3D Systems Launch iSense
There were lots of launches and surprises at the 3D Printing TechZone at International CES 2014, but one that sort of snuck under the radar was the 3D Systems’ iPad attachment the iSense. The iSense is a 3D scanner for your iPad and is now available from Cubify.
The scanner uses the Sense scanner software to capture your surroundings in three dimensions and is priced at $499 (£349, €375). It simply clips onto the back of your iPad 4th Gen, Air or Mini, and instantly transforms it you iOS device into a 3D scanner.
Back in January, when the iSense was first announced Occiptal promised their backers on Kickstarter that they would fulfil all pledges before the 3D Systems model started shipping, and despite some delays it looks like that the crowdfunded models will all be shipped by the end of this month or next.
3D Systems version of the scanner is designed to be more consumer-friendly than the open-source approach to software and compatibility that the Occiptal version is using. The iSense is designed to integrate perfectly with 3D Systems’ Cubify selection of services and products.
The user will be able to scan an object from as small as a shoe to as big as an SUV and instantly upload it to the Cubify service for it to be printed in a variety of materials, colours (including full colour) or even print off on their own 3D printer be that a 3D Systems Cube or otherwise.
One of the minor criticisms of the handheld Sense scanner – 3D Systems’ other consumer 3D scanner offering – was its lack of portability. It had to be plugged into a laptop/computer and the wire wasn’t particularly long stopping you from scanning various objects, though some people did connect the Sense to Windows Surface Tablets. With the iSense it can either be left clipped onto the iPad or clipped on within seconds for ultimate scanning on the go.
Interestingly, Apple recently acquired PrimeSense, whose technology is used inside the 3D Systems Sense, and the consumer electronic giant could well see this release as an interesting piece of market research as to whether 3D scanning on the go is something the market requires. If it proves to be a successful product, which the Kickstarter campaign certainly seems to suggest, Apple could very well integrate 3D scanning capabilities into their products in the future.