Paul Marx: from Photos to 3D Prints | Sculpteo Featured Store

From Photographies to 3D Prints: Paul Marx is Our Featured Sculpteo Store #2

Posted By on May 25, 2012 |

Paul Marx, owner of a Sculpteo store that he embedded on his website, is the featured store of the week. Thanks a lot for sharing so many interesting links and advices! This interview will definitively be useful for anyone wanting to modelize easily for 3D printing.

We invite you to visit the store of Paul Marx directly on his website. He travels the world and creates 3D sculptures from the pieces of art he photographies in museums. It means that on the Sculpteo store of Paul Marx, you can order a sculpture of Rodin or a Renaissance bas-relief, in the material of your choice!

Sculpteo: Could you present yourself briefly and tell us more about the designs that you sell in your Sculpteo Store?
Paul Marx: I am not a professional 3D modeler. My experience is in scanning 3D cultural heritage objects for research and/or conservation.  I have worked in different countries with a range of different scanning hardware technologies including structured light and laser scanners.  In the course of my work I have come to the conclusion that photogrammetry (building 3D from photos) is the least disruptive, most affordable and user-friendly 3D scanning method.

Since arriving at this conclusion, my team has focused on 3D scanning employing standard digital photo cameras.  We have built an online platform to share some of knowledge and experience in the form of the courtesy service The platform is intended to provide interested users an innovative and free tool to effortlessly enter the exhilarating world of real 3D.

Sculpteo: When did you open your store and what was the purpose of it?
Paul Marx: My store is here. Sculpteo’s e-commerce solution is probably the best in the industry: it is free, easy to manage, it is the most advanced technologically and, unlike other services, it is very forgiving.  Why not to share with other people some astonishing pieces of art in 3D with some commercial potential?

People love to travel and take photos. Our workflow makes it possible for anybody with a camera to be a 3D modeler. Of course, it is necessary to make sure scanned objects are in the public domain, i.e. objects whose intellectual property rights have expired or not copyrighted.

From a visit to the Musee Rodin in Paris

To a 3D print of Rodin’s sculpture

Sculpteo: Which 3D software do you usually use for your designs?
Paul Marx: My workflow is different from classical 3D modeling. While traveling I try to find interesting objects, take photos and then I turn photos into 3D scans. At this stage I use different solutions (you may visit where most of on-line and desktop photogrammetry tools are listed and explained). The fun part of the workflow ends here!  The most time consuming and challenging stage of the process is the post-processing of the 3D scans  (I would recommend freebies like OpenFlipper, NetFabb, MeshLab, or professional Geomagic Wrap) and sculpting (I use free MeshMixer, Sculptris and Blender.)

Sculpteo: Modeling for 3D printing can be a bit tricky. Do you have some good practices that you would like to share with the community?
Paul Marx: I dare to disagree with the statement above: from my point of view modeling for 3D printing is much easier and less demanding than modeling for, say, animation. One doesn’t have to worry about edge loops, poly count, correct topology, texture, light, rendering, etc.  Simple free software like NetFabb can easily and automatically repair even imperfect models, transforming them into 3D printable design.

Sculpteo: Which 3D printing materials and colors do you recommend for your designs?
Paul Marx: Sculpteo has a good range of materials, but my choice is always driven with my ultimate goal.  We manufacture limited edition sculptures and replicas, so in most of the cases we simply need a good and inexpensive basic shape to make a master model and then a mold. But this logic is indeed quite different from engineering and manufacturing applications.

Sculpteo: Do you let your customers personalize your designs?
Paul Marx: I do, it’s a great feature in Sculpteo.. Adding a text or pixelating Rodin’ s work is a lot of fun. I am sure Rodin wouldn’t mind this; he was a great experimenter himself.

Sculpteo: Did you embed your store on your own website? Do you have a link you would like to share?
Paul Marx: Yes, I have embedded my Sculpteo store (visit the embedded boutique). I am not a programmer at all, but Sculpteo’s embedding options are very flexible and easy even for a technical novice like me. I recommend shop owners to have a look at the Developers menu at Sculpteo’s site. Behind the initially intimidating menu name there is a host of extremely useful information.

Visit the Sculpteo Store of Paul Marx and open you own store on


Discover another great use of the Sculpteo stores: Nostromo and his world data sculptures.

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