Moscow-based Thor3D is the only company effectively challenging the entry level professional handheld 3D scanning market dominance by Artec 3D. Now the young company led by Anna Zevelyov is stepping up its offensive by releasing the new Thor3D software version 1.2 for all partners and clients. Combined with markers, this update will enable the Thor3D scanner to capture any large object, even a whole car, in record time and in high resolution.
The company, which is made up of experienced 3D scanning engineers, has been focusing heavily on innovation. This latest update is the result of the R&D team successfully addressing the challenge of using a handheld 3D scanner created for scanning people to scan objects as large as cars and even boats. Because Thor3D has a large field of view (at least twice as large as other handheld 3D scanners), it can digitize an entire automobile in 20 min or less, to then have it post-processed automatically in about an hour.
Marking the Territory
This is now possible through the use of markers. Normally, Thor3D uses a method called “geometry tracking” for 3D scanning. This means that the embedded software analyzes the geometry of the object it “sees” in real time thereby tracking the scanner in the physical world. This highly precise tracking approach works well for “geometry-rich” objects, such as human beings, but is not generally ideal for scanning objects with very little or no unique geometry, such as car’s roof or a long, flat airplane wing.
To resolve this issue, the Thor3D R&D team integrated the markers. In this approach, sophisticated algorithms constantly monitor and look for black and white circles of a certain diameter during scanning. These markers are affixed to the object before scanning. The software tracks them as you move around your object in real-time. Markers can ensure that alignment is never lost, guaranteeing the high quality of the data captured.
Setting the Mark
The markers can easily be printed on any office (2D) printer. Thor3D can also supply magnetic markers, which are ideal for 3D scanning metal objects. They are available from Thor3D’s accessory store or from your local Thor3D distributor. With this upgrade, the Thor3D scanner now offers a complete solution for anyone who needs to 3D scan large, static objects such as cars, boats, planes, furniture, tanks, statues, or the like. And, of course, it is still one of the best solutions for handheld human body 3D scanning.
The 3D scanning market is today still populated by several high-cost high-end solutions and very few quality entry level products. Artec 3D was the first company able to offer an effective solution at a relatively affordable price (its 3D scanners start at about $15,000) and has established a strong leadership in this segment, without, however, releasing any significant hardware update in recent times. Although still very young, Thor3D has been building up an international network of official distributors and is the first company to propose a valid alternative solution with new functionalities (such as, for example, wireless operation), within the same price range. Competition, clearly, is beneficial to any market, even one as complex as 3D scanning.