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This was the object for scanning; a velvet head
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Features came out impressively in print
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The scanner, the subject and the printed scan.
(not printed on the Cube behind)
Before Christmas TCT + personalize were given a 3D Systems Sense handheld scanner for review purposes. What with all the preparation for CES and that darned Christmas getting in the way, other than a couple of quick scans of each other we’ve not properly had time to invest in the $399 Cubify device.
Well today being Thursday, we thought this would be an ideal time to give it a whirl. Over the coming weeks #ThingiThursday will be dedicated to the scanner as we take time to explore the do’s and don’ts, limitations and benefits of the scanner.
Essentially, the Sense has the same inbuilt technology as the Kinect except this is built for purpose; no hacking or tinkering is required. The software is intuitive and easy to use but frustratingly there is no OSX version on the market.
I recently watched Ben Heck’s excellent video on the Sense, he came up with some ingenious methods to get the best out of the device but without some of the materials and/or space Ben has at his disposal in his work shop I had to make do.
One of his ideas that did interest me was the idea of taping the scanner onto the laptop. One of the more difficult techniques to master with the Sense is the art of scanning and looking at your screen, it’s like the old rub your tummy and pat your head test. I knew this taping could possibly eradicate that complication and the slight design flaw of shortness of the lead. Personally I’d pay another $50-$100 for this to work with Bluetooth or WiFi.
So I started to tape the scanner to the laptop, resting the wire on top of the screen (this means the scan will be upside down but easily rotated in post-processing), when an idea struck me, ‘what if we could 3D print a holster for the front of the laptop?’ A project for future weeks perhaps.
On with the scan, we have these black velvet heads (see pics) for tradeshows to show off 3D Printed glasses by the likes of Ron Arrad. Their very defined shape plus the matte surface (scanners often struggle with shiny surfaces) coupled with the size made me think it’d be a pretty easy and decent first scan.
At first, I messed up by placing the velvet black head against a very dark carpet in a pretty poorly lit room, the scanning software struggled to differentiate between floor and object. So I raised the head up onto a desk of drawers that I placed in the middle of the room and drew the blinds back to let as much light in as possible.
The scan worked first time and the result was really rather impressive. The features on the face of the velvet head are particularly subtle; from a distance, to the naked eye it might be difficult to tell head on that the head had eyes, ears or a nose let alone a clavicle. Yet the scanner picked out all these details no problem.
Solidifying the model in the software filled in all the areas that had not scanned – such as under the chin and the base. The final model needed little of touching up, just a little crop to get rid of the plinth and voila! A ready to print STL.
The resulting print, in white ABS, printed at 0.20mm layer resolution height and on fast mode on our John Burn Supplied UP! Plus 3D Printer was particularly nice, the were some minor flaws in the print but I think more down to the printer than the scanner but in general the features on the print are easier to distinguish than that of the actual subject. This may be more down to the colour of the material but as a demonstration of how well the scanner can work it is impressive.
So what do’s and don’ts did I learn this time? Do find a way to attach the scanner to the laptop front - in fact 3D Systems had some kind of bracket to the front of a windows tablet at CES 2014, do make sure you have sufficient space to walk around the object, don’t try to scan in poorly lit conditions and don’t try to scan an object on a similar coloured surface or background.