Apr. 29, 2015 | By Simon

Thanks in no small part to the recent developments in creating 3D printers and filament for manufacturing objects on-demand in space, it looks like the world may be seeing its first space-ready 3D scanner be sent up to the International Space Station before too long, too.

Artec 3D, a developer and manufacturer of professional 3D hardware and software, has just announced the launch of their latest professional-grade 3D scanner, the Space Spider.  The scanner is an update to their previous 3D scanner, the Spider - which the company describes as “a go-to tool for CAD users and inventors of any kind (for capturing) the most intricate details of small objects with amazing accuracy, offering almost unlimited possibilities in reverse engineering, quality control, product design and manufacturing, and a great deal of other spheres.”

The Space Spider promises to do everything the original Spider scanner can do, but in zero-gravity conditions thanks to an enhanced cooling system, which enables the unit to reach optimal operating temperatures and achieve maximum accuracy much faster than other handheld scanners on the market including the original Spider.  The new, updated scanner has shown so much promise that it was even voted “Best Hardware”  at this year’s SolidWorks World 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  

The Space Spider uses blue LED lights to scan a variety of objects of all shapes and sizes - including those with hard-to-scan sharp edges, moving parts or textured surfaces in high resolution.  It’s capable of capturing objects with an accuracy of up to 50 microns and a resolution of up to 100 microns - which ultimately makes it an ideal tool for reverse engineering and 3D printing.  

Although it was released prior to the Space Spider, Artec 3D’s 3D scanning software Artec Studio 10 is optimized to be used in tandem with the new hardware unit; a combination of finely-tuned algorithms for advanced 3D data processing ensure that the final scans are processed at the highest resolution in the shortest amount of time and are capable of being edited in a variety of 3D modeling programs.  

"Imagine the potential of using 3D scanning technology on the International Space Station paired with a 3D printer," said Artec 3D president and CEO Artyom Yukhin.

"The Space Spider boasts an enhanced cooling system that allows the user to capture accurate 3D data more rapidly. This handheld scanner can endure some of the most difficult situations on Earth and has been engineered to perform in nearly zero-gravity environments when called upon."

Of course, space-ready technology doesn’t come cheap; the Space Spider retails for $27,600 and will be sold as a part of the existing line up of Artec 3D handheld scanners including the original  $22,600 Artec Spider and the $19,800 Artec Eva.  

 

 

Posted in 3D Scanning

 

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