One of the best personal 3D scanning systems just got a little better. Skanect, a software package designed to work with an inexpensive Microsoft Kinect sensor, is now available for OS X platforms. Previously, the software worked only on Windows.
Skanect is an all-in-one solution for inexpensive casual 3D scanning. Using Skanect and a Kinect, which are typically available for around USD$100, you can very quickly create 3D printable models of scanned shapes. Skanect integrates the necessary processing required to develop printable 3D models: 3D point cloud capture; mesh creation; hole filling; axis slicing. And it also captures a color texture of the subject, too.
Skanect's limitations really focus on the capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Accuracy is a concern as the Kinect's resolution is relatively poor, meaning you can't really obtain precise scans of mechanical parts, for example. But you can very easily capture "casual" scans of people, pets and other organic objects that cooperate by staying still during the scan.
The new release includes several new features that apparently will shortly be added to the Windows release:
- Export UV texture-mapped models (OBJ and PLY formats).
- VRML export (suitable to upload colored models to Shapeways).
- New export parameters: scale (millimeters, meters or inches) and number of faces.
- Improved user interface.
- Performance improvement (about 15%) for machines without GPU.
- Smoothing level parameter when creating watertight models.
- Track loss detection is now optional.
This is the first release of Skanect since ManCTL was acquired by Occipital; the pricing remains the same: €99 (USD$130), and is well worth the price to simplify the work of capturing excellent 3D scans.