Printing | 04 11 2015

Scott Camazine and His 3D Printing Art

We continue our initiative of presenting our best contributors of 3D printing models. Today I would like to introduce Scott Camazine and his lovely designs.

I am really excited about this interview not only because Scott is a designer but also because he is sort of a member of the Threeding team. Scott has been helping us with his great recommendations and editorial inputs. Scott opened his account at back in March 2015 and we quickly became friends. I still remember the arguments that I used to convince him to upload his models at Threeding.

Scott is best known for his awesome collection of 3D printable anatomy models. Those models are really wonderful because of their educational value.  Imagine, what better lesson in the anatomy class than to be able to hold in your hand a replica of a human brain, or the model of the hand showing all the bones in the wrist.
I recently interviewed Scott for this blog:
Tony, Hi Scott, thank you for accepting my invitation. I am very glad that you were willing to participate. Let’s start with my first question: Can you tell us something about yourself?
Scott: My passion for biology and natural history began at a very early age, almost as soon as I could walk.   For me, nothing is more beautiful than all the living creatures that inhabit this planet, and the wonderful patterns and intricacies one finds in the natural world.  As a child, I collected butterflies, beetles, plants, frogs, snakes, mice and all living things. I organizing them into collections, studied their structure and function, and pondered their design. As time went on, I gradually shifted towards photography and began to amass visual collections of nature’s treasures.  Eventually, I went on to study medicine, where anatomy was my favorite subject.  I also did research on honeybee societies and pattern formation in biological systems.  This latter topic involved mathematical models and computer simulations, and so set the stage for my interest in 3D modeling.
Tony, When did you start creating 3D printing models?
Scott: Over the past 30 years, most of my work has focused on 2D representation, as photographs or videos, of medical and biological subjects.  But 3 or 4 years ago I discovered that 3D printing was available and affordable in a wide variety of materials, including stainless steel, silver, bronze and brass.  As a teenager, I had done some lost-wax casting in silver, and had always dreamed of creating a comprehensive collection of metal sculptures of natural objects.  3D printing has allowed me to realize this dream.  My initial venture into this field began with a Kickstarter Project which I launched to “test the market” to try to get an idea of whether I could get other people interested in my “crazy” passion for stainless steel 3D printed skulls.   You can visit these 2 links to see for yourself: Skulptures: Miniature Metal Cast Animal Skulls from CT Scans and From Nature to Art.
Tony, I know that you have created a collection of animal skull models. How do you create your 3D models?
Scott: As has often been the case in my life, my eclectic and seemingly unrelated interests often come together to create the “perfect storm” in which all these interests have synergized to allow me to more easily create 3D printed models.  My interests in visualizing and examining biological structures, my love of skeletal anatomy, and my familiarity with computer modeling and software set the stage for a relatively easy pathway to creating 3D models of biological and mathematical patterns and structures.   At first I explored radiology software that was being used in the hospital emergency rooms where I worked.  For years radiologists have been able to take CT scans of patients and use computer reconstructions of the 2D slices to create 3D models which enable them to peer inside the body and find fractures and disease pathology.   A whole array of different software programs now exist that allow one to take CT and MRI data and create 3D models.   These models can then be refined in other software programs such as Blender and zBrush.
And using a different approach, I have also explored a variety of software modeling programs to create 3D models of purely mathematical and geometric constructs that possess organic forms similar to the natural structures that are my passion.   

Tony, Do you enjoy more your models of animal skulls or the 3D printable human anatomy models?
Scott: I actually prefer creating the 3D printed animal skulls.   There is so much diversity among the animal skulls, everything from the huge jaws of an alligator to the delicate beak of a hummingbird.  I find it so interesting to examine the many different structures that have evolved in animals.

Tony, Which is your favorite 3D printable model?
Scott: My animal skulls are my favorite models.   I can remember scouring the highways as a child, collecting road-killed animals and preparing skeletons and animal skulls from these rotting carcasses!  Now, I continue this interest using CT scans of some of these same skulls.   I started with scans of two animal skulls, an alligator and a spider monkey.   It took me over a year to learn the software and develop the techniques required to get these models into a form that could be 3D printed in stainless steel.  So these two skulls are my favorites as they remind me of the journey and effort it has taken to build this collection of animal skulls

Tony, What do you think will be the future of 3D printing and how do you think the market will develop?
Scott: I remember when laser printing of documents was in its infancy and the cost of a laser printer was outrageous.  Hardly anyone imagined that one day laser printers would be a ubiquitous and indispensable desktop accessory.   This same explosion is taking place now with 3D printers.   We now have custom-designed medical implants, the ability to print almost instantly a replacement for a broken machine part, and children in classrooms designing and printing almost anything they can imagine.   One can only guess how things will develop over the next decade. 

Visit Scott’s website, his Threeding or Etsy stores