Anton scanning Filip.

Anton Månsson scanning Filip Eneroth

When it comes to 3D printing, you have to love the customization aspects that this technology provides to artists, designers, and hobbyists. For those of us who know how to create 3D models, the possibilities are really endless when it comes to designing an object to be 3D printed.

For one group of designers, at Creative Tools, they wanted to do something not only unique, but something that was monumental, quite literally. They knew of the potential that 3D technology could provide, having been one of the leading suppliers of 3D software and hardware in Scandinavia since 2004.

“We’ve been doing a few portrait prints recently,” Anton Månsson, head of Creative Tools’ Stockholm office, tells 3DPrint.com. “My colleague Daniel Norée has also been scanned before and printed in a video which gained some traction online.”

For those of you who are frequent readers of 3DPrint.com, Daniel Norée is a familiar name, as he is the founder of both the OpenRC Project and the OpenRailway Project. Both of these are open source community projects that allow for the sharing of ideas, feedback, and design files, for 3D printable RC vehicles and model trains, respectively.

MeshMixer_Sculpting

MeshMixer

The three men at Creative Tools, Daniel Norée,  Anton Månsson, and Filip Eneroth, decided that they would create their very own custom ‘Mount Rushmore,’ with their own heads on it in place of the four US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Surely this is an idea that other people have thought of previously, but with today’s technology, it is now something that isn’t all that difficult to do.

“We started off with 3D-scanning the head and shoulders of everyone,” Månsson tells us. “We used an Artec MHT scanner — similar to Artec EVA — and had some continuous light to get some better texture in the scanning. For this print it would be OK to use a cheaper scanning solution like XTION/Kinect with software like ReconstructMe, or just an iPad/iPhone and Autodesk 123D Catch.”

MeshMixer_FinishedThey then took the 3D mesh, excluding the texture, and moved it into Autodesk Meshmixer to close up any holes and blemishes, before trying to figure out how to create a model of Mount Rushmore.

“We’re all Swedes here so nobody has visited the monument on site,” Månsson explained. “Luckily we have Google! Using Google Earth, we could really zoom in and get an idea of how it really looks. Thanks to Google Earth, we could actually see a pretty good 3D-image within the software and then quickly model a low-poly version without any carvings.”

So this is exactly what they did. When complete, they then exported the model as an STL file from their Poly-modeling software, Autodesk 3ds Max, before importing it into the Autodesk Meshmixer software again. Here the team sculpted some extra details onto the mountain.

Then, using the ‘combination tool’ in Meshmixer, they were able to take the three models of themselves and the model of the mountain and combine them as one. The finalized STL file was sent to Simplify3D to get sliced for 3D printing and then it was sent off to their Ultimaker 2 3D printer to print out.

The 3D Printed Mount 'Creative Tools'

The 3D Printed Mount ‘Creative Tools’. (from left to right) Daniel Norée, Anton Månsson, and Filip Eneroth. All from Creative Tools Sweden

As you can see in the photos, the results were actually quite astonishing. Mount Rushmore now has Creative Tools’ mark on it…. at least this scaled down version of it does.

What do you think about the work that these guys from Creative Tools did? Would you have done anything different in the process? Discuss in the 3D printed customized Mount Rushmore forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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