Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Adam Proctor’s 3D Footprint Keepsake is The Perfect Gift For New Parents

ST Medical Devices

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Adam Proctor is a founding member of the North Shore 3D Printing Club and a member of New England Creative who runs his own 3D printing hub outside of Boston, and he’s created an Instructable sure to tug at your heartstrings.

Proctor built a wonderful item he calls a 3D Footprint Keepsake. Taking an ink footprint the nursing staff at the hospital of his newborn baby girl, he made a scale version her tiny foot in pink PLA plastic–and then presented it in gratitude to that great nursing staff.FSRMWLII8766MRM.MEDIUM

The designer began by taking a digital photo of the ink footprint with his smartphone camera and then used Gimp to crop, raise the brightness and contrast, and clean up the edges of the image.

Using the Shapeways Creator App, which allows users to make an extruded shape from a black and white image, Proctor took the 2D photo into the third dimension. The size and depth can be set in millimeters, and it’s also possible to add textures. The file was then saved to an .x3db file format locally, and Proctor converted that file to the .stl format with netfabb by opening the downloaded file and exporting it.F7P4LELI8766DF7.MEDIUM

H e used SketchUp to design the “backing” piece for the footprint and then added the baby’s name using the 3D Text function. Meshmixer was then used to combine the two files and export them footprintas a single .stl file ready a slicing program. Proctor’s file for this portion is available for download on Thingiverse so other makers interested in this project can create their own backing easily.

Proctor is very active in the 3D printing community around Boston, regularly attending community meetups like those held at the Liquid Art House to spread the word about what additive manufacturing can provide to artists and designers. He says Boston is a hotbed for innovation.

“Where else but a Boston meetup could you rub elbows with great individuals from the likes of MarkForged, Voxel8 & 3Doodler while surrounded by great food and great art?” he adds.

You can check out all the steps and details involved in making the 3D Footprint Keepsake on Instructables.

What do you think of the 3D Footprint Keepsake? Can you see yourself printing one of these for a friend or family member? Let us know in the 3D Footprint Keepsake forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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