In this project, we are scanning statues to 3d print low poly miniatures!

You can 3D scan statues from museums, art galleries or historic sites to make custom keepsakes.

Use them as a base for custom models like planters or book ends. This is also great for accessibility!

With an Adafruit Qt Py and a NeoPixel Stick, you can make them glow to make a custom lamp.

To diffuse the LEDs, you can 3D print them with zero infill to make them hollow.

Using photogrammetry, we can generate detailed 3d scans and use a low polygon generator to make artistic renditions.

We had a lot of fun printing these and think it’s a great way to experience works of art when you aren’t physically able to travel. It’s also great for archiving! 

Being able to touch and feel objects that are protected from the public is a great use of this technique!


1 x Polycam
Polycam photogrammetry Mobile App (App Store, Google Play, Web)
1 x 3D Low Poly Generator
3D Low Poly Generator by Andrew Sink (web app)
1 x Blender
Open source 3D computer graphics software
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You can import pictures or use the camera on you mobile to create the face geometry.

Use the Polycam app in photo mode to automatically snap pictures of all angles of your face or upload pictures taken from your library. 

Take at least 50 pictures of all sides of the statue. Include the tops and underneath the statue to ensure geometry is created for the whole object. 

Even with differences in lighting, distance and people walking in front of the statue, you can get a pretty decent scan.

After polycam processes the pictures, you can export an obj file to clean and modify.

Clean 3D Scan

To isolate the statue, you’ll want to clean up the model for 3D printing.

We imported the file into Blender and removed the unwanted geometry. 

We’ll start by adding a box around the part we’d like to remove.

Next, we’ll add a boolean modifier and use the box to isolate the statue. 

Switch to Edit mode to select any left over faces and delete. 

Delete Left over faces

Switch to Edit mode to select any left over faces and delete.

Enter object mode, select the object and frame selected to verify all the extra faces are deleted. 

From here the model is ready to print or it can made into a low polygon version. 

To generate a low polygon model we used Andrew Sinks Low Poly Generator that you can find on

Here you can easily disseminate the model to get a cool looking low-res statue! 

Next will export our model and then re import into Blender to fix any overlapping faces or overhangs.

Fixing geometry

Inside Blender, we can delete extra faces and fill in any holes generated during the low poly process. Then, use the fill face command to rebuild the geometry.

Fixing overhangs

To fix any extreme overhangs, we can pull faces by going into the sculpt mode. We used the
Elastic Deform tool to help pull faces so they are at a 45 degrees angle. This will help cut down on the amount of support material.

Setting up model


Orient STL files for 3D printing for FDM style machines. Parts are designed to 3D print with support material. You can also split models into pieces and glue together.

To diffuse the LEDs, you can 3D print them with zero infill to make them hollow.

Slicing Parts

Slice with setting for PLA material. 

The parts were sliced using CURA using the slice settings below.

  • PLA filament 220c extruder
  • 0.1 layer height
  • 10% gyroid infill
  • 60mm/s print speed
  • 60c heated bed

This guide was first published on Aug 02, 2022. It was last updated on Jul 27, 2022.