Here at MakerBot Headquarters, every desk is a little world of printed objects. Since the release of the MakerBot Digitizer, all these funny, lumpy clay creatures have joined the ranks. They’re great, but when we put a trained sculpture to task, the results really started to get exciting.
Along the Pont Neuf in Paris, there are a series of lampposts designed by Victor Baltard in 1854, depicting Neptune and his dolphins. Robert Steiner, our Chief Product Officer here at MakerBot, wanted to incorporate elements of these lampposts into a design for some furniture of his own. He sent these two pictures (above) off to a sculptor in the Philippines. A few months later these sculpts (below, left) arrived in the mail, but they were not great objects for casting into molds, as Robert had planned. He put them in a box and nearly forgot about them until we launched the Digitizer. Sensing an opportunity, he brought them into the office and the dolphin scanned beautifully. Plaster, due to its pale and textured surface, is a great material for scanning. The Digitizer software had no problem filling in the occlusion behind the lips.Robert asked the sculptor to give Neptune an open mouth, in hopes of turning it into a fountain spout. The Neptune face didn’t scan well laying flat, so I attached some clay to the base to help it stand up straight. This gave his beard a trim, but now the printed version has a flat base to stand on.