Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

CES 2014: 3-D Scanners are a Logical Next Step After 3-D Printers 87

Posted by Roblimo
from the next-we'll-have-4-D-scanners,-then-5-D,-and-before-you-know-it-we'll-have-created-a-whole-new-univer dept.
A number of companies are either selling or preparing to sell 3-D scanners. Aside from fun (but interesting) uses, like duplicating chess pieces or possibly reproducing a miniature of Rodin's famous sculpture, Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone, Matterform anticipates archeologists reproducing artifacts so that students can study them without handling the precious originals. This video is an interview with Matterform co-founder Drew Cox, who was exhibiting Matterform's scanner at CES 2014. MakerBot is also selling a scanner, as are a growing number of others. In fact, even though Matterform talks about being a low-cost (pre-order price $579) scanner for home use, as opposed to a commercial one that costs thousands. There are also several interesting hand-held scanners out there. Sense sells theirs for $399. Structure has one for $349 that's essentially a peripheral for an iPad. And this is just a random selection from a brief Google search. Use "3-D Scanner" as your search term and you'll find multiple Google pages full of 3-D scanners and information about them -- including software being developed at ETH zurich that turns your smartphone into a 3-D scanner.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

CES 2014: 3-D Scanners are a Logical Next Step After 3-D Printers

Comments Filter:
  • by SBJ95 (992570) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:09PM (#45956097) Homepage
    I seem to remember ~5 years ago seeing a program that could turn your run-of-the-mill webcam into a 3D scanner. It was even open source too! Don't know if this this [lifehacker.com] was it...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please, no making copies of mundane household items for your friends and family. That is theft or something.

    • I'm not sure your "friends and family" want a copy of your Star Wars branded dildo collection.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You wouldn't *download* a silverware set, would you?

      • by peragrin (659227)

        you wouldn't 3d print a silverware set.

        however maybe a plasticware set if the prices come down.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:17PM (#45956221) Homepage Journal

    I've been using David3DScanner since long before 3D printing was so much as a meme...

    • "I've been using David3DScanner since long before 3D printing was so much as a meme..."

      I agree. It's not so much of a "next step" as it is a necessary beginning step. 3D printers will never see a huge part of their potential without first having devices that will do 3D modeling of existing items.

      • "I've been using David3DScanner since long before 3D printing was so much as a meme..."

        I agree. It's not so much of a "next step" as it is a necessary beginning step. 3D printers will never see a huge part of their potential without first having devices that will do 3D modeling of existing items.

        Honestly, I've always been amazed at how the Copyright Gods balk at the mere idea of 3D printers, but don't seem to even notice 3D scanning, which is a much more important and useful tool to the everyday copyright violator.

        Sure, with a 3D printer I can make an unauthorized Darth Vader figurine; but with a 3D scanner, I can create a file that anyone can use to make said unauthorized figurine.

        • "Honestly, I've always been amazed at how the Copyright Gods balk at the mere idea of 3D printers, but don't seem to even notice 3D scanning, which is a much more important and useful tool to the everyday copyright violator."

          Uh... well, I'd hardly call them "gods". Trolls, more like. Otherwise, I agree with you.

          • "Honestly, I've always been amazed at how the Copyright Gods balk at the mere idea of 3D printers, but don't seem to even notice 3D scanning, which is a much more important and useful tool to the everyday copyright violator."

            Uh... well, I'd hardly call them "gods". Trolls, more like. Otherwise, I agree with you.

            I was thinking that's more how they see themselves.

    • by Layzej (1976930)
      Yup. This has been around for at least 15 years:

      What you can do with Micro Scribe. Digitize complex 3D objects in minutes. Create realistic models as lines, polygons, splines, or NURBs. - http://archive.org/stream/NewTekniques_Volume_2_No._02_1998-04_Advanstar_Communications_US/NewTekniques_Volume_2_No._02_1998-04_Advanstar_Communications_US_djvu.txt [archive.org]

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:19PM (#45956247)
    Imagine a toddler picking up an object and spinning it around looking at it to learn what it is.

    In the same way, AI needs to be able to digitize something by looking at it. You might thing you want a box to digitize things in, but then what if the box is too small?

    I think there are going to be two types of scanners. One scanner will just detect a solid object, and consider it a "wall" until it learns further about that object. The other scanner will be one that determines the colors, dimensions, (maybe even hardness/softness) then tries to pattern match that with known objects in its database so the AI knows what it is looking at. Read more here [botcraft.org]
  • Combo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Neon Spiral Injector (21234) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:21PM (#45956269)

    I'll wait until I can get a 3D-scanner/printer/copier/fax that does none of those jobs well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:21PM (#45956273)

    I don't want to make this news sound bad, but 3D scanners are like 3-5 years old already. I studied photogrammetry and for me 3D scanning is like a 7 years playing with its iPhone today. The developement of better 3D scanners only goes to higher scanning density in less time with less HDD space wasted and far higher transfer rates. Limiting factors are platform size but just if you want it locally fix. Mostly you do 3D scanning with mobil instruments or even by DSLR cameras.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      Even five years ago, the movie FX industry was using 3D scanners on actors to make accurate molds for latex masks and prosthetic costume pieces compared to splatting on alginate [1] on an actor and waiting for that to harden.

