Real-Time 3D Scanning – With a WebCam!

By on November 19th, 2009 in blog

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a breakthrough technique for vastly simplified 3D scanning. The system, called ProFORMA (Probabilistic Feature-based On-line Rapid Model Acquisition) uses 3D Delaunay tetrahedralisation to transform scanned points into a 3D surface mesh in real time by merely hand-turning an object in front of a webcam!

The video demonstrates the startling potential of this software, which theoretically could run on virtually any home computer. 

According to their paper:

ProFORMA uses a fixed video camera to allow on-line reconstruction of objects held in a user’s hand. Partial models are generated very quickly and displayed instantly, allowing the user to plan how to manipulate the object’s pose in order to generate additional views for reconstruction. We demonstrate how augmented reality can be used to assist the user in view planning, guiding the user to collect new keyframes from desirable views in order to complete and refine the model.

We’d like this rapid scan technique to eventually become a standard feature for home computers, as that would massively simplify some of the difficulties in consumer use of 3D systems.

Via Cambridge University Engineering Department and PhysOrg (Hat tip to Micah)

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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