Experiments in Sculptris


I've been using Sculptris in teaching and personal work for about two years now.  I came to it after running a couple of open-source prints on the Makerbot at my last job and feeling ready to print something of my own. Tools like Sketchup and Tinkercad don't feel intuitive to me- I like 3D modeling to feel less like a geometry lesson and more like playing with clay. Sculptris is perfect for me- it's free, the tools are basic, and it's much easier to get the kind of organic shapes I'm interested in.

 That being said, Sculptris has a learning curve. Models usually need a fair amount of tweaking before they're in printable shape, and it's easy to get bogged down with a huge poly count and crash the program. I always use Tinkercad when teaching 3D modeling for printing, but I've had a lot of fun running Sculptris off one computer connected to a whiteboard so students can get a taste of a very different program. My favorite prompt is "make a smiley face"- with mirroring on, two strokes with any tool results in a satisfyingly weird result. Students usually take turns on a single model, generating freaky faces and impossible shapes in rainbow or chrome. 

Some of my favorite resources:

Makers Camp @ JAC


Students ages 8-12 joined me in Jamestown Arts Center's makerspace for a comprehensive weeklong exploration of 3D printing, laser cutting, animation and digital art. I love having the opportunity to work with a group of kids for several consecutive days, especially when it comes to 3D printing and its learning curve.

Many students took the opportunity to explore themes and imagery across mediums. Finished projects included a 3D printed car modeled in Tinkercad with rotatable wheels, vinyl stickers and printed plaques with inspirational quotes, a 3D printed diorama of our solar system, and a plethora of crazy 3D faces collaboratively modeled in Sculptris.