Spain-based Grupo Sicnova’s new CloneScan3D looks to be a easy way to capture 3D models of people.
Unlike other more expensive rigs, the CloneScan3D involves only four active sensors. These are mounted on four posts that surround the scanning subject. The sensors appear to move vertically to enable viewing of the subject from all heights, effectively substituting for the numerous DSLR cameras found in other scanning setups.
The sensors include both infrared and optical mechanisms to capture both shape and texture information.
The capture sequence takes only 15 seconds, which presumably is the time required for the sensors to perform their sweep. The CloneScan3D management software requires you to manually enter the height of the scanning subject to control the magnitude of the sensor movements.
Once scanned, software processes the captured images and converts them into a fully printable 3D model in PLY format. (Why PLY? Because that format includes color information and can easily be converted to STL format for use on mono-color 3D printers).
The captured scans are stored in a cloud service, CloneBE, where users can login to see, share and order prints of the 3D scan. While it’s not currently possible to download the PLY file for local 3D printing, you can send the scan to 3D print services to obtain a print. However, the company tells us the download “feature will be implemented soon in our website.”
The price of a CloneScan3D installation is said to be €25,000 (USD$28,500), which is actually less expensive than many of the fancy scanning platforms we’ve seen, which sometimes involve 50 or more expensive mounted DSLR cameras - that can add up costs very quickly. The CloneScan3D’s unique design makes this less expensive.
However, there’s a price to this economy: a scanner with mounted cameras covering every angle can capture an image instantly, whereas the CloneScan3D requires the subject to remain still for 15 seconds. This may not be a big deal, depending on your application.
If you’re thinking of 3D scanning slobbery pets and uncooperative children, you might want to look at the more expensive 3D scanning platforms. Otherwise, the CloneScan3D might be just what you need.