How to Print a 3D Model of My Dog?

How to Print a 3D Model of My Dog?

Although we all love pictures of our beloved furry creatures, having a 3D mini-replica can be an extra special keepsake for you and your family. Generally speaking, there are two main ways to transform your dog into a digital model, 3D scanning or photogrammetry. Once that’s done, you have a number of printing options to create the physical object.

One of the simplest ways to transform digital into physical is to send your model to FacFox. You’ll get access to an extensive collection of materials and finishing options to create your work. Our services cover 3D modeling based on photos, raising solutions to meet your needs and listing the quotes, and building the real objects with 3D printing, urethane casting, CNC milling, and other technologies.

In this article, we’ll go over in detail how to use each scanning and photogrammetry to create a model of a dog. We’ll also go over a few unique methods, including a few professional services.

Bring a photo of your dog to 3D life (Source: Shapeways)


Perhaps the most obvious way to create a replica of your dog is with a 3D scanner. 3D scanning is the process of analyzing a real-world object to collect data on its shape and reconstruct it as a digital 3D model.

Depending on the scanner, it’ll measure your dog using light or a laser to generate a three-dimensional mesh. You’ll likely want to edit the model with software to make sure you’ve got the best scan possible.

This is a very popular method for creating models, but keeping your dog still during the scan might pose a bit of a challenge!

Do It Yourself


If you’d like to scan and print a model of your dog yourself, you’ll need four main components:

  • 3D scanner: Occipital Structure Sensor (Mark II) is a good budget (~$400) handheld option that attaches to your tablet or phone. For a pricier option (~$1,250), Fuel3D Scanify is recommended because it works quickly.
    • Before you take the plunge, check out our guide on how to choose a 3D scanner for your 3D printer. Alternatively, since 3D scanning is a fast-developing technology, you can now actually use your phone to do 3D scans. Several 3D scanning apps will allow you to easily turn your dog into a 3D model using your smartphone.
  • 3D scanning software: There are several free and easy options for scanning software, such as Meshroom, MicMac, and OpenVMS. Alternatively, a popular option for professionals is Artec Studio, which costs upwards of $900. For more ideas, our article on the best 3D scanning software tools is a helpful resource.
  • 3D modeling software: Sometimes the model generated by 3D scanning software isn’t correct or complete, so you’ll need editing software. Though there are many options, Blender, SelfCAD, SketchUp are all good choices. You could also have a look at the best 3D modeling software programs if you want more ideas.
  • 3D printer: FDM and SLA are commonly used 3D printing technologies that would work well for printing a miniature of your dog. It’s a commonly held belief that FDM doesn’t produce the resolution that SLA can when printing smaller models, but that isn’t necessarily true.


For FDM printers, it’s recommended to find the optimal layer height and cooling temperature for your printer and material, as well as to print very slowly. Have a look at our tips for printing miniatures with FDM for more detailed instructions.

Price is also a factor, but recently, there are more high-quality budget resin printers available. An SLA printer could produce a very detailed miniature of your dog, but the higher cost of resin and post-processing might be a reason to go with FDM.

Once you have the necessary equipment, here’s the basic process:

  1. Scan your dog.
  2. Create a 3D model with 3D scanning software (it’ll be in the form of a mesh).
  3. Edit the 3D model if broken or missing parts of the mesh occur (likely).
  4. 3D print!

Scanning Service Options

If you don’t have a 3D scanner or don’t want to invest just for this project, here are a couple of services that’ll get your model to you in no time.

Your dog will be scanned in just 12 seconds in the Shapify Booth (Source: Shapify)


Shapify, a Luxembourg-based company, allows you to easily scan and print a miniature version of your dog.

You can go to their studio to get the scan done, but their 19 locations (in Luxembourg, the USA, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, the UK, Russia, and Nigeria) might not be convenient for you. If, however, you can make it into the studio, you’ll simply get the scan done there and wait for your dog replica to arrive on your doorstep.

Alternatively, you can scan your dog at home using Xbox’s Kinect camera following Shapify’s instructions. Then, upload the 3D file to Shapify’s website and they’ll edit, print, and send you a miniature of your fur baby.

  • What do you need to do? Go to their studio to get the scan done or scan your dog yourself and upload the data
  • How long does it take? 3 weeks
  • Cost? $129 for 5 inches, $140 for 6 inches
A few examples of Doob’s handy work (Source: Happy Nagashetti via iGyaan)


Doob 3D Technology was founded in Dusseldorf, Germany, with regional headquarters in New York City and Tokyo.

You’ll need to bring your dog to one of their five stores (two in New York, two in California, and one in Texas) and lead him or her into the “Doob-licator”, where they’ll be speed-scanned. The company then converts and edits the image, 3D prints, and finally, ships to you.

  • What do you need to do? Go to their store to get a scan done
  • How long does it take? 2-3 weeks
  • Cost? $95 for 4 inches, $695 for 14 inches


Apart from 3D scanning, numerous photographs of your dog is another way to create a 3D model. This technology is called photogrammetry, and it’s a three-dimensional coordinate-measuring technique that uses photographs as the fundamental medium for measurement.

