Artec 3D Gives Legs To Their Large-Format 3D Scanner

By on September 12th, 2019 in Hardware

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 The Artec Ray trying to 3D scan an airplane [Source; Artec 3D] The Artec Ray trying to 3D scan an airplane [Source; Artec 3D]

Artec 3D released something quite straightforward, yet very powerful: a wireless app for their large-format 3D scanner.

The company has been producing powerful 3D scanners for many years and has even experimented with some unusual prototype products. One of their products is the Artec Ray.

Artec Ray 3D Scanner

It’s a large-format 3D scanner, meaning it is able to successfully capture 3D scans of massive objects, like buildings or airliners, for example. It can do so because it has a scanning range of up to 110m, tremendously farther than common 3D scanners, which typically have fields of view in the couple-of-meters range.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Well, it isn’t in many circumstances, as the operator of the Artec Ray would have to be present with the scanner throughout the process. The scanner itself is hooked up to a laptop to perform the processing and control functions. The operator starts and stops the scan, and ensures that it was successful.

Problems When 3D Scanning Large Objects

However, what happens when the object is so large and unusually shaped that the scanner cannot reach a position to “see” the entire envelope of the subject? Artec 3D provides the example of a 3D scanning a large aircraft: how does the normally-tripod mounted 3D scanner see the top of the airplane?

The scanner might have to be mounted on a movable platform and raised up sufficiently high to see the entire airplane. But then so does the operator!

That could be quite problematic, as you may require industrial certifications to operate such a mobile platform, which I imagine typical 3D scanner operators might not have.

Artec 3D Remote App

 View of the Artec 3D mobile 3D scanning app [Source: Artec 3D] View of the Artec 3D mobile 3D scanning app [Source: Artec 3D]

These issues seem to be resolved with the announcement that Artec 3D has released a mobile control app for their Artec Ray 3D scanner. The idea is that the laptop provides a WiFi connection to the app, and the operator can control the 3D scanning process remotely.

Thus, in the airplane scenario mentioned above, while the 3D scanner and laptop soar into the air on a mobile platform, the 3D scanner operator can remain in a comfy chair on the ground under a sun umbrella. Perhaps even with some lemonade!

 View of the Artec 3D mobile 3D scanning app [Source: Artec 3D] View of the Artec 3D mobile 3D scanning app [Source: Artec 3D]

Obviously this will be huge benefit to Artec Ray operators, but I think something else will also take place: more 3D scans.

More 3D Scans

Think about it: with the constraints imposed by the original device configuration, it’s very likely some subjects were simply not 3D scanned at all. Now there is a path for those scans to take place in a very straightforward manner.

One of my axioms is that if you want something to happen, make it easy. That seems to be exactly what Artec 3D is doing here.

Via Artec 3D

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!