In my first year as a graduate student, the graduate students at the University of Southern Mississippi decided to form the School of Computing Graduate School Association. The following year, we decided to have our first fundraiser. Since the School of Computing had a 3D printer, we decided to sell 3D printed items. I’m afraid I don’t have too many photos of the event, but I will describe what we did and show what little I have.

The fundraiser had two main parts, and I will describe each below.

Basic 3D Printed Items

For this part, we searched the internet for items we thought people might be interested in. The 3D print files for these items were downloadable, so all we really had to do was load the file into the 3D printer and click print. We gathered approximately 50 of these items, set up a table at a busy section of campus, and took orders. After the orders were taken, we printed the items off one by one and delivered them. I do not have any photos of this part. The items were basic small things such as key chains, words, small action figures, and things like that.

3D People Scanning

This was the more interesting, and far harder, part of the event. We set up a second table in a slightly less busy place on campus. At this table, I used a Microsoft Kinect to scan images of people which could later be printed on the 3D printer. Like I mentioned, I don’t have photos from the actual event. However, I do have a few photos from our initial testing.

Below are the initial scans of myself. The first image is the colorized version that I added just for comparison. The second image is raw STL graphic file.

3D Image Color 3D Image STL
Color Scan of Myself Raw STL Graphic File

I have a photo of the printed result. The print was one of our first runs, so it wasn’t perfect, but after seeing it, we decided to go forward with the project. The picture is below.

3D Image Color
3D Print of Myself

A lot of work went into the printing. I wish we had taken more photos, because some of the items came out really well. The small basic 3D printed items took anywhere from 1-3 hours to print. The 3D scans took 6-10 hours. The time varied depending on sizes and complexity of the items. In all, we printed approximately 30-40 items with 9 of those being the 3D scans. I managed to get everything printed out right at the end of the semester.

The fundrasier ended up turning a decent profit, and we had enough materials left over to do it several more times. I would call our fundraiser a success.