Recently as one of my teenagers was trying to Skype me on my PC while he was away from home, I found myself fumbling around with the laptop, mumbling “Does this thing even have a camera?” I’d forgotten about it—and you may have too—but not for long, and especially if you are a 3D printing enthusiast.
The advent of 3D scanning and printing from the PC and desktop 3D printer may be about to revive the PC camera into quite a renaissance to say the least, turning it into an extremely useful, new and improved tool. With so much face time being put into smartphones and other devices, many of us either take the PC camera for granted or rarely use it anymore. That’s all about to change if you are a 3D printing enthusiast who enjoys a sense of independence as a maker.
3D Systems has just announced immediate availability of an all-in-one application for PCs equipped with Intel’s new RealSense 3D camera. The webcam is being brought into the new age of technology for certain, with the RealSense 3D camera that can see—and work to scan—3D images. With the combination of the RealSense camera, the Sense scanner, and the 3DMe application, homes are about to turn into complete labs for 3D printing customized figurines.
With the regular photo selfie about to start coming in as a sad second, everyone in the household will be able to make 3D selfies, make 3D keepsakes, and share it all on social media sites.
“With Intel RealSense technology consumers can control and interact with their computers in a natural, intuitive and immersive way,” said Mooly Eden, Senior Vice President, Intel and General Manager, Perceptual Computing Group. “At Intel, we believe 3D scanning and printing is going to be a game changer for consumers, educators and makers. We are thrilled to be working with 3D Systems to jointly apply our integrated 3D camera technology to enable the creation of 3D personalized animation and printed collectibles and selfies everywhere.”
- Acer V 17 Nitro notebook series
- Dell Inspiron 15 5000 series
- Dell Inspiron 23 7000 series
- Some Lenovo, HP, Asus, Fujitsu and NEC PCs
A full list of devices can be found here.
“Acer believes three-dimensional computing offers unlimited potential for both professional and consumer uses,” said Jerry Kao, President of Acer Notebook Business Group. “3DMe is one of several applications that take 3D technology to a new level, with more to come.”
Not too long ago, we were reporting on how exciting it is that you can go to a multitude of retail venues and pop into a 3DMe booth to customize your own figurine. While those kiosks are still available and still in the process of growing in popularity with the public, you may be the independent, proactive type who prefers to wow everyone you know by running things solely from your own desktop. And judging by not only the wow factor, but the convenience factor involved with these new 3D printing capabilities, you may have the whole family running a 3DMe photo lab from your desktop soon for everything from novelties to gifts to 3D printing them just for the sake of fun.
The user-friendly app allows you to do a quick scan with the integrated camera, and then you can create a customized figurine with user friendly editing tools. The scans are completed in as short a time as 15 seconds, with the Sense app readying your scan for the 3D printer at home or through Cubify or a cloud-based platform.
With the 3DMe app, license agreements are set up so that you can even have fun customizing figurines with Ghostbusters, Star Trek, the NBA and other set-ups. You can also digitize your character and create a virtual reality for it. 3D printed figurines can be shared on social media, and the 3DMe app can be downloaded at Cubify.
Reaching a very cool evolutionary stage with 3DMe, 3D Systems has taken all the logistics and expense out of purchasing what was once a very challenging expense: the 3D scanner. While affordability was once the primary issue with 3D printing, once we started to overcome that, bit by bit, motivated makers started looking at the 3D scanner. Before we knew it, they were making their own open-source designs and coming up with a myriad of ways to dodge high prices without sacrificing quality. Never underestimate the power of motivated, creative types, however.
“This game-changing combination of Intel’s hardware and 3DS’ software puts easy-to-use integrated 3D scanning and editing capabilities in the hands of everyday computer users for the first time,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS. “These fun and intuitive apps democratize blended reality and physical photography for everyone, making the creation of personalized avatars, action figures and poseable selfies accessible for everyone.”
Taking it all one comprehensive step further, 3DS now allows users to go from A-Z from their desktops with what is now coined ‘physical photography.’
Are you interested in using this new technology to produce 3D printed personalized scans from your own desktop? Tell us your thoughts in the 3DMe Technology forum over at 3DPB.com. Check out the video below for further details on this news: