Briefly about 3d scanning #3 – Hardware you can buy
Maybe the most convenient devices are the hand-held ones. 3d system has two of them. Their original Sense and the new Structure sensor (or iSense), adopted from Occipital (you could win the latter in our december sweepstake).
The Sense connects to a computer, but the iSense (see our featured picture above) works together with an iPad, which turns out to be really effective, since it uses the iPad’s camera to gather texture information. It’s a great way to scan anything from smaller objects, to even a motorbike.
These solutions basically work like the Kinect sensor from Microsoft. They have an infrared emitter, that projects a pattern on the subject, an infrared camera, that can analyze the distortions in the pattern (yay, structured light scanning!), and a regular camera, to capture color information, so the scanned objects can have a realistic texture already applied.
Another well working setup is the turntable based scanner. For example, the crowdfunded Matter and Form 3d scanner, where the subject is placed on a rotating platform (so bigger objects, and even smaller pets, prone to feel dizzy are excluded here (don’t use it on pets anyway!)). The rotating subject is scanned by a dual laser head, and a camera, and a scan is completed in just five minutes, or ten if you want a really detailed 3d object.
Of course, for professional use there are bigger toys out there as well, with mind blowing resolution, and accuracy, like the DAVID SLS3 or the Artec Eva or Space Spider, and tons of other options.