Shapeways recently took a field trip to a Brooklyn hardware store, but not to buy anything for a home improvement project. They were on a mission to visit Crest Hardware, to 3D scan their famous Garden Keeper, Franklin the miniature potbellied pig, and his dad Joe! They documented the whole encounter on Facebook Live. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone 3D scan a barnyard animal, but this 6-year-old pig is something of a local celebrity – he’s got over 2,300 Instagram followers!
During the experience, the Shapeways team learned a lot about pigs from Franklin’s dad, and Crest owner Manny Franquinha’s son, Joe. The store opened in 1962, and it’s become a cultural icon in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Shopping at the store, which sells everything from tools to art supplies to houseplants, is a true New York experience. How many hardware stores have you heard of that have a 5,000-square-foot garden center, host their own art competition, and have not only a pet pig, but also Finlay, their African gray parrot? A couple of people and their dogs wandered in and out of the garden center during the scanning process, so it’s clearly a pet-friendly venue.
The Shapeways team used an iPad to scan Joe and Franklin, who (mostly) stood still if he had some pig food in front of him, though he liked to wag his tail and lift his head to see what the team was doing. They used an Occipital Structure Sensor, which is the first 3D sensor for mobile devices. It allows you to capture infrared, color data, and dense geometry in real-time of whatever it is being used to scan. The company started a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 and announced in 2015 that they had raised $13 million in Series B funding to advance the Structure Sensor.
“Despite being famous, Franklin was great to work with,” Lise Keeney from Shapeways wrote. “We captured a few scans of the two of them standing near each other, but it was tricky capturing the two of them both in still poses. All things considered, we managed to snag some decent scans and are hoping to mesh a few scans together.”
They encountered the normal obstacles that arise when working outside, such as a spotty Wi-Fi connection and lighting issues. They also had a hard time capturing a scan of Franklin’s leash, which Joe was holding. It was tricky capturing the two standing together in still poses, but they did get a few scans of them standing near each other. It was not uncommon to hear the person at the computer saying, “Too fast, too fast!” on the video while the other person was scanning the pair. Shapeways also streamed the experience on Facebook Live. Discuss in the Shapeways Pig forum at 3DPB.com.