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Reviews

In-depth, hands-on Reviews of 3D Scanning Hardware & Software.

Structure Sensor vs. iSense for 3D Scanning – with Example Scans
3 hours ago

Structure Sensor vs. iSense for 3D Scanning – with Example Scans

Over the past months I’ve received a lot of questions regarding this post about the hugely discounted iSense 3D Scanner from 3D System. I’m updating that post weekly with all the facts that I’ve gathered from readers, manufacturers and developers. I advice you to read it if you’re interested in knowing the differences and the reason why the iSense is currently offered so cheap on Amazon and eBay.

But regardless of the information in that post, I was still getting a lot of questions and remarks. So to settle this, I decided to simply an iSense myself — for $58 on eBay including bracket. Since I already own a Structure Sensor, I can now compare them hands-on instead of on claims of other people that honestly didn’t always make sense (pun sort of intended).

Before I continue, I must stress that you should really read the other post regarding possible compatibility issues if you plan on purchasing an iSense at a discount. Mine works like a charm and of the readers that have contacted me, about 75% had the same positive experience and the other 25% had a negative one. Maybe I got lucky, or maybe I just know how to work with this kind of device, I don’t know.

I’m not sure what cause the negative experience for some. Some error messages people sent me sounded more like a defective iSense than an incompatible one. And I got quite a few messages from people complaining about the scan quality of the iSense.

The big question of course is: If it works, is there any difference in scan quality?

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Autodesk ReMake Photogrammetry Review
1 day ago

Autodesk ReMake Photogrammetry Review

In 2016 I’ve mainly reviewed dedicated hardware that can be used for 3D Scanning — or Active Reality Capture, if you will — from entry-level infrared depth sensors like the Structure Sensor and Sense 2 to the professional white light scanners like the EinScan-Pro and Artec Eva. The price difference between those is huge (from less than $500 to way more than $5,000) but more expensive 3D scanners can capture a lot more detail.

Structure Sensor (itSeez3D) vs. Artec Eva (Sharp Fiusion)

The difference in geometric detail between an affordable depth sensor and a professional handheld 3D scanner is clear: Structure Sensor (itSeez3D, 48.5k faces) vs. Artec Eva (Sharp Fiusion, 800.0k faces) (Click for Sketchfab versions)

But 3D scanner are not the only way to capture reality anymore. Passive Reality Capture technologies, like Photogrammetry, don’t require any special hardware. A camera and a computer will do. Even a smartphone — which is basically a camera and computer in one — can do photogrammetry when combined with Free Apps. That link brings you to one of the most-read posts on this website, because why would you pay for 3D scanning if it can be free?

Those apps, however, have their downsides. That’s why I’m starting a new series of reviews that will cover Professional Photogrammetry Software. First in line is Autodesk ReMake — previously known as Memento — which is available for Windows and Mac. As you might now, I have reviewed Autodesk ReCap 360 in the past. Or at least, the web-interface (that also works on Android) of that software. As a whole ReCap 360 is actually meant for working with laser scans — from the new (and awesome) Leica BLK360 scanner or others — and mix those with photogrammetry if needed. ReMake is purely meant for photogrammetry and offers a complete set of tools to generate, edit and export 3D scans made from photos.

Autodesk’s goal with ReMake is to make professional Reality Capture simple and affordable. Let’s find out of they have succeeded!

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Updated: Structure Sensor vs. Intel RealSense SR300 vs. Kinect V2
3 weeks ago

Updated: Structure Sensor vs. Intel RealSense SR300 vs. Kinect V2

This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated in February 2017 with more information and example scans

I just got this question as a reply to my Facebook Page:

It’s an interesting one, and the reply I wrote was so long that I decided to put it up here so it’s available for everyone with that wants to start 3D Scanning — and 3D Printing — on a budget:

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Mini Review: itSeez3D Game Avatar iOS App
1 month ago

Mini Review: itSeez3D Game Avatar iOS App

A while ago I wrote that itSeez3D announced a new Software Development Kit (SDK) — called Game Avatar — that would allow users to make a 3D scan of their face by taking just a single, regular photo with the front-facing camera of their smartphone.

Recently, they released a sample app for iOS that shows how this technology works. Naturally, I had to test it.

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Artec Eva 3D Scanner Review
1 month ago

Artec Eva 3D Scanner Review

In the last two years, many new 3D scanners have entered the market. From entry-level infrared depth sensors to structured light scanners aimed at professionals. For this review, I’ve been testing the Artec Eva — a handheld 3D scanner that has been around since 2012. But if you think that means it’s outdated hardware, you’re very wrong. In reality, Artec is one of the industry-standard brands of handheld 3D scanners.

The Eva is their “general-purpose” white light scanner that can be used to capture anything from the size of a shoe to that of a car with a point accuracy of up to 0,1mm. For smaller objects or very small details (up to 0.05mm accuracy), Artec offers the Space Spider blue light scanner that can also be used… in space! I’ll review that one soon (on earth, unfortunately).

