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How to Convert a 2D Image Into a 3D Shape in SelfCAD

 |  Sammy Ekaran

Turning a 2D image into a 3D shape in a 3D modeling software

When you are having fun and you take nice pictures of yourself, have you ever thought to yourself, “ How can I 3D print it?” If you have a 2D image that you want to turn into a 3D model and 3D print we have good news for you! That is, you can easily turn any picture into a 3D model easily using the Image Generator Tool of SelfCAD.

In this blog, we are going to learn how to turn the image of a lion into a 3D model.

Let’s get started!


Step 1: Requirements

The following are required to turn an image into a 3D shape.

i) SelfCAD Software: Visit to access the program and sign up for a 10-day free trial. If you have already signed up, click Launch to launch the editor.

ii)Choose the image to turn into a 3D Model.

iii)Prepare your 3D Printer-But if you don’t have a 3D printer, you can choose from the many online 3D printing services like

iv) Prepare a 3D printing material-You can learn more about 3d printing materials on our blog.

i) Image Generator- This is the main tool that we will be using to convert the image into 3D Shape.


Step 2: Start Modeling

Once you have logged into SelfCAD, launch the editor and select the image generator tool from the toolbar.

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Click Select the image.

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After this, to 14 set the amount settings to 14. Amount slider allows you to either emboss or engrave by a certain value. For this type of image, we used 14 so that it's easy to cut it out later. Keep the blur settings to the minimum so that all the details of the image may be well visible. And if you need to make the image smoother, make blur settings more than one. I will not check Backside because I want the backside to be smoother.

Then click finalize.

Select the Scale tool and start scaling the object so that the image of the lion may be more visible, as shown below.

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After the image of the lion is well visible, it’s now the time to extract it from the image generator.


Step 3: Cutting Out the Shape and Making It Printable

  • Select a cube from the basic shapes and scale it to fit the image generator. section but exclude the section for the image as shown: 

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  • Click on stitch and scoop tools from the Tools section of the top panel. Select Difference.
  • Select the Cube in the Select objects to subtract dropdown. Click Apply.
  • And the model is ready! Now it's not yet printable, but no worries, that's what Magic fix is for.

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  • Select Magix to fix the tool in the Tools section and click Apply. If you want to see what it does, turn on the wireframe model in the Scene panel.
  • Our object is now ready for 3D Printing!
  • You can also change the color and the material of the model using the Color and material option found on the left section of the workspace. In my case, I changed the color to red and material to plastic and this is how it looked. 

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Step 6: Printing

Because the shape is now ready, you can either download it as an STL File, or any other format you may prefer based on your needs or you can also 3D print it directly in SelfCAD if you own your printer.

Step 4: Printing

To 3D print in SelfCAD, click the 3D print option.

  • After this, select the printing material, set printing quality, supports, etc, and click Generate Gcode.

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After doing this, select your 3D Printer from the list provided or you can also use customs settings if your 3D Printer is not on the list.

Download the G-Code to send to your 3D Printer. 
Enjoy your model!


Do you want to learn 3D modeling? Check out our interactive tutorials.

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