The ultimate companion for a 3D printer is, naturally, a 3D scanner capable of replicating real world objects quickly and without hassle. Handheld scanners like 3D Systems’ iSense or FuelHD’s Scanify are both high-quality and low(er)-cost handheld scanner options, but unless you’re using them for business purposes, they’re still rather pricey for the general market. A 3D scanner needs to be available as an affordable accessory and the magic number for a successful consumer product add-ons tends to be under $200. But it looks like the impending arrival of Intel’s new RealSense tech is going to make truly affordable 3D scanning a very real option for more consumers than ever.
Not only will Intel devices with RealSense cameras be able to grab 3D scans, but the technology itself is available for third party development. One of the first companies to leverage that technology is XYZprinting, a 3D printer manufacturer from Taiwan that is probably mostly known for their popular DaVinci line of 3D printers. At this year’s IFA 2015 consumer electronics show in Berlin, XYZ introduced their compact, low-cost, full-color handheld scanner. Expect this to be the first of many affordable handheld scanning options available using the new Intel tech in the coming months.
The XYZprinting scanner is capable of quickly grabbing full color scans of virtually any object or shape, and the final scan can easily be viewed, repaired or altered with their included editing software. It is also a compact and lightweight device, weighing in at less than half a pound, and the RealSense allows it to capture images extremely fast. Currently the scan size is pretty small, at only 60 cm x 60 cm x 30 cm (23.6 in x 23.6 in x 11.8 in), but the company is working on expanding that scan envelop before launch and hoping to accommodate full-sized people.
“Our new XYZprinting Handheld 3D Scanner, powered by Intel® RealSense™ built-in 3D camera technology, enables users to snap their world in a whole new way, scanning 3D objects of any shape or size, quickly, easily, and more accurately than ever before in full colour. With its compact, light design and advanced depth sensing capabilities, it’s easy to move around all manner of objects or beings to scan effectively and in high definition,” said XYZPrinting.
The resolution isn’t going to be as high as something like the Scanify, but with a price tag of only €199 (about $222 USD), the XYZ scanner is a bit of a bargain. The scanner works by combining infrared, CCD and color capture data together seamlessly into a single image. XYZ says that their scanner will capture up to 30 frames per second at a respectable 1 mm resolution. Not the most powerful 3D scanning entry, but for the price it’s still pretty good. It’s also really easy to hold onto and move around, and the design allows it to be used as either a handheld device, or it can be connected to a tablet simply by clicking into place.
The only drawback as far as I can see is also its main selling point, the Intel RealSense technology. The scanner will connect to a computer via USB, and XYZ claims that it will work on any device with Windows 8.1 and above, but any machine that it is connected to will also need at least a 4th-generation Intel Core Processor. I’ve heard that RealSense tech puts quite a strain on older processors, so I’m not even sure a 4th Gen will be an ideal match for RealSense. It is likely that you’ll need a computer that is a little beefier than the minimum requirements, but we won’t know for sure until it is available for purchase.
So far only the working prototype is being shown off, and there are still plenty of refinements to be worked through before it’s released. XYZprinting has not announced a specific release date at this point, though it’s expected to hit shelves in November, and hasn’t even given it a name yet. Let us know your thoughts on this new 3D Scanner. Discuss in the XYZ RealSense 3D Scanner forum thread on 3DPB.com.[Photos: Gizmag]