The first quarter of 2014 has undoubtedly been an interesting one in terms of technology and the advancement of 3D-based hardware. Keeping in tune with this theme, 3D Systems has revealed its plans to create a new 3D printer for iOS and is particularly geared towards iPad users: the iSense. However, what is it all about and what should users actually expect from their 3D scanning experience? Let’s review a few of the key traits that make this an ideal solution for those interested in three-dimensional components.
What is a 3D Scanner?
In many respects, a 3D scanner is a lot like a digital camera. The idea is that users will go around real-world environments in order to create a three dimensional geometric sample of an object, which can then be used to recreate and reproduce objects using 3D printers later on using a process known as reconstruction. However, they share quite a few similarities as cameras and operate almost identically.
Points to Note
When users go around with their 3D scanners, they’ll have to make sure that the object they’re taking images of isn’t obscured by any external debris, since this will be collected by the scanner and reconstructed later on. If colour accuracy is important, then users will also have to take care to get closer images of the object since a 3D scanner can only capture whatever is in its immediate view.
For the most part, one scan isn’t going to capture all of what a scanner needs to “know” to reconstruct the object. Instead, users will need to go around the object several times to take several different images of different points. Depending on the complexity of the object, this number can easily exceed hundreds of different images. However, there is no shutter time to report of when using a 3D scanner. That is, users aren’t going to have to wait for a camera’s flash to charge and fire at the object, then wait for the object to save to a memory card. The process is nearly seamless.
iSense is Easy to Use
When 3D Systems made the unveiling of the iSense, it was clear that the device would be extremely easy to use. Users just hook their scanner into their iPads, then they can use the tablet’s embedded camera to walk around taking images and scanning objects in whatever environment they happen to find themselves in. The scanner attaches to the tablet similarly to other external peripherals, so those with even basic technical awareness will be able to make full use of what the scanner has to offer.
Portability and Price
The iSense comes in at a price tag of $499 and offers supreme portability advantages over the original scanner, the Sense. It will be released during the second quarter of 2014 and is expected to be quite a hot seller given that it could be the introduction that apprehensive users need to get into 3D scanning and all of what it has to offer.