I’ve been teaching myself ZBrush, a virtual sculpting program on my computer. I’m finding it very challenging, as the program is extremely powerful, which translates to a steep learning curve!
I posted some of my doodles a while back, but now I’ve created three files that I have had made into 3D prints. These are plastic sculptures that have been printed with a 3D printer, using the virtual sculpture file I created in ZBrush.
The first is a representational female torso. On the left is the virtual file seen on the computer screen. Centre and right are the front and back of the plastic print of the file. If you look closely, you can see the many layers of plastic filament that make up the sculpture, which were extruded by the printer from the bottom up. There were webbing supports during the print, but the Lab removed them before I picked up the print.
The second is an orca that is rather stiff and static, as it is an exercise only. On the right, you can see the webbing supports that were needed as the plastic filament is liquid when extruded, and the whale’s body, flippers and fins would slump without support.
This is the sculpture with the supports removed to reveal the completed orca. The printer made a small error in the dorsal fin tip.
Finally, I tried an abstract female figure shown here. I still have to learn how to smooth out long, curved surfaces. When I clean up this file, I think it would look great life-size or even larger in white marble, or grey granite.
I am fascinated by the possibilities that virtual sculpting can generate. My primary goal is to be able to create a sculpture in virtual space, check it for mistakes by 3D printing it and then send the file to a CNC carving machine. I would instruct the CNC robot to rough out a stone sculpture to 80% and then I would have ability to enjoy the final 20% of the carve. This will also give me the ability to make a limited edition series in stone or in metal.
Let me know what you think of these and the process in the comment section below.