Surrealist Sculptures

Project 3D Scanning

In this project, you’ll be designing and making a surrealist sculpture. The process involves using a design method called Image Search Boards to collate images on multiple topics before using them as inspiration to come up with surprising and bizarre object combinations. Once a final combination has been selected, 3D scanning, 3D design and 3D printing will be used to bring a unique sculpture to life. View the project details below and start a free trial to PrintLab today!


Project Difficulty


This project is rated as intermediate and is suitable for all those who have moderate-strong skills in 3D design and 3D printing, as well as foundational knowledge of 3D scanning.

Project Length


The estimated project length is 6 hours, excluding any 3D printing time. This estimate includes designing and making a surrealist sculpture plus time for evaluating and creating 1 improved version. The project can be run in shorter or longer periods of time depending on the number of iterations you choose to make. We recommend breaking the project up into multiple sessions (e.g. 6 x 1 hour sessions), which will allow you to 3D print necessary objects between sessions.

Equipment Required


To participate in this project, you will require:

  • A laptop or computer with Meshmixer software (free).
  • A software or web application to create a digital portfolio. We recommend using Google Slides as we provide a portfolio template in this format.
  • Access to a 3D scanner (see ‘3D Scanning Options’ section for further details, including an alternative way to participate in the project without a 3D scanner).
  • Access to a 3D printer and 3D printing material.
  • Pen/pencil and paper.
  • A device to capture images of your design process to insert into the project portfolio.

Additional materials may be required depending on the design methods you use when developing your solution.

2 website screens showing the learning platform for PrintLab's surrealist sculpture project.

The Learning Platform

The project learning platform takes you through the full iterative design process using a variety of media - from explainer videos and Meshmixer 3D design tutorials to design method instructions, learning documents and more.

4 example portfolio template slides from PrintLab's surrealist sculpture project.

The Portfolio

As you move through each stage of the project, we guide you in filling in a Google Slides template to document your design process - resulting in a beautiful and professional portfolio of work.

The Outcome

Our teaching methodology is focused around creative freedom. By using various research, design and evaluation methods, you'll learn how to create a surrealist sculpture that's completely unique!

A website screen showing the teacher instructions pop down menu from PrintLab's surrealist sculpture project.

Teacher Resources

With our education licenses, you can generate a share link to give your students access to the project learning platform. Each section of the platform also has a teacher instructions tab, which provides you with step-by-step lesson plan instructions, curriculum alignment resources and an assessment rubric.


Ready to Get Started?

This project is available to subscribers of PrintLab. Learn more about our license options and start a free trial today to access a whole range of resources across the fields of 3D printing, 3D design, assistive technology, product design and STEM.


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