      [1]: That stuff is not plaster. Plaster heats up when it cures and can burn unprotected skin. That is why a cast gets wrapped up in gauze or other cloth first, then the plaster-laden bandages put on.

  • There's nothing stopping it now other than mass-market interest, but as soon as I can walk into Costco or Sams Club and buy a box the size of a dorm room refrigerator, put in an object (or pick one from the internet), then an hour later it spits out a copy, we'll have reached the tipping point on these.

  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:25PM (#45956335)
    so if one scanned what was printed, printed that, scanned that and printed for N cycles (optionally including a grind-it-up for media source for the next generation) then the series convergence no matter if one started with the venus-de-milo or a sierpinski-tetrahedron would be a sphere?
  • Matterform anticipates archeologists reproducing artifacts so that students can study them without handling the precious originals.

    I anticipate thieves reproducing artifacts so that museums cannot tell the originals have been stolen after the copy has been substituted for the real thing.

    This brings up a question which everyone has been trying to skirt. Is the value in the object itself, or in the arrangement of the molecules which make up the object? That's already bitten the content industry. For

    • by erice (13380)

      The same thing is going to happen to physical objects as 3D printers improve and eventually maybe we arrive at Star Trek-type replicators. If the facsimile of a precious original artifact is indistinguishable from the real thing, does it really matter which is the original?

      That depends on what sort of object it is. If it is merely a decoration then perhaps it doesn't matter. An approximation indistinguishable by the senses may be good enough. On the other hand, if it is an artifact worthy of detailed study then it may have more to tell us then we already know. Microscopic details may be important. The isotope ratios in the material may even be significant. We can never be sure that a copy is truly indistinguishable where it counts.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      Counterfeiters can still be foiled -- just use materials that can't be 3D printed such as hardened steel, or multiple types of materials. Then they would have to do the work the old fashioned way.

      Then there are things like patinas, corrosion, wood grain, and other factors which will almost always allow someone with a trained eye to find a forgery.

      Of course, we will still have the IP issue, and I'm actually surprised that we have not had DRM shoved down our throats, such as requiring all printers to have a

    • Is the value in the object itself, or in the arrangement of the molecules which make up the object?

      It depends on the object. For something like a stylish (but mass-produced) art deco chair, which can be duplicated fairly easily, then the answer is more likely to be the latter. An object with a bit more provenance such as a famous work of art, an illuminated manuscript or something on which a famous French arse was once perched is definitely going to be the former. After all, people don't go to view the Mona Lisa because it's an especially good painting, do they? Do people pay ten times the price because

    • I got a chance to take a look at a facsimile of the Book of Kells, the archive treated the facsimile as it would a costly rare book (because the facsimile was costly to produce). However, I don't think you will ever reach the state where it is impossible to tell a facsimile from the original. You might not be able to tell if something IS a fake if it is of something that was mass produced (like a limited print of a famous work), but there is just too much going on in anything to really come to a point whe

      • by slew (2918)

        You might not be able to tell if something IS a fake if it is of something that was mass produced (like a limited print of a famous work), but there is just too much going on in anything to really come to a point where you can't tell the original from the copy if you have access to both.

        Maybe for something created pre-computer era, but for everything created post-computer era, (say anything originated in the last 20 years and through to the future), there is probably nothing "original" about most collectible works.

        For example, a book was probably wrote originally on a word processor which it was digitally transferred to an offset printer an mechanically bound into a book and is now simultaneous available in e-book form and books on tape. What exactly about a non-scarce reproduction is fak

        • by snadrus (930168)

          Anything in that timeframe that's media-like (ebook, etc) has DRM trapping it, or else there are already more ways to make duplications of the original (Amazon MP3 vs torrented Amazon MP3).

          But new art is made all the time that has identifiers showing that it was assembled and not printed.

    • by Tom (822)

      This brings up a question which everyone has been trying to skirt. Is the value in the object itself, or in the arrangement of the molecules which make up the object?

      No, it doesn't. That question is still 50-100 years down the road when you're talking about unique items such as museum artifacts.

