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The subject in question may appear still here but just you try walking around him with a Sense scanner
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Boo the scan
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Boo print on Formlabs and original subject
The hardest thing to scan that somebody who buys a consumer 3D Scanner may want to scan is the family dog. Scanning any pets is notoriously difficult because unlike humans they just don’t understand that they CAN’T move. With this in mind I decided to give it a shot with the 3D Systems’ Sense Scanner anyway.
My family's dog is pretty good at staying put when told to do so but only so long as you have a piece of meat in order to bribe him with but would he be able to concentrate while I’m walking around him with what looks like something that could potentially be from the vets?
When I got to the house with the scanner I realised one thing straight away, our apricot cockapoo (the most manly of all dogs) is pretty much the same colour as the floorboards in the entire house, this problem was evident as soon as I fired the scanner up. So I got his black blanket out and made him sit on that, sure enough he stayed with my assisterant waving the ham in his face I started my quest to scan the dog.
Exactly as predicted the darned mutt stayed put but with his head followed me around the room with a suspicious eye, four attempts later and I was either left with a two headed sort of dog or the scanner losing tracking and getting nothing out of it. The dog had enough after four goes and decided to wander off into the garden to check for cats. This dog might be very photogenic but it is not scanagenic!
So, I failed, miserably but I found a better pet to print, a more still sort, “inanimate” some might say. Boo is the world’s cutest dog, that’s not an opinion of mine that’s a fact, it says so on WikiPedia. The soft toy version of Boo is a firm favourite in my household, which is odd as I have no children.
Boo was a much better behaved subject for a scan, I have found after four weeks of scanning trying all the tips and tricks out there that simply using the scanner in its native way i.e. holding it in one hand and a laptop in the other, works best if you master it.
The technique requires patience and is a bit like learning to drive a manual car but once you’ve mastered it holding and moving the scanner while looking at the screen becomes natural. Other processes I’ve learnt work best include; turning colour off when scanning, object recognition on, placing the object on a platform at waist height, making sure there's balanced light in the room and if the object is a similar colour to the surface use something like a colourful cushion in order to create contrast.
The scan was decent and took little post processing. Putting it into the Formlabs software meant scaling it down to 0.4 in order for it to fit onto the bed, but seeing as I had a couple of other things to run off I scaled it down to 20%. After four hours and some cleaning later I have the perfect little cheap valentine’s gift.