3D Scanning (and Printing)

Scanning in 3D objects is pretty neat but also pretty challenging. We tried out two different technologies, the Sense 3D Scanner (same technology as the xbox kinect) and 123D Catch.

Sense 3D Scanner

The Sense 3D scanner works out of the box and you just use the included software to capture 3D scans in a pretty intuitive manner. It takes a little getting used to, but we were very quickly capturing decent scans of each others faces.

We quickly started printing two of the scans we had done on the MakerBot. The scan on the left was 'made solid' by the 3d Scan software, a step we forgot to do on my face. You can see my chin drooping because there was a hole in the model.

As the job is printing you can see the support structure the printer is placing inside the hollow shell.

After a little cleanup the figure is a pretty good likeness!

My good side. You can see there was another hole under my ear that cased an issue.

Since the first print wasn't perfect I decided to grab another scan and clean up the mesh in Rhino. I then imported another of the shapes I had designed and put myself inside of it.

Here you can see the support structure that was printed. I tilted the print back so that the top of the cube could be printed without much support structure. The geometry is definily at the limit of what can come out nicely. A slower print would make a big difference as well.

After some cleaning up with a soldering iron the final outcome isn't that bad. More work could smooth out the geometry, but I like it rough around the edges.

123D Catch

123D Catch was much more difficult to get working. Due to our success with the Sense 3D we first tried to capture our entire bodies. That did not work successfully. I then tried to capture a cam that I hung from a wire. That also did not work, but did end up with a wonky scene of my room. I then tried just laying it on a table, and finally had some more success.

The scan did a good job of picking up the detail on the cam, including the small trigger wires, and ended up constructing a surprisingly large area of my desk.

A reference photo for comparison. The scan can be found here