      At this stage, these aren't replicators, they are basically DIY molds. Games Workshop is going to be pissed. Your average museum artifact is nowhere near being copyable to the point where it's more than a novelty or something for students. The value of these items is precisely in the fact that they are old and original, so making a copy from plastics isn't going to cut it. And ac

  • by mattack2 (1165421) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:27PM (#45956375)

    The Smithsonian is already 3D scanning things and sharing them with the public. This is an article from about 2 months ago, but I read a more recent article in the paper the other day..

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/13/5100190/the-smithsonian-is-now-sharing-3d-scans-of-artifacts-with-the-public [theverge.com]

  • With the Peachy Printer 3d printer costing less than $100 US, we need a 3d scanner for less than $200.

    It should not be that much more expensive to make a scanner. Typically you just need to use a rotating drip table, a laser, and a camera. Slowly drip milk into the table, eventually covers the object. As the milk covers the object, the camera records the laser's reflection. Works pretty well with the right software.

  • I'm not sure I see the value in a 3D scanner. One of the great uses of a 3D printer is to make custom parts for other things I am building. If a part exists (the one you are scanning), why do I need to duplicate it with my 3D printer? If I need multiple copies I can just buy more of them. OK, so maybe the part to be copied is expensive and made of milled metal and does something useful that I think will be OK in plastic in my application- let's say a bearing block. None of the 3D scanners I have seen h

    • If a part exists (the one you are scanning), why do I need to duplicate it with my 3D printer?

      I can think of a handful of scenarios off the top of my head where I might want to do just this:

      + I want to copy something that doesn't belong to me, like we used to do with those shiny things with music on them, then give the original back to the owner.

      + I want to duplicate a part with geometries too complex to recreate myself; the sort of thing that was sculpted in the first place and a mould made from the prototype.

      + Because I just want a spare.

      If I just broke my lawnmower handle in half I'm not going

      • by snadrus (930168)

        'do you design everything that comes out of your 2D printer from scratch'

        sort-of. We have symbolic glyphs that make up most of what my 2D printer produces, and I arrange long combinations of these glyphs. This is done in a typically 1D fashion despite being 2D glyphs.

        Assembly of pre-existing libraries in logical ways (like connect surface A.side to B.bottom at right angle rotation on clicked spot) sounds more likely to have mass appeal than complete freedom (MSPaint for 2D) .

      • I don't have a problem with 3D scanner per se, just small, low resolution scanners than can't scan objects much bigger than a salt shaker. I don't see the value in it. Instances where that capability would be truly useful are so unusual that it would not be worth dropping $500, at least not to me. I can't think of a single use for it.

        As I said, large scanners that can scan a person's face, a pet, a whole person, a car, etc. would be useful if resolution were high enough. When that technology comes down

    • Consider a company like www.hahnandwoodward.com (now Hahn-Vorbach & Associates). They focus on restoration of very rare cars (like the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing). They are starting to use 3-D scanners for a variety of situations.

      For example: A client brings in their 1 of 1 roadster or a concept car that needs restoration. There aren't any easily accessible plans or drawings, so you take a 3-D model of the car to convert it into an engineering drawing that you can use to plan your restoration or modifi

      • That is a completely different sort of scanner than a small device that scans even smaller objects placed on a turntable.

        • It doesn't have to be large pieces.

          Imagine you want to rebuild a car with 'original' pieces, but are missing something like the custom lug nuts. You can find someone with the vehicle, take a scan of THEIR lug nuts, and then use that scan to reproduce the small component.

          Sure you could just use generic lug nuts, but when you are dealing with high end restorations, people do actually care about the little details like this.

  • http://cvg.ethz.ch/mobile/press.php [cvg.ethz.ch]

    The technology also allows the 3D capture of faces, giving a third dimension to portraits, profile pictures or images of loved ones.

    Having a convenient way of getting 3D models of everyday objects, users will now be able to copy real-world objects by scanning a full 360 degree model of an object. The resulting 3D model can be used for visualization or augmented reality applications, or even be used for 3D printing, potentially at a remote location, effectively enabling the user to replicate an object.

    so you can now use your smartphone to generate a photorealistic 3-D model of anyone's face, that can be replicated on a 3-D printer as a mask.

    Are there any 3-D printers out there that print rubber, or would this still be a 2-step process (print the mould, then make the mask)?

    Since this app purports to do all processing on the phone, you could use it on anyone, stream the model back to some parked van, and have a doppleganger ready to go in minutes.... smacks of Mission:

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Remind me to not let Johnny Depp take my photo!

      • Remind me to not let Johnny Depp take my photo!

        Just don't let him walk around you while "talking" on his phone....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it just easier to use a camera / phone / tablet as a 3D scanner?

    There is a bunch of software around for turning pictures or video in to 3D models and scenes.

    I think it is more a problem that software isn't well known about. Hell, I don't think I can even name one from the top of my head and it is something that would interest me in having for fast prototyping of scenes.
    I know Microsoft had something that was able to take a bunch of pictures together to create scenes.
    IS there any kind of list?

