Entries in scanner (61)
by General Fabb
A new, sophisticated and highly specialized 3D print service has launched: Captured Dimensions. This 3D print service focuses on producing full-color 3D figurines based on human and similar subjects.
The crown jewel of Captured Dimensions is this incredible 3D scanning setup, involving dozens of high-res cameras. The subject merely sits in the center of the studio and an operator triggers all cameras to capture a still image simultaneously. The captured images are processed into a very accurate 3D model, which, of course, is then 3D printed for your amusement.
The unique feature of the scan setup is that it is instantaneous. Many other 3D scan setups involve rotating the subject or moving a 3D depth camera around somehow, requiring the subject to remain absolutely still.
This is difficult for most people to do, and impossible for children and pets. But what if the scan were instant? Yes!
Captured Dimensions can thus work with almost any subject, barring the usual constraints around shiny, transparent or ultra-thin bits. Their video even shows excellent 3D scans of a dog.
They offer 3D prints in various sizes and prices, but the catch is that in order to capture your scan, you'll have to visit their studio in Richardson, Texas.
NetworkWorld reports that Intel is actively developing a "depth sensing camera", which will be capable of detecting "movement, track emotion, and even monitor reading habits of children."
We already have inexpensive depth cameras available such as the common living room Microsoft Kinects found everywhere. But while the Kinect was revolutionary in its time, its use as a 3D sensing tool has much to be desired.
Our experiments in the lab show that the practical scanning accuracy of a Kinect version 1 is on the order of 5mm when capturing a human subject. And that's only if they remain absolutely still. It works enough to create basic 3D models for printing, but only just barely.
That's why we're very interested in Intel's new venture into depth cameras. They intend on embedding them into laptops and ultrabooks in the back half of 2014, meaning the world will soon be awash in 3D cameras.
The key will be the associated software. It's a difficult challenge to interpret the scanned images to extract shape information - and even more so for Intel's goal of capturing emotions. Evidently Intel will develop software to do so and include it with the device. Software designers can then use the development kit to create applications that use the 3d cameras.
We only hope they'll create amazing 3D scan solutions.
It could be trend: all-in-one 3D printer/scanner devices seem to pop up daily this week. We're looking at Radiant Fabrication's Lionhead device, which boasts 3D printing and scanning functionality.
Radiant Fabrication's strategy seems to be simplification. They believe more sales are possible if machine use is easy for use by general consumers, embodied by their "one touch" approach. Scanning is apparently as simple as placing an object in the chamber and pressing the scan button. Similarly, 3D printing is done by hitting a button.
The Lionhead is accompanied by Radiant Li, their 3D modeling software solution. It uses a minecraft-like voxel-based approach that has proven to be usable by the masses. This software would be used to finalized scans captured by the Lionhead.
We have little to tell you regarding the specifications of this mystery machine, other than they apparently include four printheads, implying they can print support material and several colors. The machine is said to cost USD$1,649, which seems to be very low for an assembled, four-headed scanner/printer combo. We will watch their launch campaign closely.
We're certain most of you have heard of MakerBot's latest device: The Digitizer. It's a relatively inexpensive 3D scanner designed for prosumer use. As the first 3D scanner that could hit a mass audience, we pondered what it might mean. What happens when large numbers of people own a 3D scanner. Here's our predictions:
Thingiverse Overflows. Sure, you can add more storage, but watch out - Thingiverse, the largest free online repository of 3D models will almost certainly fill up with all manner of scanned objects. While only some people are skilled 3D modelers, many more will now be able to create 3D models at the push of a button. They'll also be able to push the Thingiverse "upload" button.
Lawsuits. Everywhere. The scanner permits 3D copying of patented or licensed material. Expect an avalanche of Star Wars characters, Cars and replacement parts. Then expect an avalanche of cease and desist orders, followed by lawsuits.
Rigorous Rules. If lawsuits and takedowns occur frequently, expect the owners of online 3D repositories to change their terms of service to put the onus on uploaders to ensure their files are legal.
CAD Demand Increases. With all the 3D scans appearing, we expect at least some people will want to convert them into CAD files for modification. Therefore, there will be a slight uptick in power 3D modeling software and associated training.
As expected, MakerBot released their newest product today: the MakerBot Digitizer. It's an inexpensive turntable-based 3D scanner directed at consumers and professionals.
MakerBot has taken steps to simplify the process of using the scanner itself. You simply drop an object on the turntable and start the process. The turntable rotates slowly, exposing the object to lasers whose reflections are picked up by two cameras. The software interprets these signals and converts the reflections into a 3D point cloud. Subsequent steps convert the point cloud into a printable file by ensuring a solid, watertight model.
The Digitizer is priced at USD$1400, but there's an additional USD$150 (optional) for a MakerCare Service Plan. This plan is a one-year service to provide support, spare parts and even a total replacement unit if necessary. The plan is currently available only in the US.
While the MakerBot Digitizer is sure to open up scanning to a new audience of 3D printer owners, there are some constraints that you'll encounter with this device:
- The maximum effective resolution is about 2mm. This means you won't be able to scan small, finely detailed items like some jewelry.
- Scanned items must fit on the platform and be able to rotate freely. Anything larger cannot be scanned.
- Reflective or transparent objects can be problematic. This issue occurs even on high-end laser-using scanners, so we're not surprised MakerBot has the same issue.
- Aside from the preparation of the scan itself, you'll have to use other software to modify the scan. For example, if you wish to put a base on the figurine scan, you need to use a 3D modeling tool.
The Digitizer will likely become the first widely used consumer 3D scanner. Regardless of the constraints, we're certain this will be a very popular device that will soon fill up Thingiverse with all manner of scanned items.