The photos are identified and matched by a mathematical process and stitched together to form a 3D model. This method can generate a very high-resolution mesh.

Multiple cameras are recommended for taking photographs of your dog; when many images are captured at the same time, your dog doesn’t have to stay still for too long.

Photographs of a dog taken by multiple cameras (Source: 3dscanla via Instagram)

Do It Yourself


To become your dog’s paparazzi, you’ll need…

  • Camera(s): Since your goal is many photographs of your dog from multiple angles, if you only use one camera, you’ll need to move the camera to different locations and take pictures. With multiple cameras, you can set it up so the cameras are in different places and shoot simultaneously. Make sure to take as many photos as possible (100+ images) before your dog moves!
  • Photogrammetry software: All the photographs need to be overlapped and “stitched” together to create a 3D model with photogrammetry software. Popular options include VisualSFM (free), Autodesk’s ReCap Pro ($325 per year, free 1-month trial), and RealityCapture (€249/$280 per month, educational pricing available). Have a look at our article on the best photogrammetry software if you want some more choices.
  • 3D modeling software: A lot of photogrammetry software, such as VisualSFM, allows you to edit the mesh or 3D model as well. The 3D modeling software mentioned above for 3D scanning can also be used.
  • 3D printer: As mentioned earlier, both FDM or SLA printers are good options.


Once you’re ready, here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Take multiple photographs of your dog from different angles.
  2. Create a 3D model with photogrammetry software.
  3. Edit the 3D model if broken or missing parts of the mesh occur (which is not uncommon).
  4. 3D print!

Photogrammetry Service Options

Since photogrammetry and the related software require knowledge and experience with camera settings, you may instead choose to use a service. Here are some options.


Your dog will be photographed with over 80 cameras at Calgary’s GravityB (Source: GravityB)

GravityB, a Canadian company, utilizes over 80 cameras at different angles to photograph your dog. This will take away the concern that your dog will move too much. The only drawback is that you’ll need to make your way to their studio, which is in Calgary, Canada.

  • What do you need to do? Go to their studio and get pictures taken
  • How long does it take? 4 weeks
  • Cost? $149 for 3 inches, $399 for 6 inches

3D Bean

3D Bean uses 94 cameras to create a 3D model of your dog (Source: 3D Bean)

3D Bean is a Boston-based 3D photo figurine studio that can capture photographs of your dog and turn them into incredibly realistic models. It has a 360 multi-camera matrix in their studio that includes 94 cameras. To use their services, you’ll need to make an appointment and visit their studio in Boston, USA.

  • What do you need to do? Go to their studio and get pictures taken
  • How long does it take? 2-3 weeks
  • Cost? $199 for 4 inches, $999 for 12 inches

Other Techniques

We’ve saved the easiest for last! Even one picture can work for creating a 3D model, but obviously, a few more photographs will produce a more detailed and accurate model.

For just one or a couple of photographs, this model looks pretty accurate (Source: 3Dfy)

Do It Yourself

If you want to do this yourself, the key step is generating the 3D model.

There are a few methods to create 3D models:

  • Smoothie 3D is a free online platform that can convert a 2D picture into a 3D model. You’ll need just one image to create a digital model, similar to what you’d get from a scan or photogrammetry, but with editing or drawing to make it a more detailed model.
  • AutoCAD’s extrude tool creates a 3D object from a 2D drawing by adding height dimensions.
  • Lithophanes use a backlight to reveal their images. When light passes through the thin parts while being simultaneously blocked by the thick parts, the differences in light bring out the details of the image. Some popular software options include Image to Lithophane (free), PhotoToMesh (~$50, free demo), and Cura (free).

Once the 3D model is generated, you can start 3D printing a replica of your dog.

Photographs to Model Service Options

It can also be nice to just upload your photos to a service provider and have them generate, print, and ship your 3D dog model. Below are a couple of popular ones.

A few examples of 3D models created
Some examples of digital 3D models created from just eight images (Source: Furever 3D)


Furever 3D, a California-based company, uses photos taken of your dog and converts them into a topographical map of your dog’s body for 3D printing.

You can submit the photos of your dog to the Furever 3D website and place your order. They’ll digitize the image and email you to confirm you’re happy with how it came out. Once you’ve given your approval, you’ll be getting that 3D model of your dog!

  • What do you need to do? Take a total of eight photos of your dog (instructions for image requirements can be found on their website)
  • How long does it take? 2-3 weeks
  • Cost? $89 for 3 inches, $350 for 12 inches

3D Petshop

You’ll just need to send one picture to get a model (Source: 3D Petshop)

3D Petshop, a Japanese company, requires only one picture of your dog. It can even create a facial expression and pose that’s not shown in your picture!

To get your model, send one high-quality image of your dog to their website, and a 3D model will be designed and sent to you for approval. Once you’ve given it the green light, the model will be 3D printed and sent to you.

  • What do you need to? Take and submit just one picture of your dog
  • How long does it take? 4 weeks
  • Cost? $550 for 3 inches, $1,050 for 5 inches

Want to know more about designing software?

Source: Yuanyuan Chen

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