Inside The CloneScan3D Photo Booth

By on June 8th, 2015 in Hardware


We got a very close look at the new CloneScan3D photo booth from Spain. So close we were actually inside it!

We’ve previously covered this device, but it never hurts to take a closer look. This 3D Photo Booth can quickly prepare a suitable 3D model for printing: scanning takes fifteen seconds, while processing takes around 90 seconds further. 

Wait, you ask why does scanning take fifteen seconds? It turns out that the CloneScan3D uses a unique technique to reduce costs. They have four posts in the corners of the booth, each with a single Primesense 3D depth camera mounted on a vertically sliding platform. When scanning commences, the cameras are at the top, but as scanning proceeds, the cameras simultaneously shift down to several progressively lower positions to capture additional 3D information. 

This is why it takes fifteen seconds: to move the depth cameras. 
But – there’s only four cameras, so the costs of the booth are lower, at least when compared to units that may have, for example, 75 x USD$1,000 DSLR cameras. In fact, the price of the CloneScan3D booth is currently €24,500 (USD$27,000).

There is a disadvantage with this approach, being that any subject must remain motionless for the fifteen second scan. If not, the scan is messed up. This means you’ll have to work with young children very carefully – and some may never cooperate properly. For them you’ll have to use a different photo booth that captures shapes instantly. And don’t even think about pets. 

The CloneScan3D booth is “sealed” for lighting reasons. A uniformly white curtain surrounds the hardware to ensure each camera sees uniform and diffuse lighting, so you receive a color 3D model with correct coloration on all sides. 

3D models are delivered in several formats, including VRML, PLY and OBJ/MTL, but you’ll need to add a local PC to do the processing with their custom-designed software controller. 

Via CloneScan3D

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!