LSculpt: Studs-out LEGO® Sculpture
LSculpt is a software program which converts a triangle mesh into an LDraw .ldr or .mpd file Like the sphere generator, the generated model consists of a surface of 1×1 plates oriented in whichever direction provides the best detail. For an explanation of the theory, take a look at this paper (PDF: 251 KB).
The Stanford bunny is a popular test model in computer graphics, and happens to make a great sculpture.
Different coloring options in LSculpt help the builder see what's going on. The bunny took about six hours to build. Basically, all I did was spin the models around in LDView and copy the design with real bricks.
Studs-Not-On-Top pieces hold the whole bunny together. Large sections of pieces all point the same way, so not many of these parts are needed.
Construction details, including which pieces to use to attach everything and where to place them, are left as a puzzle for the builder. It helps to have a good working knowledge of LEGO geometries.
Here's a comparsion between a smaller bunny built both studs-up and studs-out. Looks a lot less blocky studs-out, doesn't it?
And here are all the bits that compose the small bunny! Can you build one?
LSculpt is a barely tested command line program. Use it at your own risk. A help file is included to get you started.
- LSculpt.zip (113 KB) Windows binary.
- LSculpt.zip (94 KB) Mac binary.
- ivcon.zip (149 KB) Windows binary of IVCON, a conversion utility between many 3D formats.
- 3D Object Converter, a graphical conversion utility between many 3D formats.
Here are some links to triangle meshes to get you started. Make sure to scale your mesh to the right size! Using command line options -u stud -f 32 is quick way to make sure your model will fit on a 32×32 baseplate. If a .ply file doesn't work, try resaving it as a .ply binary file with 3D Object Converter
- Stanford 3D Scanning Repository
- Georgia Tech Large Geometric Models Archive
- Princeton Suggestive Contour Gallery
- Cyberware Scanner Sample Models
Of course, you can also export .stl files from almost any CAD software to make your own original designs!
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