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 But if you think that means it’s outdated hardware, you’re very wrong.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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update 6 December 2016
Shining 3D announced a big update to the EinScan software that promises a lot of user experience improvements that are not reviewed below.
A few months back I reviewed the Einscan-S, an affordable (€1090) desktop 3D scanner manufactured by Shining 3D. In this post, I’ll take a look at their latest device, the Einscan-Pro, kindly supplied by the France-based 3D Printing and Scanning store Machines 3D.
As the name suggests, this new model is aimed at professionals. When it comes to structured light scanning from a tripod, the Pro is a greatly improved version of the S. But on top of that, it’s also a handheld 3D Scanner. That makes it a direct competitor to established handheld 3D scanners like the Artec EVA and Creaform Go!SCAN. But while those and similar scanners are priced in the €15,000 – €20,000+ range, the Einscan-Pro starts at a competitive €3990.
However, this base model cannot capture color out of the box. If you also want to scan textures you can get the Color Pack for an extra €600 (€700 is you buy it later). And for yet another €600, you can get the Industrial Pack, which includes a Tripod and an electric Turntable. As you can see in the header image, I’ve tested the scanner with both packs.
So it’s 3-4 times more affordable than it’s industrial competitors. That’s a great USP to have. I haven’t done in-depth tests with the EVA and Go!SCAN yet, so I’m only able to make comparisons with those based on specs. Of course, I will compare it to the Einscan-S and other scanners I’ve reviewed.
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 — people on a budget:
The market for 3D scanning is changing and is no longer limited to industrial measuring purposes. Now that services such as Sketchfab make it easy to share 3D models through the (Mobile) Web and in Virtual Reality, both consumers and (creative) professionals are starting to see the benefits of presenting their physical work, products or finds in 3D. This group is also realizing that they don’t have to spent thousands of dollars on a industrial-grade 3D scanner, but can instead capture 3D with their Smartphone—with the help of Free Photogrammetry Apps.
Manufacturers are noticing this and are currently creating a completely new, innovative breed of affordable devices that make 3D scanning faster, more precise—and simply more fun! But can these benefits make them worth their price?
In this post I’ll take a look at 3 upcoming devices that are all crowdfunding successes—and will become available in 2016: The eora 3D, Pixelio and Bevel.