Shapify’s 3D Body Scanning Service

By on March 18th, 2014 in Service

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There’s another 3D scanning service designed for consumers: Shapify.

The service is unusual in that it uses a hybrid model: you can 3D scan at home using your own equipment, or visit a Shapify-powered partner who can perform the scan. 

Shapify’s online service accepts the raw scan and processes it into a printable model. You then specify the desired size and Shapify’s service will produce a real, physical printout of the scanned individual. With payment, they’ll send you the 3D print in the post. The workflow is automated and easy to use, showing complete previews of what you’ll receive. 

The scanning uses Kinect-based scanners, thus the ability to do the scan at home on your own equipment. You’ll use freely-downloadable software to perform the scan. Shapify’s service works with both Xbox Kinect and Kinect for Windows. If you’re not sure how to go about scanning, Shapify includes instructional videos to ensure you do it correctly. One tip is to rotate the subject rather than move the camera around the subject. 

The official Shapify setup involves the Kinect, of course, but also appropriate lighting, which is critical for successful 3D scans, particularly those capturing color textures. 

We found the service produces smallish 3D models, but that’s OK in our opinion. It keeps the costs down and also matches the relatively poor 3D resolution of Kinect hardware. We’ve tried 3D printing large versions of human Kinect scans and they often turn out badly. 

Via Shapify