, can virtually be copied using 3D technology. What do you think about these models created with an Artec Spider 3D scanner? Discuss in the 3D printing superheroes forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the 3D models below, courtesy of Bougie and Sketchfab.

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