Energy 3D’s Instantaneous 3D Scanner: Ulysses

By on October 6th, 2014 in Hardware


We’re looking at a new 3D scanning solution from Dynamic3D, the Ulysses 3D scanner.

There are many different 3D scanning solutions available today, so you might wonder what makes this one stand out. Aside from the 0.06mm accuracy, the key feature seems to be scanning speed. 

How fast is it? Well, if you watch the video you’ll get the idea. It’s seemingly instantaneous, although the folks at Energy3D tell us the scan can take 1-2 seconds. That’s pretty fast. 

Even better, the device apparently can handle typically pathological scan materials such as reflective or very dark surfaces. They say: 

What makes our scanner stand out, is the ability to scan traditionally difficult objects with ease. Scanning a shiny object like a DVD (even jewelry and other metal objects) with its reflective surface can be done in one second without coating spray. A marked difference from most professional grade scanner out there today. The same super-quick scan can be done for most shiny, reflective assets and even items with very dark surfaces.

There’s one peculiar twist, though. If you watch the video carefully, you’ll notice that the scan is taken only from one viewpoint, making it impossible to capture a fully 3D image. Could this be where speed specs come from? Can the device capture a true 3D view of a subject? We reached out to Energy 3D, whose Douglas McKinley said that the scanner can capture full objects: 

Yes, indeed it can take 360 degrees. We use markers for that. We can do a 360 scan in much less time than most scanners due to automatic marker alignment.Then we simply stitch the point clouds with something like GeoMagic…or your favorite flavor mesh tool. It’s an Asc format so most tools will work to get an STL or a CAD.

The Ulysses uses a pair of 2MP Basler industrial cameras, a carbon-fiber platform, combined with Gray Code and Phase Shifting to identify 3D geometries. 

It seems they’re looking to market this technology to commercial uses, as an SDK is provided to build applications around the Ulysses. We could imagine building a sophisticated 3D foot scanner, for example, with this gear. 

According to Energy 3D, they are ready to ship immediately. 

Via Energy3D

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!