Here's the full 3D print:
Sculpting ProcessHere are some pictures of the digital sculpting process. I'm using a Windows laptop with ZBrush software. I can move around the model freely on a mobile stand.
I currently use a Wacom Intuos tablet (after using a Wacom Cintiq for years). I prefer this - it's cooler on the hand and much more of a relaxed position for my arm. And I can go for several hours without plugging in. Plus my hand is on the keyboard for shortcuts and Shift/Ctrl/Alt key combos which are essential in ZBrush.
Preparation for FabricationHere's the finished ZBrush model ready to prepare for routing and printing. At this point the hair, eyes, and face/shoulders are all separate objects. Doing that makes it much easier to sculpt. But they need to be one mesh to mill. The polygon count in ZBrush is 4.3 million faces. The polygon count needs to be reduced - a lot. Both DecimationMaster and ZRemesher were crashing in ZBrush. Very unusual. So I did it in Rhino using the ReduceMesh command. This is actually not nearly as good. But it was adequate.
I had to fix a few really tiny naked edges and two non-manifold edges. This is fairly easy using Rhino's mesh tools (mainly DeleteFace and PatchSingleFace). I have to say - having a 3D Connexion mouse (I have the cheapest one) makes viewing and understand what to eliminate much easier. That's because you can twist the viewport so much more readily to see what's happening. In these detail cases you have to move the model while looking to understand it.
3D Printed ReliefsOnce fixed and solid I scaled 1D to push into a relatively high relief. Then I BooleanUnion a box onto the back. Here's the result - 9" high, 6" wide, 1.5" deep:
Here's a three-quarter relief. Similar technique except rotating the 3D model first, then scaling along the axes of the CPlane. This is lower, about 1.3" thick total.
Here's a side relief. Lower still - about 1.1" thick total.
The support material needs to be dissolved from the 3D print. It is soaked in a warm detergent bath for a few hours to do so.
Below you can see most of the darker support material is gone. A little remains on the edges - back into the tank. Also of note in this photo - that one was printed with the back plate flat on the printer bed. So the layers of the print look like contours across the face. Zoom in - you'll see this is a terrible idea. The print comes out just fine when printed vertically (face forward, not up).
Here's a comparison with the model, computer model, and 3D print.