Cheap 3D Scanner Lets Users Easily Replicate Items

Cheap 3D Scanner Lets Users Easily Replicate Items

Two Brits have come up with a quick and easy way to translate real objects into extremely realistic images on screen...for a reasonable cost.

Betsy Mead
  • 27 february 2013

Take an object, any object. Place it in front of your computer. Scan it with the CADScan technology on your computer and marvel as a 3D model appears on your screen. It might seem surreal but UK-based Alastair Buchanan and Tony Rhoades have created an optical scanning system that allows you to do just that.

After loading the software, all users need to do is hit a button, and it will capture any item, up to 25 x 25 x 25 cm (10” x 10” x 10”), by garnering required information as it is processed and rotated ‘on a turntable.’ The scan should only take around 5 minutes to complete and will be accessible to both Mac and PC owners when it is fully developed. And of course, the closer an item is to the scanner, the better the on-screen model. This bodes well for  professionals who work with animation and 3D modeling.

The pair, whose mutual fascination with design and tech software brought them together, began the project in 2011, after gaining funding from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and released it on Kickstarter on February 12 of this year. It looks like it will already obtain the necessary capital to proceed as interested parties have already pledged $80,000, way ahead of the target goal of $12,000 with 24 days from closing.

For a technological advance of this nature, it is also a bargain. Wannabe users don’t even need to fork out $1,000 to have the software on their personal machines. As Buchanan explained,

The key to the scanner is our patent-pending scanning technology. This is what has helped us hit such a low price point. Invariably, there are some limitations as we strive to balance conflicting design requirements with a need to make the system easy-to-use, but we see this as something that will improve with future iterations of the product and technology.

If this concept piques someone’s interest, donations from $7 to to $1,000 can be made on the CADScan website in return for a variety of gifts, and if it really grabs them, a $7,500 contribution will buy a trip to the UK and an in-person rendez-vous with the brains behind the software, as well as a bona-fide model to take home.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign below:


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