Shapify Booth in UK supermarkets.
Artec provides some of the most advanced 3D scanning hardware available on the market today. Two years ago the company introduced us to the Eva 3D scanner which just last week at TCT Show demonstrated how it can scan an entire car in a matter of minutes. Speaking with VP of Product Management at Artec, Evgeny Lykhin, he told us about the company’s exciting plans for consumer 3D scanning and where he believes the technology is most beneficial.
“We realised that the most popular use of our scanners is to scan people,” explains Evgeny. “People love to have their figurine printed, this became a very popular thing especially in the UK.”
In response to this popularity, Artec decided to embark on a new project, the Shapify Booth body scanner. The Shapify Booth is a unit featuring four 3D scanners on a rotating mechanism tailored to create an entire body scan.
“We have a big partnership with Asda and they’re installing ten of these scan booths in their supermarkets,” says Evgeny.
Though body scanning is popular amongst consumers, Evgeny says the technology has seen some important implementation in the medical industry and as a result has become one of the biggest utilisers of the technology.
“We are getting questions on how to scan this and that every day. We get some surprises on what people manage to scan but of course there are some uses which are most popular,” says Evgeny. “Like body scanning, it’s not all for fun. Frequently doctors in cosmetic surgery or in other medics can scan a human body to estimate the result of an operation.”
But there are many other industries where 3D scanning has really made an impact. From Hospitals to Hollywood, the level of precision has proven invaluable in various outlets and you might be surprised to learn where you may have witnessed the results of it.
“There is a lot of use in computer graphics with great special effects in movies like Avatar or Harry Potter. Most of these movies were filmed and post processed using our scanners,” reveals Evgeny. “Right now it’s medical but industrial use of 3D scanners is also catching up. The industrial use is mostly for quality control. To do this you have to achieve a very high precision level. Last year we introduced a new scanner Spider. This has a much higher accuracy than Eva and it’s very popular in industrial applications.”
Eva and Spider 3D scanners
One of the most interesting applications of 3D scanning and printing technology at this year’s TCT Show was the preservation and replication of historical objects exemplified in a replica of Henry VIII’s crown and Han Dynasty dog. This year museums have discovered new revenue streams in being able to produce precious objects using scanning devices.
“They basically scan sculptures and other objects,” says Evgeny. “This is useful for preservation or for websites to show not only 2D images but also 3D images of their objects.”
Right now Artec is working on the next model of its scanner planned for a 2015 release. The new device will develop the technology already available in Eva but will concentrate on overcoming limiting factors in the ‘field of view’ so that larger objects can be scanned in less time but with the same, if not higher, level of accuracy as Eva. However, one of the most significant developments the team are working on is the automation of the scanning process.
“One big topic in our research team is automating the process of scanning,” says Evgeny. “As an artist it’s not really straight forward yet and you have to train before you get successful scans. We are working on automating this process and we want to have the whole workflow of getting a 3D object really automated without the need of a long post process. This will mean improvements on the software side.”
For the moment, Artec is focusing its attention on the rollout of the Shapify Booth’s to stores in the UK. They are currently being manufactured and will be shipped to stores very soon.
Evgeny adds: “This is what keeps us excited at the moment.”