Joseph Coddington, a graduate student at Queen Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, presented a way to use videos for voxel 3D printing. The project sounds strange, but it can be a worthy alternative to STL files.
Coddington decided to replace CAD programs with traditional methods such as photography and video. Thus, in this project, the cinematic perspective proved to be extremely useful for him.
Voxel 3D models consist of several hundred layers of superimposed frames of a 32-second video in which Coddington takes his own portrait. In addition to himself, the video has a secondary moving character. Using special calculations, it was possible to determine the depth of the 3D model, which corresponds to the timing of the movie scenes – the longer the frame, the more layers.
To split the video into frames, Coddington needed to save every 30th frame as a PNG file. More frames would increase the cost of 3D printing because the model would be larger. Individual pixels did not require additional processing, since their position and color were set during shooting and editing.
Coddington compares the filming process to CAD modeling. He notes that while this approach is powerful, it is hard to expect it to replace STL files right away. The result of the project is a small block that clearly shows the movement of the pinkish silhouette. Despite the relatively low quality, the work was an excellent demonstration of the voxel printing capabilities of a 3D printer – in this case, the Stratasys J750.