We've discussed the idea of having large libraries of 3D models in the future, so that we can quickly print out any required object. But where exactly do these models come from? There are only two possibilities:
- Design it yourself. Obviously difficult, especially if you don't have specialized training and a whole lot of time. Oh, and you need some expensive software and hardware, too!
- Scan It! Yes, technology is available today to perform three-dimensional scans of objects. The scan is similar to today's commonplace 2D scans and results in a digital mesh model representing the shape of the scanned object. This model can then be stored, adjusted, backed up, transferred and any other action we take on our digital data.
One of the current leaders in 3D scanning is NextEngine, who market a relatively inexpensive 3D scanner: the NextEngine Desktop 3D Scanner. For a great introduction, watch this video from Mahalo daily, where the lovely Veronica Belmont interviews Dan Gustafson, Marketing Director at NextEngine. Gustafson demonstrates a unique use of the scanner, where a degenerated auto part is scanned, remodeled and eventually fabbed into a usable fresh copy.