Jan 28, 2015 | By Alec

As 3D printers are becoming more and more affordable and common, it’s only natural that 3D scanners (both for 3D printing as well as 3D design) are following suit. While there are a number of decent products already available for consumers, these typically revolve around laser technology unable to capture the most intricate details on objects.

While is hardly a disaster, it does make the EinScan-S desktop 3D scanner, that was unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) in Las Vegas in early January, all the more interesting. Developed by Chinese 3D printer and scanner manufacturers SHINING 3D, this desktop 3D scanner is shaping up to be a very promising model. From what has been revealed so far, its going to be a very high-quality machine (scanning with the more accurate white light technology, rather than lasers), as well as affordable and accessible.

While the team from SHINING was unable to share exact details about their scanner’s release in early January, we have since learned that they are to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter within the next couple of days. And fortunately, along with that announcement, we’ve also learned some more about this interesting product that could make high-def scanning and 3D printing easier and cheaper than ever before.

In a nutshell, the EinScan-S seeks to bring industrial grade scanning technology to hobbyists and small businesses. It utilizes structure light phase shifting technology instead of lasers, and is therefore somewhat comparable to the Microsoft Kinect and Made to Measure fashion scanning, among others. The technology works by projecting a narrow band of light onto an object and producing a light of illumination that is used by a camera to reference the surface shape and exact geometric construction.  Some platforms that employ the use of the technology use multiple projections at once to speed up the process, although various combinations are commonly used.

The machine even comes with two scan modes: an automatic scan and a free scan mode. The first is the simplest; whatever you’re seeking to scan, simply place it on the EinScan’s rotating surface. The machine then scans the objects in just 3 minutes, down to an accuracy of 0.1 mm. However, for larger models the free scan mode is a much better alternative (up to 700 mm x 700 mm x 700 mm), and works by rotating the scanner on a tripod around the object.

To see the scanner in action, check out these two clips:

Regardless of the used technique, the scanner then merges all the data into a single STL file that can be sent to your 3D printer immediately. ‘With EinScan-S, you can scan whatever object you like automatically, turn it into a digital 3D model on your computer. The standard STL format model is seamlessly compatible with any desktop 3D printers. You don’t even need to be an professional 3D model engineer, all the digital models are ready to print.’ If working as promised, it thus looks like a very easy method of reproducing highly-detailed objects.

As the SHINING team explained, they developed the scanner because they felt the market for consumer scanners was limited by some serious flaws. ‘We made a scanner with industrial grade accuracy for three basic reasons; firstly, laser digitizers’ performance simply isn’t good enough for design purposes, while industrial grade machines are still too expensive and difficult to use. And finally, laser light is too strong for your eyes, and therefore definitely not safe for children.’

The final production version of EinScan-S, the third version of the scanner will be more portable, the company told us.

The newest EinScan-S 3D scanner

However to bring these promising scanners to market this year, SHINING is seeking to raise a minimum of $50,000. This quite an ambitious figure, but as you’ll need to pledge a minimum of $799 to get your hands on one of these scanners yourself (early bird special) they won’t be looking to find thousands of small figure pledges. If successful, they aim to start shipping as early as July 2015.

The full specification of the EinScan-S:

  • Accuracy: ≤0.1mm
  • Single scan range: 215 mm *160mm
  • Max scan volume: Automatic scan:215 mm *215 mm *200mm; Free scan: 700 mm *1700 mm *700mm
  • Scan speed: Automatic scan:<3min; Free scan:<10s(single range)
  • Alignment method: Automatic align /Features align/manual align
  • Data format: STL,ASC
  • Resolution: 1.3 Megapixel
  • Light source: White light
  • Printing support: Yes
  • Scanner dimension: Folded:400*300*120mm; Extended:630*300*280mm
  • Scanner weight: 3.5kg
  • Power consumption: 50w
  • AC input: 100V~230V

Update: Jan 29:

The Shining EinScan-S portable 3D scanner is live on Kickstarter now. You can check it out here.


Posted in 3D Scanning


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