Dec 9, 2016 | By Andre

3D scanning and 3D printing have had similar paths in recent years (even though its the printing side that takes the headlines). Both had, for many years, been out of reach from your average consumer due to high entry costs, but open-source 3D printers and powerful consumer-level optical sensor technology have changed all that.

But while the resolution and capabilities of consumer grade 3D printers is steadily improving, thanks in part to more precision in FDM units and suddenly affordable SLA options, low-cost 3D scanning solutions have remained relatively hit and miss.

A two-person team from Tokyo concluded that most problems in affordable 3D scanning solutions can be found in the software, and not necessarily the hardware, currently being put out by major scanner developers. From that point, they set out to create Ponta Scan software, which is designed to bring the maximum amount of detail out of the most affordable (as little as $100) of scanners.

The promo video embedded below (which, by the way, is the most hilarious thing I've seen in a while) does its best to describe why Ponta Scan exists and how it came to be.

Unfortunately, software details are scarce in terms of how it works and what sets it apart from the rest. Despite this, the provided scan comparison shots do demonstrate a major improvement over what a scan looks like without the Ponta Scan software.

With the provided gummy venus de milo sample, the facial features and details in the clothing are much more pronounced on the Ponta Scan version, and the result isn't far off from professional scanner quality. Of course, it is not known which professional scanner was used, or how the software performs in comparison to rotating laser-based units like the Matter and Form 3D scanner.

From a Kickstarter perspective, the team hopes to raise $10,000 to provide the means to tweak their already refined code, but also to run the necessary tests on new hardware and translate it all into English. (So far, the interface is decidedly Japanese.)

Because of the seemingly binary decision-making process for the campaign backers—either you want it or you don’t—the rewards are limited to your standard $1 thank you pledge or the $100 Ponta Scan pledge. There is no sign of early-bird or bulk rate packages, or trips to the meet the design team over macaroni salad.

But maybe what's on offer is more than enough for a product that is just about finished. That in itself is somewhat of a relief when considering the abundance of 3D printer campaigns based around conceptual prototypes with very little proven weight behind them. This startup's confidence shows through when noting that “Ponta Scan is almost complete, so we forsee no major changes to the schedule or alterations to the software,” in their Risks and Challenges section.

In the end, the campaign hopes to promote high-precision scanning capabilities out of affordable hand-held scanners, such as the XYZ Handheld Scanner. Whether or not people believe in its capabilities (other scanners have claimed similar things in the past) it certainly adds something to the canon of 3D scanning.

And should, for whatever reason, the Ponta Scan not fund to it’s $10,000 goal, at least we’ll always have their comical campaign video to reflect on.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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Billy Tail wrote at 12/9/2016 9:30:26 PM:

Build a 30$ laser Scanner

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