6. 3D Scanning and printing

The objective of this week is to first, work with a group to Test the design rules for your printer and explain what are the limits of the printer, second to Design and 3D print an object that cannot be easily made subtractively. Finally, to 3D scan an object and print it if possible.

Group Assignment

You can find our group assignment in this link

3D priniting

Design 3D object

To fulfill this week objectives, I first need to design a 3D design that can not be made subtractively which means that the design could not be made by CNC machine our by laser cutter. As a result, I decide to design a princess castle in fuison 360.

  1. In step 1,2 and 3, I started by drowning two circles. And extrude them to make the base and the wall for the first floor, then I started a mew sketch in the wall area to make the small fence and extruded again.
  2. In step 5,6 and 7, I drew again two circles to make the walls of the castles’ tower and again extruded.
  3. I repeat the previous steps to make the other two floors which is shown in step 8 to 15 and 18.
  4. In step 16 and 17, To make the door for the castle I create a new plane and draw he shape of the door then I extruded towards the castle to make the doors’ hole.

After finishing the 3D design, it is time to print it with 3D printer using MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printer for that I need first to convert the STL file to G-code so the printer could understand what it will print. Because I am using MakerBot 3D printer I need to us the software of it.

I started by importing my STL file by clicking on file << insert fil.

Then I setup the printing settings as follow:

  • Extrude Type: smart extruder.
  • Print mood: Draft to make it print fast.
  • The infill density to be 20%.
  • Support type to be breakaway support.
  • Check the box of support under bridges.

finally I export the file as G-code and copy it to USB flash memory.

The following steps is what I did after converting the STL file to G-code 1. Add the PLA filament: you can decide what color or type of filament you want. I chose the black PLA.
2. Select the file that you want to print : by selecting from the printing menu USB storage << select the file << print. After this step the printer will do 3 steps before printing ( Heating the extruder, moving into position, transferring the print file )

The final result is shown in the pictuer below

I select the previous parameter to print the model without any problem as it has many levels and holes it needs more support. For the parameter that I did in fusion I wanted to make somthing small to keep it in my room so I decided to try and the first trial was as I expected. There was some imperfection in the peace but it does not bother me as it is small, to make it better I can change the Print mode from draft to high quality and to makt stronger I can make the infill higher.


To meet the objective of this week an object scanning is needed so I just pick the following object and try to scan it with two different software. The Deisgn can not be easily made subtractively because it had many cuts, layers and holes that can not be done with any other machien like CNC.

Using Qlone

Qlone is an application that you could download and install in your phone and computer it scan any object fast and easy but less accurate. The steps of scanning is very easy you just need to download the Mat and print it to place the object on it, the reason behind that is to make the application understand the location and the position of the object to just scan the object and remove the background.

The results of scanning using Qlone is shown in the youtube video below

Using XBOX 360 Kinect

XBOX 360 Kinect sensor bar is a tool that you can us to scan any object it is easy and more accurate than Qlone. I connect the XBOX 360 Kinect with the PC by USB cable and run open the Skanect software.

It is important to adjust the object in the middle of the cube shown in the software before start recording. Once I make sure that everything on it is place I start recording then I rotate the scanned object slowly tell I return to the origin spot again.

After I finished with recording the I stop the scanning and move to the next step to see the results and edit it as I want for example, I can remove the background. Then I go to share to export it as stl file.

The final result is shown below

Using XBOX 360 Kinect vs Qlone

From the previous results we can conclude that both methods of scanning had it is own pros and cons. For example, Qlone is easy to use as it is a phone application and does not consume time however it is not very accurate because it is depend on the hand postion. On the other hand, XBOX 360 Kinect is more accurate but needs a lot of set ups like a rotating table with flat surface, PC and cables. It also consumes time to reach the final scanning results.

Actually, none of the two methods was able to replicate the scanned object perfectly especially the holes and the small details but both were close. It could happen for many reasons as mentioned above both method needs many step-ups like for Qlone we need to print the mat to rotate the object and change the position of the phone which could lead to many scanning errors and it seemed to have trouble recognizing the deepth. Also for the XBOX 360 Kinect, it needs a flat surface to put the object on it and start scanning by rotating the surface at a very low speed, this process also depends on how fast or how slow we rotate the surface, and as it is done manually it could produce many errors in scanning as we saw from the previous trials. I preferred Qlone as it is fast and easy to use.

Orignal files


orignal castle design