Pumpkin Head

Portfolio Categories: Age group 9-13.

Model in clay, then 3D scan and produce a computer printable model

Subject: Art and Design

Aim: Using scanning and recomposing 3D digital forms in software.
Outcome: Learn how to use the 3D scanner and think about composition in 3D.Experience the difference between analog and digital modelling.
Age group: 9-13
Estimated time: 240 minutes
Resources: A pumpkin, clay, Sense 3D Scanner, Tinkercad, 3D Printer


  1. Choose a pumpkin that should be turned into a lantern. Look at it and imagine what kind of face it should get. Make a sketch.
  2. Start modelling the facial features with clay. Imagine that the parts, that will be holes, like the eyes must be shaped as bodies. Later on the screen you can turn them from positive to negative forms. The size oft he parts does not matter now. Don’t build it too small, so you will get a good scan.
  3. If all parts are ready, start the sense software. Choose Object and then small object.
  4. Put the pumpkin tot the center oft he scanning platform. Press start to start the print.
  5. Now turn the scanner slowly araound the object. Move the scanner to a higher position and turn it around the object again. On the screen you can watch the file growing. Keep on scanning until the shape is complete or until the program looses tracking. Then press further to get tot he next step. If your are not satisfied with the scanning result press home to restart the scan.
  6. Use the tools crap and erase to clean up the scan. Remember that the program erases always the smaller part.
  7. Use the tool solidify to create a solid shape without missing surface parts. Press further to get tot he next step.
  8. Use the tool trim to remove unwanted parts oft he scan.
  9. Use the tool touch up to smooth selected areas. Then press further.
  10. Press save to save the scan. Give it a name, so that you can easily recognize the file.
  11. Repeat step 4 to 10 for each modelled part.
  12. Next will be the virtual modelling and arrangement oft he parts in Tinkercad. One problem is ,that for tinkercad we need stl files. But the sense software saves data as ply file. Before continuing the project all files must be converted. That for a program is needed, which can manage both files. I use Mc Neel Rhinozeros. It is a professional program but you can use the work in progress version for Mac 30 days for free. Just open the program, then import the ply file and afterwards export the selected file as stl.
  13. Open Tinkercad (the program does not run on safary for Mac, use firefox). Start a new design press Design and New.
  14. Import the files. Press Import – file – choose file – press import.
  15. Now arrange all parts to the Jack-O-Lantern. Click on the object to move it. Click on the cone to move it up or down. Click on the corners to see the size and scale the object into one direction. Press shift and click on the corners to scale the object into all directions.
  16. Now select all parts that should be turned into holes. Press hole on the inspector field. Now select all parts and press group to make it one body.
  17. Fort he LED candle press geometric and pull the cylinder into the model.
  18. Measure the candle and scale the cylinder 1mm bigger. Make it a hole and group it with the model. If the eyes and are not deep enough you can cut geometric parts out of the model in the same way.
  19. The model is ready now. Press Design, save and download for 3D printing. Choose stl file. Close the model.
  20. In the gallery you can click the actions button on your model and property to give it a name.
  21. Yours stl file is ready for the slicing software.                                                     Special advice. For a good scanning result the surrounding oft he object is important. A clean surface pad is not useful. Use an old newspaper. The scanner orientates itself by the letters and lines around the model. Use a pedestal for your object. This can be a small book. The pedestal can be cut away in the sense software easily and you get a well scanned base.If you do the scanning free hand, the scanner will often loose tracking. Better use a wooden construction as shown in the description to turn the scanner around the object.

from Alexander Joly, D

Keywords/tags: 3D scanning