Sunday, February 8, 2015

3D Scanning With the Structure Sensor

The Structure Sensor is a versatile 3D scanner with a host of apps and programs that you can use with it. It is made by Occipital, which licensed the technology to 3D Systems as the iSense.  (Read 3DPI's review here.)  The Structure Sensor adds a infrared camera and projector and uses your iPad's camera to sense color. Since the Structure Sensor's SDK is public there are many programs you can use with it some of these programs include Skanect, ItSeez3D, and Structure Sensor's own collection of apps.

A Scan of  My Computer Set Up
1. Skanect: Skanect is a PC and Mac scanning software (by Occipital). It costs $129. Connecting the Structure Sensor to the software is easy, you just connect both to the same wifi network and they automatically connect if you have free app called Structure open. You see a live view of what the Structure Sensor is seeing when you are scanning. I find you can scan larger objects with Skanect than any other Structure Sensor app or program but most 3D models do not have backs which make it hard to 3D print. Skanect also works with the Kinect.

2. ItSeez3D: ItSeez3D is a iPad app that uses the Structure Sensor to capture 3D data. It creates amazing head scans but each scan needs to process in the cloud which can take about 10 minutes. ItSeez3D does take good scans of objects other than heads.

3. Structure Sensor's own apps: Structure Sensor's own apps (Room Capture, Scanner, Fetch) allow you to use your structure sensor in many ways like playing a AR game, checking how far away something is, scanning a object, or scanning a room. Lets start out with the AR game, it is called Fetch. To start, you scan a area in front of you then a cat on a hoverboard pops on to the screen and you and to move the cat around to reach the ball. The game is on top of your scan data so you can't run through a chair. You can use an app called Structure to see how far something is away or see something in infrared.
To scan rooms you use a app called Room Capture. It works pretty well but it is annoying that you have to stay in one place and not move around. Once you finish scanning you can move around your scan in the app and take measurements. You can then email the room scan to anybody as a OBJ file.

Using the Structure Sensor to scan a Yeti microphone

To scan object you can use Occipital's Scanner app. It can scan objects in color but the color are blended together and not that high resolution. To show you what you have captured the app covers it in white. You can then process your scan in the app and send it to people as a OBJ file.

- Sam (8th grade)


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  3. Awesome piece of technology. Is it compatible with all 3D printers?

  4. The Structure Sensor is definitely at the forefront of making a 3D scanner as indispensable as a measuring tape. But just like a measuring tape, you can live without it—for now.

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