Creaform, makers of the Handyscan line of 3D scanning devices recently released new software to drive their highly capable devices that increases their capability. While these scanners are typically out of the price range of hobbyists, they are very useful in a variety of commercial situations. The new software (VXElements) provides some pretty amazing capabilities, not the least of which is bringing together into a single environment several previously separate tools. Here's a few of the feature we found fascinating:
- Ability to merge scans together, even from different scanning sessions
- Automatic hole filling, which as you might imagine, can happen frequently when scanning objects - and filling holes by hand is just not fun
- A new component, VXTrack, provides the ability to capture up to 30 scans per second
The last one is quite interesting, because it transforms the hand scanner into a motion capture device - without the requirement for expensive sensors or wired-up motion capture suits. In the case of 3D printing, the motion capture feature would permit a sequence of "images" to be captured which could then be inspected to find the most useful shape. This would be analogous to high-speed photography, where the paparazzi inspects the 10,000 images of Lady Gaga to find the best image for printing. Or, 3D printing in the future!