Download this thingPoser, published by SmithMicro, is the ultimate figure modelling program. It comes with a wide range of people, animals, robots and body parts, and you can easily download more should you need them. It’s a great way of making realistic, printable figures.
1. First steps
When you first open the program you’ll see this figure, a stylized android named Andy 2. If you’re using an older version of the program, you may see a different human figure instead. No matter, we’re going to change it anyway:
2. Change the figure
On the right of the screen you’ll see the Library, which contains poses, figures, props and more. Make sure the Figures button is highlighted (shown here in yellow), and open the Poser Content folder beneath it.
We’re going to change this android to a hand, so navigate through the folder structure as follows: Poser Content / Additional Figures / Hands / Hand Right. It makes no difference if you choose the left or right hand, as it’s easy to flip later.
Beneath the library you’ll see a row of buttons. Click the button with the single tick mark (if you click the double tick, it will add the hand to the existing figure). You’ll get this dialog, asking how to change the figure. Don’t change anything here, just click OK:
3. Moving around
You navigate around the scene using the Camera Controls (right). First, click on the Right Hand icon, top left. This will zoom to the hand – strangely, it’s as if the rest of the body were still there, but invisible.
A cluster of controls help you to move around. Drag on the terracotta ball to roll the scene, and on each of the pointing fingers to move left, right, back and forth. Drag on the open palm icon to pan around in the plane of the monitor.
It’s a unique and somewhat bizarre method of navigating a 3D scene, but you do get used to it after a while.
4. Pose your figure
Click on each finger joint to move it. Use the Rotate tool (R) to bend an item, and the Twist tool (W) to revolve it. Try them both, and you’ll get the idea.
When each part is selected, you can also change its position and angle using the Twist, Side-Side and Bend dials in the Parameters panel. If you don’t see this panel, choose it from the Window menu. If you’ve having trouble, it can be easier to use these dials than the tools. Any part can be reset to its original location by selecting it and choosing Edit > Restore > Element.
Poser will allow you to pose your hands (and other figures) in any position that’s anatomically possible, as well as any position that isn’t. Check your model makes sense before you finish:
5. Export the model
When your model is complete, go to the File menu and choose Export > WavefrontOBJ. Poser can’t export .STL files, so this is your best option – but if your slicing app doesn’t read .OBJ files, you’ll need to convert them using another program, such as Meshlab.
When you choose this export option, you’ll see this dialog. As you can see, it specifies each joint of each finger, so if you want you can turn one or more of them off to prevent that joint from being included in the model.
By default, though, the export will also include the Ground Plane. This is the huge square base on which the model sits. You absolutely don’t want this as part of the resulting model, so be sure to uncheck the Ground tickbox before exporting. All you need to do now is choose a location and save your model.