#vasified | Presidents and Other Famous Persons as 3D Printed Vases

There are at least as many “vase shapes” as there are faces in this world… Follow this tutorial by Vectary 1.0 and create your own.

Giving advice on how to create 3D models with the “revolving” function, I got to the point where I revolved special lines — lines that shape faces, famous faces :) As always, you’ll find a link to a free, customizable 3D model at the end of this article. All tutorial parts have a time estimate. The total project time is somewhere between 15–30 minutes, suitable for beginners.


The picture on the left is the final product. If you look closely, you will see two “white faces” facing each other #vasified :) The picture on the right is the 2D silhouette that was used for tracing the contour from forehead to the neck. Do you recognize the person? Yeah, it’s George Washington!

3D vase silhouette created with Vectary 1.0

Because 3D is more fun and a vase has to be 3D to be working, right?! :) This vase looks like an ordinary vase, but if you look directly from the side or see a casting shadow on a wall, you can see the president’s silhouette clearly.

Total time: 19 minutes. 
Step timing: STEP 1 (1 min); STEP 2 (3 min); STEP 3 (15min)

STEP 1: Google for the right image 
Use “George Washington silhouette png” as keywords for your search. This will give you a nice range of results. Save the image that you like or right-click on it and “copy image address” — the URL to this image will be copied to your clipboard.


Tip: Choose an image with a decent resolution (at least 400px height) that contains a single shape filled with black. For me, the third in this row worked best. Make sure to use free, non-watermarked pictures.

STEP 2: Create a 2D .svg file for the black & white silhouette 
If you have searched an .svg file instead, you can skip this step. I have realized that not all .svg files behave the same way when imported to a 3D modeling software, that’s why I make sure to have them correctly generated.

To convert a .png picture you don’t need to install any software. Try this online SVG image converter, you will get great results with just a few clicks. You can even use a URL, so there’s no need to download the original .png file.

STEP 3: Select the outline and revolve to a 3D object

This part will take you about 15 minutes if it’s the first time you’re doing it. Next time you will be able to make it in 6 minutes or less :)

I highly recommend to use VECTARY , a free browser-based 3D modeling tool. It works on Mac, PC and Chromebook, and you can log in for free with your email or Facebook account.

Tutorial created in Vectary 1.0 "How to create a vase from famous people silhouettes".

After you log in, start creating on a new blank scene. Import your .SVG file (drag and drop) and an extruded 3D object will be created. We need only a single silhouette line. I tried different methods for selecting the outline, but “cutting” the object works best. I just copy the newly created line with the Cut tool into a layer. Then I delete all other unnecessary lines and faces.

Now that we have our silhouette, let’s rotate it and move it above the grid.

From My Plugins, choose “Revolve” and add the silhouette layer to the plugin. 
The default settings of this plugin are just fine. Bake the result!

Open the “sealed vase” object by deleting the top face of the 3D model. Now let’s add some thickness to the walls of the vase. This is a must, because otherwise the object would not have 3 dimensions, the walls would be only 2D faces without thickness. 1–2 mm should be fine.

NOTE: Add a “-” before the number to extrude into the vase and keep the original outer contour.

Turn Smoothing on if you haven’t already and you are ready to export an .stl file or send it directly to a 3D printing service and order your print with our Shapeways plugin.

If you like any kind of face-vase, you can draw your own silhouette directly in VECTARY with the Draw tool. Drawing a face silhouette takes as long as searching it on the internet. :)


I experimented with a 3D scan of myself made with a phone. I extracted the face outline from the scanned 3D head and revolved it. This time as a “positive image”, facing away from the Z axis.

There are at least so many “vase shapes” as there are faces in this world…