July 4, 2015 | By Alec

The 3D printing community is becoming increasingly aware of the fact that we don’t have to be limited to PLA and ABS, but one Indian architect has already ventured much further than flexible materials. Moving towards an entirely new medium, he has transformed his Delta 3D printer into a light printing machine and used it to create a remarkable replica of his daughter’s face.

By day, Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi is a project architect in Ahmedabad in India, but by night he is an avid 3D printer who loves to tackle unusual projects. And that is certainly a word you could use to describe this ethereal project. What he has done is essentially fitted his 3D printer with colored LED lights to ‘3D print’ light rather than filament. And with a custom gcode and a camera with a good shutter, he has put a very original twist on 3D printing objects.

As he explains to 3ders.org, this project is essentially an extension of an earlier project, this time incorporating light and convenience. ‘I upgraded the project to do light painting in full color. I attached a 5mmRGB LED to micro platform of my 3dr delta using a proper attachment. The RGB led is attached to the pins 4,5,6 on the ramps board,’ Kalsi says. ‘Also this time i wanted the camera to start and stop automatically as it is painful holding the shutter release button for a full 4 minutes . I attached the shutter release button to the ramps pin 11 using a opto isolator.’

Model for this project was his own two-year-old daughter, who was professionally scanned. ‘My daughter was scanned using a 3d sense scanner by a professional service ( try scanning a 2 year old ),’ he says. The model of this scan was sliced with a custom Grasshopper script. The result was a relatively simple G-code that creates 3 mm lines in the model; it doesn’t even have to be watertight.

This enabled his delta machine to ‘3D print’ lines of light in the air, but these still needed to be captured. For this, he used an automated camera (a NIKON D3100)setup with a good shutter function, though this was quite a lot of work to realize. ‘I wanted to make the painting also happen in real time in the video. Getting this done is a entire project in itself. As I had got my camera automated I produced gcode for multiple angles of the same face model .So with 10 different angles I was able to make a rotating gif,’ he explains. Kdenlive was used to edit the video.

But the result is a truly remarkable 3D printed object that has definitely been made with a 3D printer, but only exists on screen. Who says 3D printed objects need to be tangible?

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Sam West wrote at 7/16/2015 4:57:42 AM:

Strangest one I have seen and I have been in the 3D industry (as a hobbyist) for nearly 3 years. Just started recently in the 3d printing industry too...

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