We wrote recently on Fuel3D's new 3D scanner, just launched on Kickstarter. While the project has been quite successful, gaining more than three times their goal of USD$75,000, they've created even more reason to buy one of their devices: Fuel3D has teamed with noted 3D print artist Joshua Harker, who has produced a unique design that will be available only to Fuel3D buyers - and then only in limited quantities.
The design (shown above) is clearly Harker's style; he's previously produced a very popular abstract skull of similar characteristics. What is it, exactly? It's described as a: "OUIJA planchette executed in the tangled filigree aesthetic". The design will manifest as a limited edition polyamide product casing, available only to those pledging to Fuel3D's Kickstarter campaign.
Evidently MakerBot blasted out emails to their mailing list indicating that their new Digitizer personal 3D scanner will be on sale next week.
This is a bit of a milestone for MakerBot, who now will branch out into a second type of complex product, beyond their 3D printers. Yes, they've sold parts, filament and various accessories, but the Digitizer will be a product of similar complexity to their 3D printers.
We're very interested to learn how well the Digitizer operates. How detailed will its scans be? Does its software properly seal holes and produce printable models? What level of reliability will it demonstrate? We don't know the answers now, but perhaps we'll find out next week.
We'll also find out the price of the Digitizer, because it hasn't yet been announced for some reason.
Via The Next Web
After the launch of Volumental, a cloud-based 3D scanning service, we had questions. Questions about how the service can and will be used, and where it's headed in the future. We spoke with Ernest Ang, Business & Marketing at Volumental.
Fabbaloo: What is a depth camera and how do you get one? Which specific cameras and manufacturers are supported by Volumental?
Ernest Ang: A good example of a depth camera is the Xbox Kinect, which uses the camera to locate you in a room when you play video games. Any OpenNI-compliant depth camera works with our software such as Primesense, Xbox and Asus.
Fabbaloo: Does the service provide automatic hole-filling for partial scans? It is extraordinarily difficult to capture a "whole" scan and we're wondering if your service fills that need?
Ernest Ang: If successfully funded, our service will automatically close holes for partial scans.
Fabbaloo: What happens with stray background noise that produces junk artifacts? Are they automatically clipped off?
Ernest Ang: Our service will be able to eliminate background objects and artifacts and isolate the object that you want to print.
Fabbaloo: Model adjustment: can you rotate, auto-level, crop and scale the model? If cropping, do you fill in the void?
Ernest Ang: This something that we will definitely be working on while developing the app, and is in the pipeline for a good reach funding goal if we get funded!
Fabbaloo: How do you handle the export of color models?
Ernest Ang: We export texture mapped meshes. The object format, which we are using, is well known and widely supported for importing into just about any 3D-modelling program. The colors are stored in png images and are loaded along with the geometry.
It seems that Volumental intends on covering all the bases, or at least the basic ones. If you're interested in checking them out, head over to their Kickstarter page.
There seems to be many developments in 3D scanning recently, including the unexpected announcement of a new, very inexpensive handheld 3D scanner from Fuel3D.
The new scanner uses a combination of geometric and photometric sensing to produce a highly accurate (up to 0.25mm resolution) 3D model in either STL or (color textured) PLY formats.
As the device is handheld, it does not have limitations evident in turntable approaches, where the object must be of particular sizes and weights. The Fuel3D is simply moved around the subject.
A key feature of the Fuel3D scanner is the requirement to add a "target" to the scan subject. This is, from what we understand, a single, pre-made mark that is easily detected by the scanner. From its view of this target, the Fuel3D is able to orient itself accurately.
The Fuel3D's specifications and usage is quite reminiscent of much higher-priced commercial handheld 3D scanners, which cost 10-50x as much. However, like those devices, the Fuel3D also has trouble scanning shiny or transparent objects. There are tricks to overcome these challenges, but we'll save that for another day.
One aspect scanner makers often forget is that scans must be processed by software, otherwise they're for all intents useless. Fuel3D has not forgotten: they've teamed up with Uformia to provide the necessary software function.
Meanwhile, you might check out Fuel3D's Kickstarter launch. You can pick up a beta version of this 3D scanner for as low as USD$990. That's a great deal - if the device delivers as described.
Any 3D printer owner will soon realize they need more than just 3D models you can find or even buy. You need to scan stuff you own. You need to replicate.
The trouble is, 3D scanning is difficult. You're either spending tens of thousands of dollars on pricey equipment, software and training, or settling for low-end solutions. The low-end solutions frequently require an expensive graphics card for real-time processing of 3D images. Unfortunately, many laptops today do not include the necessary hardware. So you're stuck.
Until Volumental, that is. They've launched a cloud-based 3D scanning service that hopes to pull down some of the barriers to personal 3D scanning.
Volumental is an eleven-person spin-off of the Kinect@Home group, based in Stockholm. Co-Founder Caroline Walerud says:
At Volumental, in under a year, we've turned this futuristic vision into a reality and democratized 3D scanning by creating the world's first and only browser-based 3D scanning service.
Models can be shared publicly on Volumental's site, or marked private. Most importantly, you can download the 3D model generated by Volumental for 3D printing on your own equipment. It's not clear what fees Volumental will assess, but for now it appears they might be making money from a portion of direct-to-3D-print services they will provide.
At launch the accuracy of the models may be less than you'd expect. They explain that as they add server capacity, they'll be able to process models with much greater resolution. Of course, resolution also depends greatly on the power of your depth camera, too.
The examples shown by Volumental are impressive: Easy to perform, reasonable resolution and in full color. Even better, there are no software worries, as the cloud engines are always up to date.
What is Volumental looking for? They need funds to build out their service and proceed towards expansion. While their campaign offers several combinations, the "meaty" ones appear to be USD$300 for a depth camera and USD$500 for five years of unlimited scan downloads.