itSeez3D app can capture body scans which can be turned into 3D printable files.
Body scanning has quickly become one of the most popular applications for 3D scanning technology. It’s used in healthcare, the entertainment industry and its likely already made its way to your local supermarket.
One company is going a step further and bringing full-body scanning technology to the masses with a 3D iOS mobile app that can turn mobile scans into real-life printable objects. Currently being tested at 200 retail locations, itSeez3D is helping 3D scanning on it’s way into the mainstream.
“We want to create a technology that enables anybody to generate very realistic 3D models,” explained itSeez3D, CEO Victor Erukhimov. “We have created an application for an iPad that allows you to easily scan a human body or table top object.”
The application has already been around for a year in the App store. It requires a snap on device called the Structure Sensor which was developed by a San Francisco based company, Occipital. The app works in conjunction with both the device camera and sensor with records depth data that calculates the distance to the object for each pixel and merges that with RGB images using a unique algorithm that forms realistic models.
“The scan is pretty realistic. I’m not just recognisable, it’s me there, it’s pretty cool,” Victor commented. “Colour 3D printing makes a lot of sense and we have a lot of models in the office - I’ve got like 10 replicas of myself!”
3D scan with accurate colour and depth representation.
The app also works with the iSense scanner from 3D Systems and is capable of accurately carrying all colour and structure information from the object all the way through to a 3D printable file which can then be exported.
“The companies that we work with that do 3D printing have a lot of knowledge on how to make colours as realistic as possible,” Victor explained. “It’s known to be quite a challenge but if you pay enough attention you get pretty good colours.”
But even before 3D printing, there are several novel uses for the app already in the works that are sure to get people downloading. Selfie fans will be able to export their 3D scans to Facebook and gamers will have the ability to tinker with their favourite FPS style games and put themselves right in the centre of the action with a quick 3 minute scan. itSeez3D may be bringing 3D scanning to a much larger commercial audience but that’s not the only market it’s planning to target.
“It’s a growing market and we hope to be a part of it,” Victor commented. “There is various applications for just scanning people. We talked to medical companies about applying itSeez3D for a wide variety of problems. Plastic surgeons want to use it to show patients the effect of certain procedures. You come to a surgeon’s office, get a 3D model in 3 minutes and then you can actually see what’s going to happen after the procedure.”
3D scanning tabletop object and finished image.
Orthopaedics has already shown huge potential for both 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies with companies like Materialise leading the way in accelerating this valuable application. Victor says this is something that itSeez3D hopes to tap into to make orthopaedic solutions more accessible, faster and cheaper.
“People working in orthopaedics asked us to provide a technology that could scan a foot,” explained Victor. “They’re creating custom soles for people with foot diseases. The current procedure is, you step into something and your imprint gets physically sent to a lab where they make a sole. With our technology you can just send an email. We hope we are going to bring this change to the industry.”
For the casual consumer, 3D scanning is not the cheapest technology to buy into without some serious consideration. itSeez3D hopes to bridge the price gap between the consumer and prosumer market by optimising this technology for use on devices that people already have in their homes.
“There are lots of different scanning devices but there is no single device that is bringing coloured scanning to consumers,” Victor remarked. “We see prosumer devices which cost thousands of dollars. Our technology can work on cheaper devices that are going to come to the market this year or next and are going to be affordable to consumers in the range of $300 to $500.”
The technology is currently being tested at over 200 Media Markt stores, Europe’s leading electronics retailer, turning people into 3D action figurines. The company is also busy working with 3D printing experts to develop new features including a low resolution, fast response scanning option that outputs a model in around 30 seconds for quick reference.
The itSeez3D iPad App is available free for non-commercial use on the Apple App store.