Astonishing 3D-printed Lego sandstone sculpture

This video has been around for a little while, but we've only just discovered it ourselves so we thought you'd might have missed it too. The ability to print in 3D (opens in new tab) has opened up avenues for many design disciplines - and Greg Petchkovsky (opens in new tab) has utilised 3D printing to create an amazing piece of Lego art-related sculpture.

Created for the Indestructables (opens in new tab) 'make it REAL challenge', Petchkovsky combined 3D scanning, 3D digital modelling, and 3D printing to achieve a dramatic effect. He chose a sandstone block with a chipped off corner, so that the 3D print could fit into the remaining space.

Calipers were required to ensure everything measured up precisely

Calipers were required to ensure everything measured up precisely

First, he took 29 photos from different angles and used Agisoft Photoscan (opens in new tab) which automatically derived a 3D mesh from the photos.

He then used a pair of calipers to take measurements from the sandstone block, and created box objects in 3DS Max using those values. He then scaled the scanned mesh so that it matched up with the size of the box objects.

Petchkovsky built the Lego brick shapes using polygon modelling techniques, based on the dimensions of real Lego bricks

Petchkovsky built the Lego brick shapes using polygon modelling techniques, based on the dimensions of real Lego bricks

The 3D modelling was completed using ZBrush (opens in new tab). Because the model intersected with the wall, if he printed it out as it was then it wouldn't fit so to make it fit the real wall perfectly he subtracted the scanned mesh from the 3D modelled mesh using booleans in 3DS Max (opens in new tab).

The model was printed using Shapeways (opens in new tab), using a material called 'Full Color Sandstone', which cost just $16.89! Two texture maps were used, one for the Lego part, and one for the sandstone wall part.

The model was perfected using very fine sandpaper to get the correct grain, a thin coat of superglue and matte varnish to help bring out the colour and protect the surface, then it was finished off with acrylic paint to match the real brick more closely.

You can find out exactly how it was done here (opens in new tab).

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What do you think? What would you like to see in 3D print? Let us know in the comments box below!

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