HP has announced a free software update for its all-in-one dual-workspace Sprout computer that adds 3D capture capabilities. Sprout could already scan objects placed on its horizontal workspace when it was first released last year, but it was limited to generating two-dimensional images. Now it can generate full 3D models of any objects positioned beneath its cameras.

Sprout scans objects using four Intel RealSense cameras attached to the top of its vertical display. It was previously able to use these cameras to create what HP calls a 3D Snapshot – a 3D-like two-dimensional image of objects placed on the mat beneath. However, this new update, coupled with the new proprietary 3D Capture Stage accessory, allows easy creation of full 3D digital models that can be shared, printed, and manipulated through the Sprout system. The 3D Capture Stage is essentially a turntable on which the objects to be scanned are placed, which automatically tilts 15-degrees while turning to capture all aspects of the object.

The resulting 3D models can be shared with others through an online viewer with rotation and resizing options, or you can print your object with a connected 3D printer. HP says it is also working with Dremel on end-to-end scan to print compatibility with the Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer.

It's not clear whether the update also adds new editing capabilities. Currently, 2D scans of objects can be manipulated with all the usual image tools on either Sprout's horizontal workspace – a touch-enabled mat with a projected screen on it – or the main display (or both). We can expect features, such as cropping, resizing, layers, and cutting and pasting into other images, to be at least somewhat similar, though.

HP is committed to the idea of Sprout as the first step in its “Blended Reality” strategy, which is about providing truly immersive computing experiences. This 3D scanning initiative is a key part of the plan, as it serves to shrink the divide between digital and physical objects.

While the 3D scanning software will come in a free update to the Sprout software, the 3D Capture Stage will set you back US$299. Both will be available from July.

Source: HP

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