3D printing by itself can be fun, but unless there is a way in which the user can import or create a model to print, it remains extremely limited. There are really three options to choose from when trying to select an object to print: 1) download an object created by someone else, (2) model the object using 3D modeling software, or (3) 3D scan an object with a high-end 3D scanner. For most small businesses and home users, they are left with only the first option, as 3D modeling takes quite a bit of training and/or practice, something most people simply don’t have the time for. 3D scanning, while it is becoming more readily available, has been very pricey, especially if you want quality results that can easily be 3D printed.
Today at International CES in Las Vegas, Fuel3D announced something that may be on the verge of turning the 3D printing space upside down. Today they announce the launch of a new 3D scanner that doesn’t just provide high quality 3D scans, but does it super fast, while remaining affordable to most 3D printer owners.
The SCANIFY Handheld 3D Scanner goes on sale today for just $1,490, and with it comes technology not seen within any other 3D scanners on the market.
“When we set out to create SCANIFY, our goal was to democratize the 3D movement for consumers and, in particular, to allow for the personalization of their creations,” explained Stuart Mead, CEO, Fuel3D. “SCANIFY allows consumers to transform highly-complex subjects – such as the human face – into high-detail, full-color 3D scans as quickly as they could take a photo using a digital camera.”
The scanner, which is based on technology developed at Oxford University, brings professional level 3D scanning to the hands of virtually anyone who wants one. Some of the key features of the SCANIFY scanners are as follows, as outlined by the company.
- Speed – It has the ability to capture a 3-dimensional objects in just 1/10 of a second, meaning that even if a subject is moving, it has the ability to turn it into a 3D printable object. It does so by combining pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging.
- Ease of Use – If you know how to operate a digital camera, then you will be able to operate the SCANIFY scanner.
- Affordability – Priced at $1490, this means that virtually anyone who can afford a 3D printer can afford this 3D scanner.
- High Quality – Ability to capture color details down to 350 microns (0.35mm).
The scanner also comes with Fuel3D Studio software which makes converting scans into 3D printable files a breeze.
Sure, there are other scanners in this price range available on the market, but from my experience with them, they take very rough scans, requiring the user to spend a lot of time cleaning the digital files afterwards, only to be disappointed with the results once done. From the looks of things, Fuel3D has found a way to bring a high quality scanner to market for under $1500.
Will the SCANIFY scanner be one of the factors that bring 3D printing to the masses in 2015? The ability to duplicate an object, easily create replacement parts, and take on projects that previously were only able to be conquered by large companies with huge resources, means 3D printing just became a bit more attractive to a lot of people. What do you think about this new scanner? Discuss in the Fuel3D SCANIFY forum thread on 3DPB.com.