Soon it’s going to be completely feasible to upload your 3D models to the web thanks to Sketchfab and Fuel3D. The latter has developed a handheld 3D scanner that provides high-resolution color and shape capture for a variety of 3D modeling applications, including on-screen apps such for animation and game development. The surprisingly affordable 3D scanner can capture accurate, color 3D models of the human figure, which is ideal given the increasingly popular personalization trend.

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Fuel3D is the first 3D scanner that actually combines pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging in order to capture and then process a 3D model in a matter of seconds. The company, Fuel3D, specializes in producing advanced 3D scanning solutions and systems. The 3D scanner was initially developed for the medical imaging industry but was adapted for a broader market. The technology was developed by Ron Daniel, Professor and Lecturer in Engineering Science at Oxford University. On staff at Fuel3D is a diverse team of scientists and software and hardware engineers.

The company, headed by CEO Stuart Mead, raised over $300,000 via a Kickstarter campaign in 2013. It has since then raised millions of dollars in private investment and is in the process of signing with distribution and retail partners around the world.

When you’re using Fuel3D Studio, the software used for viewing and editing scans performed by Fuel3D’s 3D scanner, you’ll have the option to click on “publish to Sketchfab.” Sketchfab, is at the forefront of online publishing of 3D models and is pleased at the collaboration. “We are delighted,” said Alban Denoyel, Sketchfab’s CEO, “that an exciting company like Fuel3D has chose to include Sketchfab in its development of Fuel3D Studio.” Denoyel believes that as more 3D content is created, people will naturally need a robust platform that can support viewing as well as sharing of 3D content.

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The Fuel3D scanner has begun shipping to backers who supported the company’s Kickstarter campaign and the scanner will be available commercially in early 2015.

“We are committed to helping make the creation of unique 3D content something that anyone can do, and Sketchfab provides us with a way of allowing our users to easily share their 3D scans and models with the world,” said Stuart Mead, CEO, Fuel3D. “We are looking forward to seeing the results of our users’ experiences with our scanner and Sketchfab will be a great way to help them share those stories.”

This partnership will hopefully lead to the rapid expansion of available 3D models, both for printing, as well other applications, within the Sketchfab model repository.

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