A new 3D scanning option is available, but it’s not the kind of scanning system you’re used to.
Capassity’s Easy 3D Scan is a “professional 3D scanning software“ solution for laptops and tablets based on Intel’s “RealSense” 3D technology. The Intel hardware is found installed directly on some laptops and devices, meaning for that equipment, accessing Easy 3D Scan is simply a software installation away.
Here’s one way to use it: position a scannable object on a turntable in front of the Intel RealSense-equipped device. The software does the rest.
Another method is to manually walk around a subject as shown here, but obviously the subject must remain absolutely still during the scan.
Easy 3D Scan will capture your 3D model in “one click” and perform the necessary meshing to develop an editable 3D model in .OBJ format, importable by most reputable 3D CAD programs.
A beta feature under development is the ability to combine the Intel’s RealSense 3D depth camera with an actual DSLR. The DSLR captures high-resolution color images that Easy 3D Scan interests into a color texture that is applied to the surface of the .OBJ file. Yes, you can produce color 3D models with this solution.
This solution isn’t for everyone, however, as these are the recommend system specifications:
4TH GENERATION (OR LATER) INTEL® CORE™ PROCESSOR I5
HD GRAPHICS 5300+ OR ANY MODERN OPENCL 1.1+ GRAPHICS CARD
2GB FREE HARD DISK SPACE
MICROSOFT WINDOWS 8.1 OS 64-BIT, WINDOWS 10
INTEL® REALSENSE™ 3D CAMERA F200, SR300 OR R200
Sure, many people have MOST of these on their Windows machine, but a lot fewer will have the RealSense 3D camera. But for those who do, you can get going with Easy 3D Scan very quickly.
But here’s the really interesting part: Capassity’s business model.
While the software is installed locally, it uses their cloud service to verify a subscription. Initially, Capassity will offer three levels of subscription:
- Free! But you may only download TWO scanned 3D models per month, with additional models priced at USD$10 per download.
- USD$49 per month (or USD$499 per year) enables 20 3D model downloads per month, with additionals at USD$5 each.
- USD$99 per month (or USD$999 per year) providing 50 3D model downloads per month, with additionals priced at USD$3 each.
All options provide social network sharing, color texture support through attached DSLRs, and the ability to directly order a 3D print of the model from the software.
I’m very curious about their approach, because it is so different from most other scanning solutions, which provide an unlimited amount of scanning capability - but usually at a higher initial price.
One might think that Capassity’s pricing is expensive, but consider that a decent scanning rig could cost you USD$500-1,000 anyway.
And there’s one other thing.
How many 3D scans do you really expect to perform? Would you really be doing FIFTY 3D scans each and every month? That’s multiple per day! I don’t know about you, but my 3D scans are quite intermittent. I do them when I have a reason to do so, and not on a regular basis.
It may just be that Capassity’s free level is just right for casual users: they would not have to pay USD$500 or more for a scanner, yet still be able to get high quality scans done, for perhaps far less money.
As usual, the tool should fit the requirements. You must ask yourself, “how many 3D scans am I really doing?”