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What’s the catch? 3D scan for 3D print.

There is no catch…. Just feeble attempt at a “catchy” title for this post about Autodesk 123D Catch for pc and iPad.


Earlier in the week the 123D Catch app for the Ipad became available from the Apple app store in the UK… So I promptly downloaded and installed it. It was a parent/teacher meeting last night so I had to wait… Grrrr.

But tonight I had my first attempt… A pretty successfully too as you can see in the photos. And even more impressive is that it really is the very first attempt!


I did have a go at uploading pictures using the PC program but somehow never really got to grips with it. But the iPad app is a real dream, ok the app takes the photos and uploads them and then shows you a wonderful 3D representation of your object but you still need the PC version to download the mesh file in .obj format.


Anyway having downloaded the mesh you do meed to do a bit of editing. The mesh is not “watertight” and has a huge hole in the base. You will need a program to do this, I used netfabb basic but meshlab is another alternative. I found that slicing off the bottom (which looks very like a pizza on my scan) saved a lot of manipulation and triangle editing.


Once the mesh was ready (I only downloaded the medium quality by the way) I converted the file into gcode for my 3D Touch and printed a scaled down version as I was too impatient to wait for a big print.


Oh, and what is the object I scanned? It’s an antique plaster model of a hand borrowed from our Art Department… Thanks guys! Im not entirely certain but I think the hand is holding a borax cone. These cones used to be used by jewellers and the like, they ground the cone in a wet ceramic bowl to make a paste to use as flux for silver soldering. I used to do a bit of silversmithing so I just love this connection!


So, my next thoughts are… What do I scan next? How can I use this in school? And…..


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