Questions About Skanect

By on January 29th, 2013 in Software


Manctl’s new version of Skanect should permit easy 3D scanning by anyone with a Microsoft Kinect and a computer. However, we wondered about several aspects. We asked Manctl’s Nicolas Burrus a few questions about the new version. 
Fabbaloo: The new release seems to be Windows only. Any hope of a Mac or Linux version in the future?
Nicolas Burrus: Definitely, at least Mac should come soon. We actually use Linux and Mac for our daily development, so we know Skanect can run on it.
The main issue with Mac is that we currently heavily depend on a top-end NVidia graphics card to get the nicer live reconstruction. And almost no Mac has such graphics card at the moment (only the latest macbook pro). But our top priority is to remove the requirement of having such a gamer graphics card, and this will enable Mac at the same time.
Regarding Linux, it’s just a matter of dedicating time to maintain it and handle the distribution issues. If there is enough demand, then we’ll support it. Our team is still very small, so we had to make choices.
Fabbaloo: Does the model fixing capability include the ability to add primitives like cylinders, cubes, etc? (For completing statues, busts, and the like)
Nicolas Burrus: Not yet. We plan to keep adding more postprocessing tools to create ready-to-print 3d objects without leaving Skanect, but at the moment it is mostly limited to filling holes and missing colors to create a fully colored watertight mesh. We also encourage interaction with MeshMixer through the External Edit tools, which lets the user go back and forth to another program.
Also, note that some online printing services such as Sculpteo have some postprocessing tools to add custom text or transform an existing model into a key ring, etc.
Fabbaloo: What is the minimum effective size of a scan with the configuration? Can you, for example, scan jewelry?
Nicolas Burrus: The minimal object size at this stage is about 5cm. We depend on the sensor precision here, so there is not much we can do about it. Current cameras based on Primesense chipset (such as Kinect) cannot really offer more details, but things are changing. The Carmine 1.09 is said to have sub-millimeter precision at 50cm. We should have one in the next few days, and will support it ASAP. Kinect 2 is also rumored to be able to detect fingers at several meters, so let’s see what precision it will have.
More generally, we’ll support upcoming sensors as long as their price point remains consumer-friendly, i.e a few hundred dollars.
Via Manctl 

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!