Why a Retired Architect 3D-Printed a Student

Gail Ray sitting with 3D objects

from IEN

And how 3D scanning tech made it possible.


Gail Ray is a 64-year-old honors student at the John T. Blong Technology Center at Eastern Iowa Community College. After Ray retired from her career as an architect, she spent two years studying mechanical design. During here time at the Blong Center, she became interested in 3D printing and 3D scanning technology.

She had previously used photogrammetry, which uses digital photos to create 3D models, but she was looking for something more precise for a new project — a detailed scan of a human.

She enlisted the help of her professor, Brad McConnell, a mechanical design and solid modeling instructor who brought in Dana Green, an account manager at Exact Metrology, an expert in 3D scanning technology.

It took 15 minutes for Green to scan the student, and about 30 hours to print a nine-inch bust.

In this interview with IEN’s David Mantey, Ray, McConnell, and Green discuss how they made the project happen, and the future of 3D scanning technology, scanning quality. 3D scanning human models, how to prepare a the file of a a 3D scan, put together individual scans, cleaning up the data

Since IEN first did this report, Ray has worked with John Deere to 3D print a life-size version of the bust that was scanned in for her by Exact Metrology. Pictured here, the bust measures 24 inches wide.

3d printed bust

Author: alaneastern

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