So Shapeways recently introduced full colored plastic as a new printable material. I was super excited to try it out.

Compared to Full Color Sandstone, Full Color Plastic is stronger. The colors don’t fade with exposure to water (Shapeways conducted a test where they immersed a print in water for ~2 months without loss of color). However, it also cost about twice as much per cubic cm.

I printed a smaller version of my ArcheAge figurine. Here’s the result!full color plastic

Overall I’m a little disappointed. The resolution wasn’t super great and a lot of the colors didn’t come out.

You can really see the stripes and spots on the arms and legs. There was also a white graininess to the whole figurine.

full color plastic

Full Color Plastic

Full Color Sandstone

Full Color Sandstone

Though, to be fair, my Full Color Sandstone version is about 4 times bigger than Full Color Plastic version (and still cost less than the plastic version). My hunch is that even if I scale the plastic version up, the white graininess won’t go away, and the colors will still be a lot lighter.



  • Can print smaller models than Full Color Sandstone
  • Colors won’t fade with exposure to water
  • Stronger and less fragile


  • More expensive than Full Color Sandstone
  • Have a white grainiess
  • Colors are a lot lighter / less saturated
  • May not have as great resolution

Here’s my 3D print of a Firran from the video game ArcheAge.

I was super lucky to be in the Closed Beta 3 and decided to use this gorgeous game to continue my experiment on 3D scanning virtual worlds.

Instead of using the in-game models for 3D printing, I took a lot of screenshots and reconstructed a model using photogrammetry.

screenshot from ArcheAge

screenshot from ArcheAge

3D scanned reconstruction

3D scanned reconstruction

Above shows one of screenshots I took and the 3D scanned reconstruction. As you can see, there’s some detail loss, but overall, it’s pretty good.

I made the Firran sit as to lessen the idle animation, so I could get a consistent pose.

I used Autodesk 123D Catch instead of VisualFSM and Meshlab (like in last 3D scan) because the surface reconstruction was a bit better. My intuition tells me the point butt generation (turning photos into point butts) is the same as VisualFSM, but the surface reconstruction (turning point butts into 3D models with surfaces) is a lot better. Though, that’s a gut feeling without proof.

My initial impression of 123D Catch it is very easy to use and gives you nice renderings. However, it’s slow. There’s also no point in using the desktop version since it requires you to sign in through the Internet, just like the web app.

3D scanned world

To create the 3D scan, I uploaded 35 screenshots of the scene to 123D Catch. Here’s an overview of the result. Since I focused on the Firran in my screenshots, the environment reconstruction is not as great. Also, since I wasn’t able to capture a complete 360° view, some parts are lacking details.

3D print model

For 3D printing, I cropped the model and thickened the thin parts (like the hilt of the sword).

It came out great!


This 3D print success proves 3D scanning and photogrammetry techniques can be applied to virtual worlds.

Last but not least of our Burning Man adventures, in no particular order:

  • We went to the Temple. It was full of memorabilia of loved ones recently passed. I was not expecting that. It was a stark contrast to the rest of Burning Man. The ambiance was sad and heavy. The burning of the Temple on the last day must be very carthartic.
  • Wandering about elsewhere, we were given jello shots with cherries, symbolic of our first time at Burning Man.
    jello shot
  • We also sampled the most refreshing banana orange smoothie, after a long walk.
    banana orange smooth from Camp Juicy
  • I stopped by the Cascading Trading Post, where you spin a wheel, open a draw, and leave something if you take something.
    Cascading Trading Post
  • We found Narwhalia, a camp that hosted a lot of activities like discussions about Narwhal genetics and Narwhal parade.
  • Sand dodgeball happened every night.
  • We learned to build tin can stoves.
    tin can stoves
  • There was an awesome roller disco rink.
    roller disco

Overall, our first time at Burning Man was extremely fun. Lots of love and thanks to everyone in our camp!

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]

More Burning Man stuff we did!

  • Riding G Dragon across the Playa. (Seriously, biking is a lot of fun.)
    G Dragon
  • People took polariod pictures of us! I haven’t seen one of those cameras in ages!
  • Harry had deliciousness from Moon Cheese.
    Moon Cheese
  • Fire cars!
    fire car
  • Temple arches with hand-dyed silks blowing in the breeze
    temple arch
  • A really cool installation where you lay on the floor and watch fire sprout from the ceiling
    fire ceiling

Not done yet!

[Part 1]

[Part 2]

I just got back from Burning Man and it was AMAZING!

Here are some highlights:

  • The view of the Man against the mountain ridges was gorgeous.the Man
  • Harry had too much fun jumping on interactive lights that responded with different colors.jumpin' lights
  • Discofish went on the prowl at night, luring Burners with its grooviness.
  • The Dome on the Playa was full of hand bound books, blank and ready to be filled with guest stories.
  • Embrace stood out on the horizon. Inside, two giant hearts pulsated with light.

All of this is from just the first day!

To be continued!