Jun 13, 2015 | By Simon

As more and more hobbyists and casual users start to enter the world of 3D content creation with the goal of being able to create their own 3D printable objects, computer manufacturers have been increasingly looking into how to make this creation experience as seamless as possible without any sort of dependence on pre-existing 3D design skills.

Previously, we’ve seen how companies such as Autodesk have bundled these ‘assisted design’ experiences into mobile apps for both smartphones and tablets and consist of everything from mobile 3D scanning apps to simple CAD programs that can create everything from birdhouses to robots and everything in between.

But for all of the flexibilities that the mobile options offer, many users are still left wanting a more stable content creation experience and as a result, more stable and high quality results.  Among other companies that have spent a considerable amount of time researching this type of 3D creator is HP.  The result of that research is a part of what the company is calling a “Blended Reality” experience that seeks to mix the handcrafted, analog experience with the digital experiences that exist both in homes and design offices today.  

Among the company’s first releases for the new experience platform - which also includes their Multi Jet Fusion additive manufacturing technology - is their Sprout Immersive Computer.  The desktop computer, which looks similar to existing desktop computers, features an overhead projection device and a work area below for users to easily be able to work seamlessly with real world objects and have them captured by the projector for use in a digital design project.

The Sprout houses these various scanning technologies within a 23-inch, full-HD touch-screen computer that is powered by an Intel Core i7 chip, runs both Microsoft Windows HP's own Workspace software platform as well as 8GB of DDR3 memory.

While this high powered, real-time physical object scanning and digitization experience is certainly a welcome addition for those who regularly work with both analog and digital objects, the platform as thus far been limited to only scanning a single side of an object - which made it a cumbersome experience for those who want to work in 3D to create 3D printable objects.  

Yesterday however, the company announced that they will be releasing a new peripheral device for use with the Sprout that will allow users to add a turntable 3D scanner functionality to the Sprout’s Intel RealSense camera and increase the capabilities of the machine to be able to scan 3D objects in-full rather than just a single side.

The peripheral, which is called the 3D Capture Stage, will operate as a turntable that rotates in 360 degrees as well as tilts in 15 degree increments automatically to ensure that a full scan has been made of the object.  Once a scan has been completed, software that will be included in an upcoming update will help users automatically stitch all of the imagery together to create a seamless 3D model from the scan data.  The model can then be shared openly, further modified or sent directly to a 3D printer.  


According to the company, the new hardware and software updates are able to bring the capabilities that Sprout currently uses through Microsoft's 3D Builder and AutoDesk's MeshMixer into a single application.  To make the 3D printing process even easier, the company is also looking into ways of working with third-party 3D printing providers to enable prints to be sent via mail directly from the Sprout.  

Currently, the Sprout is being sold for $1,899 while the 3D Capture Stage turntable will become available in July starting at $299.

While the combined cost of the system - roughly $2,200 - is certainly more expensive than a lot of casual users may be willing to spend, it’s certainly a great start for the company to help put these tools into the hands of early adopters who will likely shape what the company does next for making 3D scanning and printing technologies even more low- cost and accessible for both businesses and consumers in the near future. 



Posted in 3D Scanning

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ThatGuy wrote at 6/14/2015 8:21:04 AM:

What is the resolution and scan size for the Sprout scanner?

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