3D Printing a Person: A Step-by-Step Guide

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3D printing has revolutionized the way we create and manufacture objects. From small trinkets to large-scale buildings, 3D printers have become a go-to tool for designers and engineers alike. But did you know that it’s now possible to 3D print a person? That’s right, with the advancements in 3D printing technology, it’s now possible to create a lifelike replica of yourself or someone else.

The process of 3D printing a person involves creating a digital model of the person using specialized software. This digital model is then sliced into thin layers, which are used by the 3D printer to build the physical model layer by layer. The end result is a highly detailed and accurate replica of the person, complete with all their features and characteristics. While the technology is still relatively new and expensive, it has the potential to revolutionize industries such as medicine, entertainment, and even criminal justice. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process of 3D printing a person and explore the possibilities that this technology holds.

Preparing for the 3D Print

Taking the Scan

Before you can create a 3D print of a person, you need to take a 3D scan of them. There are a few ways to do this, including using a handheld 3D scanner or taking multiple photos from different angles and using software to create a 3D model. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to make sure you have a high-quality scan with plenty of detail.

Cleaning the Scan

Once you have your 3D scan, you’ll need to clean it up to prepare it for 3D printing. This involves removing any unwanted artifacts or errors in the model. You can use software like MeshLab or Blender to clean up your scan. Some common issues you may need to fix include holes in the model, overlapping geometry, or uneven surfaces.

Scaling the Model

Before you can 3D print your model, you’ll need to scale it to the appropriate size. This will depend on the size of your 3D printer and the desired size of your final print. Make sure to take into account any supports or structures that will be needed to hold up the model during printing.

To scale your model, you can use software like MeshLab or Blender. You can also use online tools like 3D Print Hub or Tinkercad. Make sure to double-check your scaling before printing to avoid any errors.

In summary, preparing for a 3D print of a person involves taking a high-quality 3D scan, cleaning up the model, and scaling it to the appropriate size. With these steps complete, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage of the 3D printing process.

Choosing the Right Printing Method

When it comes to 3D printing a person, there are several printing methods to choose from. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project. Here are the three most common printing methods:

FDM Printing

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most common 3D printing method. It works by melting a plastic filament and depositing it layer by layer to create the final object. FDM printing is affordable, easy to use, and can produce large objects. However, it has some limitations when it comes to printing fine details and smooth surfaces.

SLA Printing

Stereolithography (SLA) printing uses a laser to solidify a liquid resin layer by layer. It can produce highly detailed and smooth objects, making it a good choice for printing people. However, SLA printers are more expensive than FDM printers and require more maintenance. The resin used in SLA printing can also be toxic, so it’s important to take proper safety precautions.

SLS Printing

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing uses a laser to fuse powdered material layer by layer. It can produce strong and durable objects, but it’s not as precise as SLA printing. SLS printers are also more expensive than FDM printers and require more maintenance.

In summary, FDM printing is a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable and easy-to-use method for printing people. SLA printing is ideal if you need highly detailed and smooth objects, but it’s more expensive and requires more maintenance. SLS printing is a good choice if you need strong and durable objects, but it’s not as precise as SLA printing.

Printing the Model

When it comes to 3D printing a person, there are a few things to keep in mind. In this section, we will discuss the process of printing the model, including choosing the right material, setting up the printer, and printing the model itself.

Choosing the Right Material

The first step in printing a person is to choose the right material. There are a variety of materials available, each with its own unique properties. Some materials are more durable, while others are more flexible. Some materials are better suited for detailed prints, while others are better for larger prints.

When choosing a material, consider the following factors:

  • Durability
  • Flexibility
  • Detail
  • Size

Once you have selected the right material, you can move on to setting up the printer.

Setting Up the Printer

Before you can start printing, you need to make sure your printer is set up correctly. This involves calibrating the printer, loading the filament, and ensuring that the bed is level.

Calibrating the printer involves making sure that the printer is properly aligned and that the build plate is level. This is important to ensure that the printer can create an accurate model.

Loading the filament involves feeding the material into the printer. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid any issues.

Finally, ensure that the bed is level. This will help ensure that the model is printed correctly.

Printing the Model

With the printer set up, you can now print the model. This involves loading the model file into the printer and starting the print.

Make sure to keep an eye on the print as it progresses. If you notice any issues, such as warping or layer separation, stop the print and address the issue before continuing.

Once the print is complete, remove the model from the printer and clean it up as needed. You now have a 3D printed person!

In conclusion, printing a person requires careful consideration of the material, printer setup, and printing process. By following these steps, you can create an accurate and detailed 3D printed model.


Once the 3D printing process is complete, the model will need some post-processing to remove support structures, sand and smooth the model, and finally paint and finish it.

Removing Support Structures

Support structures are added to the model during the printing process to ensure that overhanging parts of the model are supported and don’t collapse. These structures need to be removed once the printing is complete. The easiest way to remove support structures is to use a pair of pliers or tweezers to gently snap them off. Be careful not to damage the model while removing support structures.

Sanding and Smoothing the Model

After removing support structures, the model may have rough edges and bumps. Sanding and smoothing the model will give it a smooth finish. Start by using a coarse sandpaper to remove any rough edges, then use a finer sandpaper to smooth the surface. A sanding sponge can also be used to smooth the model. Be gentle while sanding to avoid damaging the model.

Painting and Finishing the Model

Once the model is sanded and smoothed, it can be painted and finished. Use a primer to prepare the surface for painting. Apply a base coat of paint, then add details with different colors. Finally, add a clear coat to protect the paint and give the model a glossy finish.

In conclusion, post-processing is an essential step in 3D printing a person. Removing support structures, sanding and smoothing the model, and painting and finishing it will give the model a professional look.


In conclusion, 3D printing a person is a complex process that requires a lot of skill and patience. It involves several steps, including scanning, modeling, and printing. While it may seem like a futuristic concept, it is already a reality in the world of 3D printing.

One of the main advantages of 3D printing a person is the ability to create a highly detailed and accurate replica. This can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as medical training, art, and even as a keepsake for loved ones. However, it is important to note that 3D printing a person without their consent is illegal and unethical.

When it comes to 3D printing a person, there are several factors to consider, such as the cost, time, and level of expertise required. It is important to research and choose a reputable 3D printing service provider who has experience in this field.

Overall, 3D printing a person is an exciting development in the world of 3D printing, but it is important to approach it with caution and respect for ethical considerations. With the right knowledge and resources, it is possible to create a stunning and accurate 3D printed replica of a person.