Shining 3D announced a new bundle combining hardware with targeted application software.
The company has been producing high-quality 3D scanners of various types for several years, but this latest arrangement points at a new trend towards applications.
TechMed’s MSoft software is highly specialized for interpreting 3D scans of the human body. They say you can “Get a clean scan instantly”, and that’s exactly what it does.
MSoft “knows” about the human body structure, and can therefore automatically obtain a variety of standard measurements from the scan. They can, for example, instantly produce shoe sizes, angles, lengths and other data.
The software can import a variety of common 3D scan file types, such as OBJ, PLY, etc., and process them in apparently less than a minute, depending on the hardware used. You’re also allowed to edit the 3D scan before exporting in any of several popular file formats.
The fact that Shining 3D has chosen to market this bundle is quite intriguing. They’ve realized that, as always, the buyers are interested in solutions, not hardware or software components.
By bundling hardware and software together, they form a compelling solution for those requiring 3D scan data from human bodies. A client could, with a single purchase, get all the required gear and know it works well together.
Custom 3D Printing Possibilities With Scanning
My interest in this also lies in the possibility that bundles of this type might make customized manufacturing more feasible for new 3D printing applications.
One of the most powerful aspects of 3D printing is its ability to produce different objects during every 3D print, quite unlike mass manufacturing where every object is identical.
This capability should clearly be leveraged by 3D print applications that relate to the human body, which by definition is always unique. Everyone has slightly differently sized feet, arms and legs. One of the barriers to achieving custom-printed clothing and accessories is access to the dimensional data, and that might be solved by this type of bundle.
Shining 3D offers a ten percent discount for the EINSCAN H / MSoft bundle over buying individual products, which will help the budget somewhat.
Pay By Scan
But they also offer a more intriguing possibility: pay-by-scan. The EINSCAN H 3D scanner is capable of being used in a pay per use mode, with “tokens” being used as payment. It’s possible to buy a pile of tokens and then use them during scan operations.
Here’s a list of the token costs for typical human 3D scan operations, as measured per output file:
- Head: 10 tokens
- Torso:10 tokens
- Seat:10 tokens
- Arm/Elbow: 5 tokens
- Knee/Foot/leg: 5 tokens
- Amputated limb: 5 tokens
- Insole: 1 token
- Insoles(pair): 2 tokens
- Other: 5 tokens
This pricing configuration could lower the entry point for scanning applications in an even deeper way. However, it remains to be seen whether the market will accept this approach.