    I mean,

    • It seems that all the good solutions are commercial and that most of the freeware solutions are crappy, meaning that either the UI is difficult or that the output has many artifacts or is incomplete. Still looking for a good solution with which you can create a good 3D-model using a set of pictures, like PTGui, which allows you to tweak the results of the various steps and correcting mistakes made by the automatic steps.
      • Autodesk 123D Catch works pretty well, for some objects, and it is currently free. I have had it fail miserably in some cases, work very well in others. The important thing for me is that I can then read it into Blender, do the cleanup, and I have a 3D model of something much, much more quickly than if I did it from scratch.

        Also, the technology will continue to get better. Consider the following SIGGRAPH video: 3-Sweep [youtube.com] If you combine this technology with 123D and data from several photos, then you a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    OP makes this sound new. A friend brought home a 3d laser scanner from work 20 years ago.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      Makerbot has a 3D scanner. I don't see why all the hubbub.

      • It's all about making it commercially viable, cheaper, and easier. People have been doing 3D scans for a while now, but the infrastructure, technology, compute power, etc. have finally reached the tipping point making it available for the average hobbyist.
  • One of the foreseeable problems was pointed out by, amongst other people, Cory Doctorow at CCC Congress in 2012 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYqkU1y0AYc]. Basically, these devices are comparable to MP3 ripping software, but for things. According to Doctorow a new copyright war could be upon us, and this time we're pissing of more powerful lobbying interests. A lot is possible, but in my experience it's often just too costly to be worth it. The medialab I work for explored this issue last year: we copi
    • by Kardos (1348077)

      As soon that cost gets down to the 1-2 euro range, we're going to have some problems ....!

  • The thing they are releasing this summer for $100? Just via photogaphs and turning the object?

    Granted, the resolution is probably going to be fuzzy, but still.

  • CES 2014: 3-D Scanners are a Logical Next Step After 3-D Printers

    Yes, I'm sure they would be, if they hadn't been invented years before the 3D printer.

  • Wow, one potentially HUGE market for these things could be the supply of shoes especially built for your feet...imagine, take a scan of your feet (or they do it in the store), email it to the supplier, pick out the style you want, and 4-8 weeks later they arrive in the mail...no more having to compromise, or having to try on endless streams of shoes in person to find one or possibly two pairs that fit 'good enough' to not actually cripple you...

    (as you may be able to tell, I have extremely non-standard-size

    • you just try to find a ladies size 5 in triple E width!

      You just try asking to try a pair on in the store when you're a dude. The looks I- someone'd probably get. Hypothetically.

      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        you just try to find a ladies size 5 in triple E width!

        You just try asking to try a pair on in the store when you're a dude. The looks I- someone'd probably get. Hypothetically.

        Yes, I'd imagine :) Probably worse than the looks I get when I'm asking to try on men's shoes "but do you have that in a size four??"

        They never have it in a size four...so then I get the suspicious looks for browsing in the childrens section without an actual child with me, kind of like walking into a Chuck-E Cheese sans kid and wearing a trenchcoat...

        • Again, though, so much worse if you're male. You chicks have everything so easy.

          Maybe I should post this anonymously...

  • Srsly, you can 3D scan with a kinect already. Or there is another application that uses a folded paper with dots, a webcam, and a laser pointer.
  • The next logical step is an affordable good CAD program. I use SolidWorks and many professional level 3D printers at work such as Stratasys Dimension and Vantage series, Objet Eden and Formiga for both metal and nylon models. And while things like Makerbot have proven to "sort of get the job done" in home/hobbyist environments, there is absolutely nothing even close to SolidWorks or AutoCAD that is affordable to the average enthusiast. In my case, for printing my Japanese Anime figures, Blender is usable bu
  • I bet that scanner + printer can't even reproduce a DVD including its case and cover.
    Wake me up when they can.

  • TRON.

    I, for one, welcome our new MCP overlord.

  • You've seen how Hollywood looses their shit every time a new form of media is developed and popularized. You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

    Just watch, manufacturers of $everything are going to bring the hammer down HARD.

    See: "Printcrime" by Cory Doctorow. Spooky.

  • It's one thing to scan something that stationary, it's quite another thing to continuously keep track of a 360 degree field of view around the scanner. The self driving car from Google, I think, uses a custom detector from Velodyne that spins at 5-15Hz: http://velodynelidar.com/lidar/lidar.aspx [velodynelidar.com]

    I know of at least one start-up company called Quanergy that plans on competing in this space to give cars/drivers better real-time situational awareness. Hopefully they'll be able to develop something that is chea

  • "Stop scanning my IP, you pirates!"

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.

Working...