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[showtime] The portrait has reached a stage where I can prepare the model for physical output through the 3D printers. Unfortunately this is not the push button process that it could potentially be.
I will be taking a version of the full portrait and preparing a traditional portrait bust from it. This means simply combining the meshes that I wish to remain visible and cutting it into the form that I want.
The portrait will have a beard and eyebrows. Obviously the 3D printers will not print anything as fine as hair, so a little extra modelling is needed to represent the volumes that are taken up by the hair.
Having the fundamental likeness established means I can take out the colour and surface shader information so I can see how the sculpture will appear in printed form. This provides an opportunity to pose the face according to sculptural qualities. So I will be adjusting it away from the referred form in order to enhance expression and gesture. It is interesting to observe the differences in creating an illusion for on-screen experience and making a concrete artefact. The priorities move from representing colour and simulating the object to concern for how the form is read by the eye as it travels over the surface. It becomes a more traditional analysis of the form’s effect on light and shade, something I am very familiar with in clay sculpture.
Once the additional modelling is done the file must be prepared as an stl file for the 3D printer to read. The model must also be cut into parts that will be assembled once printed as the machine has a maximum volume capacity of 200mm x 210 mm x 297 mm so the head will be chopped into pieces that can be accommodated.

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