Sep 14, 2016 | By Alec

Over the last few years, the potential of 3D scanning has grown spectacularly. Right now, 3D scanners of every size can be found in various price ranges, but many suffer from one specific drawback: they are intended to scan objects in one single size class. Especially turntable 3D scanners feature very specific object size limitations, but most handheld 3D scanners are also intended for either very small, medium, or very large objects, and do not perform as well in other categories.

In an attempt to overcome this limitation, Russian 3D imaging company Thor3D has just launched its Drake 3D scanner, a wireless hand-held device that is suitable for objects of any size, ‘from jewelry to oil pipes’. Thor3D is the Moscow-based imaging specialist who has previously found success with the Thor3D handheld scanner, which stood out for being usable for both human models and very large static objects. With the Drake, they are now seeking to tackle the entirety of the size range.

As the Russian developers explain, they wanted to provide clients with as much flexibility as possible. “Our vision, when developing Drake, was to give a single tool to the user enabling him to easily scan any object, regardless of its size. We pictured a museum digitizing their whole collection with a single, affordable, easy-to-use, professional tool,” they say. “We imagined a university sharing this 3D scanner among different departments, because it was a multi-purpose instrument. One 3D scanner – any scanning job.”

At its core the Drake doesn’t seem to differ from most 3D scanners out there. It is a white light 3D scanner that projects light onto objects and captures deformations in the beams that bounce back. Those deformations are then transformed into 3D images in a matter of minutes.

But it stands out thanks to three interchangeable sets of lenses, each with a different Field of View (FoV). “Each set is used to scan different sized objects; we call these lenses — “heads” (because it’s the part of the scanner that has the eyes),” they say. The ‘Maxi’ set is designed to scan large objects, even cars, while the ‘Midi’ set is perfect for medium-sized objects – such as a dashboard. But for small objects, from anything from a gear-shift handle to jewelry, the ‘Mini’ provides the best results. “These lenses never have to be calibrated and can be switched out easily,” they add.

What’s more, this system features two – rather than one – projectors. This makes it perfect for 3D scanning those elements that are difficult for hand-held scanning devices to capture, like sharp edges and thin plastic walls. “Depending on which set of lenses you use, the maximum accuracy of your data will be between 40 and 200 microns; the maximum resolution will be between 0.15mm and 1.00mm,” the Russian developers say.

That excellent and flexible system is supported by wireless hardware, featuring a built-in computer, a 7-inch touch screen and a battery. All data that is captured during 3D scanning is transferred to a PC via Wi-Fi, and can be edited by Thor3D’s editing software and subsequently easily 3D printed. All in all, the Drake seems to deliver a very welcome level of flexibility to the world of 3D scanning. The Drake will begin shipping in November, with the different sets of lenses being sold separately.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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Remo wrote at 12/21/2016 2:46:32 PM:

Function before design. The scanner has extremely good specs and the swappable mounts make it very versatile from tiny stuf till huge objects.

zoyya wrote at 9/21/2016 4:21:06 PM:

Haha, it's about just 250x300x120mm - like a usual cat litter box

Ken wrote at 9/15/2016 4:51:58 PM:

Have they heard about a hand strap?

kb wrote at 9/14/2016 11:27:10 PM:

We recognize the Russian design touch!

Mike wrote at 9/14/2016 10:46:27 PM:

Konica Vivid 910 had swappable lenses and a screen. Nothing new here. Of course, KM obsoleted it years ago

mick wrote at 9/14/2016 5:03:05 PM:

It's nice to see a screen on a 3d scanner. But I'd hardly call the Drake "handheld". That has got to be the worst industrial design of the year

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