I’m one of those people who simply can not draw. I watch in awe as artists sketch images of people, places and things in a manner which appears to be as easy to them as breathing. Besides my lack of hand and eye coordination, I believe that the biggest problem I have is not being able to imagine what I’m drawing accurately enough. For instance, if someone was to tell me to draw a picture of my house, the end result would likely be something that looks like a cardboard box. On the other hand, if that same person was to place a photograph of my house in front on me, and asked me to draw it, the end result would at least look somewhat like my home.
While many artists are able to visualize their subjects simply by using their imaginations, other artist, rely heavily on images and actual physical objects, which they base their work on.
One company, called Anatomy360, has been developing models for anatomical reference specifically for artists. While the human body is a beauty to look at and oftentimes referenced for sculptures, paintings and the likes, it’s not always easy to get a model to pose for a project, sometimes with little or no clothing on, for extensive periods of time. This is where 3D modeling, printing, and Anatomy360 come into the picture.
Technicians with Anatomy360 have used high resolution 3D scanners to scan a man posing in various positions, which when combined, present a fluid motion. Using the 3D scanner, they took numerous scans of the individual, quickly transferring the scans to a base mesh via a topology transfer tool called Wrap X. They then used Lightwave 3D to create the morph targets within the models, before printing each model out.
“The advantage of using a scans over a traditionally produced reference model is all down to accuracy,” Anatomy360 explained on their blog. “These are prints of a real person in real poses. At no point are they proportions estimated or guessed at, they are 100% accurate in every way.”
Once everything was modeled, they then prepared each of the 6 model positions to be 3D printed, and created a strip featuring all 6 models, each representing a particular position within a motion. The prints are incredibly accurate, with features as minute as skin pores on the models’ backs, able to be seen with the human eye.
Anatomy3D created this physical reference model as a means of testing the waters with artists, to see if there may be a market for this type of product. Although the 3D printed version turned out incredibly well, if the company finds that a large enough number of artists are interested in these reference models, they will next turn to injection molding for mass production.
“We need your help again to try and gauge whether or not this is a product you would be interested in,” they write.
To leave your feedback on these models, you can either email the company at email@example.com, or leave a comment on their blog. Check out the video depicting the modeling process below, and let us know your thoughts in the 3D Printed Anatomy forum thread on 3DPB.com.