Jan 7, 2015 | By Alec

There’s lots of exciting 3D printing news to report on at the thrilling International Consumer Electronics Show (or International CES) in Las Vegas, but that’s not all. For Fuel3D, a British developer of scanning systems and solutions, has unveiled an interesting device that could be just as relevant for the 3D printing community: the SCANIFY, a device that could break down some of the barriers currently preventing widespread adoption of 3D printing.

Anyone who’s ever dabbled in 3D printing will know that it isn’t all just about plugging in your machine and pressing play. For making truly unique items and creative solutions for specific problems unavoidably demands a thorough knowledge of modelling software. While many excellent designs can be currently found online, dependence on other designs tremendously diminishes the theoretical strength of this technology. In other words, 3D printing would be far more popular if it was easier to create unique models from scratch.

And Fuel3D’s SCANIFY has the potential to do exactly that. As the name implies, it's a scanner, but one that looks remarkably easy to operate. Essentially, it's the very first handheld point-and-shoot, colour 3D scanner that will allow consumers, small businesses and educators to easily make high-resolution scans of any shape and color in just 1/10 of a second. As its developers explained in their press release, ‘SCANIFY is designed for a range of 3D applications, such as 3D printing and personalization, as well as on-screen applications like 3D art and animation. With SCANIFY, the power of 3D creation is directly in the hands of the consumer.’

And as they showed at CES, it’s tremendously easy to operate. By simply ‘shooting’ at an object, the SCANIFY will quickly use multiple cameras to take various pictures in numerous different angles. These are subsequently stitched together to form highly detailed 3D models of objects, faces, whatever you’d like. Even moving objects (like your pet rabbit that can’t sit still) shouldn’t be a problem for this interesting device. And the next step would obviously be sending these files to your 3D printer.

As Stuart Mead, the company’s CEO, explained: ‘When we set out to create SCANIFY, our goal was to democratize the 3D movement for consumers and, in particular, to allow for the personalization of their creations. SCANIFY allows consumers to transform highly-complex subjects – such as the human face – into high-detail, full-color 3D scans as quickly as they could take a photo using a digital camera.’

 The technology behind this handheld scanner has been based on the ground-breaking work by Professor Ron Daniel, Lecturer in Engineering Science at Oxford University. Recognising its potential for the 3D printing, animation and game development industries, it was successfully taken to Kickstarter in 2013, where it gathered plenty of funds to develop a final product.

And yes, this means the SCANIFY is already available (for pre-order). There’s just one downside to it, and that’s its relatively high price of $1490. This will likely put it out of range for most of us desktop enthusiasts, but will mean that it’s a realistic option for even small businesses. Interested? You can order one now, with shipping set to begin in the next few weeks.

A sample of a SCANIFY result:



Posted in 3D Scanning


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David Kohn wrote at 12/16/2015 12:56:41 AM:

Hi -David Kohn here and me and my wife make silicone "life like dolls" we sculpt - mold - pour - and paint then hand root hair. We would like to be able to scan a babies face - hands - feet. 3D print them then sculpt them together into a form that can be molded and poured to make a likeness of the baby. Would your scanner work for that and what printer would give the best results? We sell our dolls in the $2,500 range and think this would be the next step up. I have no 3D experience and am what I call a beginner on computer. Would it be hard to learn to use this? What kind of support do you provide? I am very interested and would like to make this happen before the 1st. of the year if it will work -- "for tax reasons". Thanks David

Vojin Mastruko wrote at 1/8/2015 3:59:46 PM:

Hi, I am a independent forensic scientist and Court Expert Witness from Zagreb, Croatia. My main interest is 3D reconstruction of shooting incidents. Please see more on www.forenzika.com . Currently I am learning Game Engine (Unity 3D) and I would like to animate scanned 3d model of a specific person (suspect) inside GE, so scanning should be fast and 3D model should be "light" and water proof. Is it possible to scan a suspect (full body) with SCANIFY and export 3D model as a mesh in fbx or obj file format? Is it possible to reduce density of the mesh with your software or I need some external software. Regards, Vojin Mastruko vojin.mastruko@gmail.com

RunKatoRun wrote at 1/7/2015 1:26:38 PM:

Hopefully though this pioneer of the technology will encourage and inspire other manufacturers to come up with cheaper solutions.

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