The Eva is used for many purposes, from quality control to cultural heritage and from rapid prototyping to medical applications. It’s also commonly used to create assets for games and visual effects for movies and TV shows, like the Batman-inspired series Gotham. The scanner was also used to create the very first presidential portrait in 3D of Barack Obama.

My review unit came with a complementary training by Dutch Artec Reseller MiniYours / 3D Scan Solutions, which got me started quickly. I’ve been testing the Eva for about two months.

Let’s dive in!

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Sense 2 (RealSense SR300) 3D Scanner Review
3 months ago

Sense 2 (RealSense SR300) 3D Scanner Review

With 2016 coming to an end, it’s time to look back at another year. For me it was the year I decided to put my blogging and R&D focus entirely on 3D capturing technologies. Without any regrets! It’s a great journey so far and I’ve tested a lot of great hardware and software in a market that’s changing faster than many people realize.

The very first 3D scanning hardware I reviewed was 3D Systems’ first generation Sense scanner in February. Because that device was part of the consumer-focused Cubify brand that was discontinued in 2015, I didn’t expect the Sense to get a successor. But I was wrong and today I’m writing about my experience with the Sense 2 — or as 3D Systems calls it, the “Next Generation Sense”. It’s now targeted more towards professionals, but still has the consumer-friendly price tag of $399.

My review model has been kindly provided by 3D Printer and 3D Scanner store Machines 3D!

In this Review, I’ll compare the 3D Systems Sense 2 to

  • It’s predecessor, the original 3D Systems Sense 3D Scanner (which I’ll refer to as Sense 1)
  • The XYZ 3D Scanner, because that features the Intel RealSense F200 sensor which has been succeeded by the SR300 sensor in the Sense 2.
  • The Structure Sensor, which 3D Systems also used to sell under the name iSense. This rebranded device has recently been discontinued. (I’ll refer to it as Structure Sensor)

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Updated: itSeez3D (4.1) 3D Scanner App Review
3 months ago

Updated: itSeez3D (4.1) 3D Scanner App Review

This review has been updated for itSeez3D 4.1 on November 14th, 2016. This update adds a new subscription-based business model, improved object scanning and a new environment scanning feature. 

In Part 1 of this Review I tested the Structure Sensor—or  iSense—hardware and the apps build by the manufacturer. In this second part, I’m focussing on a third party app. While the name might sound a bit funny, itSeez3D is very powerful and polished 3D Scanning app. The iPad version is specifically designed to be used with the Structure Sensor and there’s also a Windows version designed to be used with Intel’s RealSense R200 sensor.
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Preview: 3D Room Scanning with Canvas & Structure Sensor
4 months ago

Preview: 3D Room Scanning with Canvas & Structure Sensor

Occipital, makers of the Structure Sensor I reviewed earlier, has released Canvas — a Free 3D Room Scanning app for iPad.

When I give a presentation about 3D scanning, one question I always get is if it’s possible to 3D scan an entire room. I alway counter this with asking what the intended purpose is: aesthetically or metrical. The problem with the former is that 3D scanning technology doesn’t give eye-pleasing results yet so at this time we’re still bound to using 360° photography for virtual real estate tours.

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Preview: Wacom MobileStudio Pro with 3D Scanner First Impression
4 months ago

Preview: Wacom MobileStudio Pro with 3D Scanner First Impression

Yesterday night, I attended an exclusive Wacom release event in Amsterdam. Here the maker of industry-standard pen input devices presented new products, including the new Cintiq Pro and MobileStudio Pro that I wrote about earlier.

wacom_mobilestudio_pro_preview_1

I also got some time to play with the highest-end 16-inch MobileStudio Pro, which includes the NVIDIA Quadro M1000M GPU and an Intel RealSense R200 3D Scanner with Artec Studio 11 Ultimate software.

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HP Sprout Pro 3D Scanning Review
4 months ago

HP Sprout Pro 3D Scanning Review

3D scanning is getting increasingly popular, and affordable. This not only leads to lots of new 3D scanning hardware you can connect to a computer or tablet, but also integrating it into these devices. There have been quite a few manufacturers that have build Intel RealSense depth sensors into laptops and tablets, but HP has taken a different approach. The company that “reinvents everything” has build a all-in-one desktop computer, that has a bit more emphasis on all. 

The Sprout by HP, as it’s called, not only has all the computer’s hardware inside the 23.6 inch touchscreen, but also has an integrated Sprout Illuminator. This overhead device houses a digital camera, Intel RealSense 3D Camera, a reading lamp and a DLP projector. The latter projects a second screen down onto the TouchMat a pressure-sensitive placemat that can be operated with fingers as well as the included stylus.

The Sprout comes with many applications that are specifically designed to use the TouchMat. It contains all kinds of creative apps that let you draw, make music and even stop-motion animations. It also comes with many educational apps. Some of them even use Augmented Reality (AR) to overlay virtual information on top of printed classroom materials.

I am, however, not going to talk about any of these features. There are many reviews online that do this already. In this review I’m just going to test the Sprout’s 3D scanning capabilities. But I’ll go quite a lot deeper into this than any other review out there.

My review hardware was kindly provided by Dutch Sprout Reseller De Rekenwinkel, which even made a dedicated website for the machine.

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