There are a lot of inexpensive 3D scanners available today, but the issue is not so much the hardware, but how the software processes the scans. itSeez3D has produced a great 3D scanning app.
This is only software – it requires the Structure Sensor from Occipital, a popular 3D scanning hardware option, and an iPad to attach it to. itSeez3D is simply an iOS app that runs on the iPad.
We gave the unit a try and had General Fabb 3D scanned. What was most impressive was the speed of scanning vs. the quality of the scan result.
The scanning process took perhaps a minute at most, with the operator slowly moving around the subject. In this image, you can see the monitor at top left which shows the iPad view. Basically, the operator has to “cover” all areas of the subject to complete the scan. This is accomplished by not only moving around the subject in a circular pattern, but also by moving up and down to ensure all areas are covered.
The Structure Sensor uses harmless structured light to perform the scan, so it’s perfectly safe for use on humans and pets, so long as they stand still. In fact the itSeez3D app is specifically designed to capture humans.
It’s ability to process hair is exceptional. 3D scanning hair is always very problematic, which is why we prefer to scan bald people: their scan always works! But itSeez3D seems to be able to capture even complex hair quite well. And the color textures they produce and apply to the 3D model surface are superb.
Post scan processing is also quite fast. Our scan was ready in only a couple of minutes and the results were amazingly good, considering the poor lighting conditions during the scan. For best results, we strongly recommend a full 360 degree equal lighting environment. The results are quite good, as you can see here.
The processing also automatically removed any extraneous scan material, adjusted textures and built a completely solid 3D model with a perfectly flat base. These files are instantly ready for 3D printing – even on a color 3D printer.
itSeez3D can provide you with the 3D scan files in a variety of formats, but they can also arrange a 3D print as well. This is their business model: the application is in fact free for non-commercial use, but they upcharge USD$5 for prints. They suggest their color prints are of higher quality than usual, because they apparently do some “special care” on the color textures to improve the output quality.
If you happen to have a Structure Sensor, this software is likely a good option for you to try – it is free to test, after all. If you don’t have a Structure Sensor, itSeez3D may be a good reason to get one!