How to Create a Relief Carving of Someone’s Face

In my progress of improving my skills with my CNC, I wanted to find a way to take a 3D scan of someone’s face and then carve it into wood. Below is my first 2 attempts of doing this and I think they came out awesome! I added googly eyes to them for fun. I also added the simulations of the designs.

Scan your models head

For my face I started with this free app for the iPhone
When you use the free app the exported file is an USDZ file. If you create an account on their portal you could export as an OBJ or PLY. Someone in a forum said “BUT THEIR PRIVACY” or whatever about the lack of privacy policy. Meh, don’t care for myself.

For Connor’s face I upgraded to this app and paid for it
This app works great IMO and you can export directly to STL

Edit your 3D model

I used Blender to clean/delete/edit up the 3d object removing all pieces/parts I didn’t want. I really had no idea what I was doing just watched a few YouTube videos and winged it. If you use the exported USDZ file from the free app you will need a plugin for Blender to import the file before you can edit it.

After you complete your edits you then export to a new STL file

CNC Software

The next step is too create your design in whatever choice of software you use. For my face I used Carveco Maker. I upgraded to Carveco Maker + when I did Connor’s as i had more abilities to edit the relief (this is the 3d portion)

After you have created your design you setup your tool paths and then get to cutting.

Finishing and applying finish

I used my hanging flex shaft rotary tool with some brush wheels to sand and clean up the carve. For finish I used some spray can shellac

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Loren Nason

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