Apr 22, 2016 | By Alec

3D printed selfies, made with the help of a 3D scanning booth, are becoming increasingly popular. This popularity means that the number of 3D scanning booths is expanding quite quickly – even one German cruise ship now has its own 3D scanning booth. New booths are also entering the market left and right, and now a particularly promising and efficient model has been launched by Russian startup Texel Portal, who already have six booths in operation.

This new startup only recently appeared on the international radar by winning the Seedstarts Moscow startup competition. As Texel Portal’s CEO Maxim Fedyukov explained, the idea for their custom 3D scanner started back in 2007, when he wrote a PhD thesis on 3D imaging solutions for full size human models. “I simply wanted to create something not just scientifically advanced, but that would be really useful for people. Sergey Klimentyev, our Business Development Lead, started constructing 3D scanner prototypes at home before we met,” he explains. They were quickly joined by mathematician Andrey Poskonin and rocket scientist (now chief engineering officer) Andrey Kudryavtsev. “So here we have great synergy of multi-talented people, working ten times more efficiently and faster than we were before we met,” he says.

Together, they have come up with a particularly impressive 3D scanning booth called the Portal, which has been specifically tailored to start 3D printing as quickly as possible. They call it the “world’s first engaging 3D scanner”, and it is particularly eye-catching for its design. Though most 3D scanning booths are exactly that – a booth – the Portal is actually just a frame that spins around the occupant during 3D scanning (an exterior frame can be added for some privacy). “The Texel Portal is unique because any 3D sensors can be mounted on its frame. We purchase and test all the latest units and when new sensors demonstrate better performance we make it possible to do a quick upgrade and replace old sensors with the latest technology,” they say. This design, they say, makes it perfect for transporting and easy assembly. They also state that it is particularly stable, despite its design.

But they call their tech solutions their main achievement. “We were able to make a breakthrough in accuracy that no other company has been able to achieve using 3D sensors available today,” they say. Spinning around at 0.05 rpm/sec, the Portal captures a model with a texture detail of down to 1 mm (1 million polygons). 3D scanning takes just 20 seconds, and the 3D models are made available in OBJ, VRML, PLY, STL, and AVT formats. The patented machine is also completely automated and gives an almost instant visualization of the results (takes about a minute) – perfect for parties. They estimate they could scan up to 40 people per hour with the Portal. If desired, it could be ready to 3D print as soon as a minute later.

These impressive stats are doubtlessly the reason why things are moving quickly for Texel Portal right now. “Recently we were named one of the top Moscow innovations and were invited to join the Moscow Government’s booth at Open Innovations, the largest technological event in Russia. During the exhibition our Portal was also visited by top officials including Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow. Now our Portals are opening in Moscow parks and wedding palaces, to contribute to the city’s innovative image and attractiveness. We work hard, but I’m sure now we find help easier thanks to our new status of the selected company to represent Russia at an international competition,” the CEO says.

They have six booths in operation already, of which three are in Moscow and one is in Marbella, Spain. However, they are also already capable of providing more for use in public spaces, special events, theme parks and elsewhere. “The 3D scanner Portal allows you to produce and sell hundreds of high quality personalized miniature figures of people each month,” they claim, showing very diverse examples, from 3D printed (full color) selfies to coffee mugs and even coins baring your face.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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