The possibilities of things to print with a 3D printer are endless. From figurines to fully functioning prosthetic limbs, 3D printers can be used to print or replicate almost anything. One of the hardest parts of 3D printing is getting a digital model of your object. If you’re not familiar with solid modeling software, you’re most likely limited to the models you can find online.
I found a really cool project on Instructables that explain how to make a 3D model of anything using a camera (a phone camera for smaller object, but a DSLR camera would be the way to go for larger models) and Memento, a free app that turns pictures of an object into a 3D model. Each point on the object must appear in at least 3 pictures, but it doesn’t hurt to have each point appear more times.
When I read the instructions for this project I was immediately intrigued to see if it was actually possible to make a 3D model of something just using images of it. I decided to use a small rubber duck I found lying around in my room. It was small enough that I didn’t have to take too many pictures to test the method, and lots of detail so I could see the accuracy of the model. I used about 30 pictures to create my model, but probably could have gotten away with less.
While my iPhone takes quality photos, in the future I plan to use a DSLR camera to test modeling larger objects. I’m not completely sure what I want to model yet, but it will be interesting to see how a larger object turns out.