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.

We have tested this by submerging the FCP models in water for 2 months and the colors stayed the same. No color bleeding. ~Shapeways Customer Support

However, it also cost about twice as much per cubic cm, which comes out to a lot.

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

To be fair, my Full Color Sandstone version is about 4 times bigger than Full Color 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.

Due to the price, the sandstone version still cost less than the plastic version, despite the size increase.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Can print smaller / thinner models than Full Color Sandstone
  • Colors won’t fade with exposure to water
  • Stronger; thin parts are flexible

Cons:

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

For future prints, I’d probably limit gradients and shading, and stick to sharp contrasting colors.

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 could generation (turning photos into point clouds) is the same as VisualFSM, but the surface reconstruction (turning point clouds 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!

ArcheAge
ArcheAge

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