Full-color 3D scanner accurately models objects of "any size"
If you can 3D-scan it, you can 3D-print it – and Matter and Form has announced a super-versatile new way to do so. The Three system creates photorealistic, high-detail, full-color 3D scans of objects from coins to cars, and potentially beyond.
"More objects, more colors, in a larger range of sizes than any other scanner on the market" – that's the pitch for the young company's third product, which it says also delivers scan quality levels equal to professional-grade machines that cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The Three scanner is a fairly nondescript scan-head-on-legs type design, using stereo 13-megapixel Sony cameras and structured light pattern projections to create 3D models at accuracy levels down to 50 microns, and resolutions down to 37 microns.
The cameras and projector are powerful enough to operate at distances from 20-80 cm (8-31 in), so it's possible to scan small and medium items using the included wired turntable, or step back a bit and scan much larger items. Indeed, there's no software limit to the size of a scan; you can fire away until you exhaust the machine's 16 GB onboard storage.
There are no apps to install, or cloud processing, or subscription fees; the Three stitches multiple perspectives together and processes objects using its own onboard computer, which can be managed wirelessly through any web browser.
The software is "supported by open-source projects and a full API," and includes built-in programming tools so more advanced users can code their own applications – making it the first 3D scanner, the company claims, that's also a self-contained edge computing device.
It'll cost you a fair chunk of change – but half the chunk you'd need to buy it at full retail. Currently on Kickstarter at a 50% early bird discount, the Three scanner will run you US$1,500, including its own small turntable, calibration kit and tripod. Having already smashed its target, the project is going ahead, and Matter and Form plans to ship units in January. Standard crowdfunding cautions apply.