Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Welcome to 3D Printed Nudes

Home 3D printer ownership and use has exploded over the last couple of years. These small but powerful machines are capable of creating solid objects by melting plastic filament and depositing it precisely in thin layers, building strong, solid shapes that can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Printers can be built at home from a kit for about $750, or purchased ready to use for about $2000.
Almost all of the software needed to create and print digital 3D models is available as open-source freely downloadable files.

The 3D printer in action

Why print nude sculptures?

  • Classical sculpture has used the nude human form as subject matter for thousands of years. Humans innately find beauty in representations of the human form.
  • The smooth, subtle, sensuous curves of a naked body present a real challenge for machines that are typically used for making mechanical objects based on digital models.
  • Many great statues can be captured for printing using an ordinary digital camera and a free online service such as Autodesk 123D Catch.
  • 3D modelling software already offers the capability to create digital compositions that can be exported in a printable format, but these files are not generally printable without extra work.
  • Adding clothing on top of the models, significantly complicates this process. Making printable nude sculptures is both pleasing and much simpler.

There are many challenges to be overcome and I aim to make this site a place for sharing ideas to improve printing quality as well as a way of sharing some successes and failures.

Here is a new sculpture called "Sun worship" that was processed in Blender to make it ready for printing.

Sun Worship - face detail

Sun Worship - hand detail

Sun Worship - feet detail

Sun Worship - with ear-buds for scale


  1. Do you make your models available for download? It would be great to have them...

    Also, have you ever thought about exploring different beauty standards, like e.g. "booty" women, muscular women and so on?

    1. Hi Patola
      Much as I would like to share my models more freely, the end user license agreement of the software that I use expressly forbids the sharing of such models. So, at the moment, all I can do is describe what I have done and invite other people to have a go themselves.
      I have thought about experimenting with different body shapes, especially when yo see what a great job Scott Eaton has done with his Venus of Cupertino ( http://venus.io/ ). I'll have to see which direction inspiration takes me next.