Third day of scanning and 3D printing with 123D Catch

Posted on February 13, 2013 in 3D printing, 3D scanning

Continuing my recent 3D scanning and printing binge, I scanned a few more objects for printing on the university’s Makerbot Replicator. This time around, I had more pieces that I chose not to print because of their unique geometries, but what I did print was a lot of fun.

“Spiral wonton” and “Small saladfingers” glass pieces

Because these two pieces are both small, I thought I’d try to scan them both at the same time and see what happens. 123D Catch had no problems capturing them, and gave me a very nice detailed mesh containing both objects without any defects! I cut them up and exported two different OBJ files (one for each object) for further processing.

“Spiral wonton” photos
I first printed the “spiral wonton” figure using Grape Candy filament, which was the first print we have ever done with it. I was really blown away by the resulting shine of the piece, which really isn’t apparent when the filament is on the spool. As you tilt this piece in the light you can actually see every individual polygon reflecting light differently!

You can download and print your own copy of this object at

“Small saladfingers” photos
Next I tried printing the “small saladfingers” piece, which decided to give me a harder time than I expected. Twice in a row, the print failed overnight due to extruder jams. Each time, I had to completely disassemble the extruder mechanism and perform a little surgery to get the filament out and start over. I noticed a fair amount of cracking in both prints, which told me that the print itself may have been exerting pressure upward, into the extruder, eventually causing enough extra plastic to build up that it couldn’t push anymore.

Still, I tried it a third time just to see what would happen, and while the extruder did not jam, the entire print did fall over and I was greeted by a nice big hairball in the morning. Oops. My theory is that because this particular shape had a relatively small raft / bed interface, it was not able to withstand the forces caused by the moving extruder as the print got bigger. At a certain point, the mass of the piece was enough to overcome the “stickyness” of the raft and it just fell over. I had a hunch that tapered shape of the model was partly to blame, so I flipped it upside down, gave it plenty of support and tried again. Success!

You can download and print your own copy of this object at

Pile of driftwood experiment

To have a little bit of fun (and see if I can put 123D Catch through its paces), I tried scanning a few bits of driftwood I found in the drawing studio I was using to scan other objects. To my surprise, most of the model came out really well, even the texture! In wireframe, I thought this piece was especially interesting. I knew it was a ridiculous thing to print, but then I remembered that sometimes the ridiculous thing to do is the best thing to do.

And wouldn’t you know it, it turned out amazing! I actually loved the combination of the organic driftwood form and the digital support structure together, so I printed out two copies – leaving the supports on for one of them.

You can download and print your own copy of this object at

“Test piece” glass piece

This is a piece that Kenny put together just to test out a variety of coloring patterns and glassblowing techniques on a single vessel. We originally illuminated the whole thing at once to compare the various features, but I thought I ought to scan it and see what it looked like.

I printed this thing with full support and really had to fight myself on whether or not I should remove it all or not. I think I’ll print two copies of this one as well, just because its cheap and easy.

You can download and print your own copy of this object at

“Tentacles (2)” glass piece

One of the pieces I chose to scan, but not print, was this second set of glass “tentacles”. The model came out quite well, but I couldn’t see it printing very nicely without a lot of support material, so I chose to skip it.