Jul 20, 2017 | By David

Getting a 3D scan of an object was, up until quite recently, a specialized process requiring high-end expensive technology and mostly used for things like engineering or industrial quality control. The 3D tech market is changing rapidly, however, and a new app for mobile devices that enables them to capture detailed 3D images has the potential to make 3D scanning an everyday capability, for more people than ever before. The Qlone app is easy-to-use, free-to-download software that makes use of a device's camera and an Augmented Reality mat to modify 2D photographic images into fully three-dimensional models.

Qlone is available for mobile devices with the iOS operating system, and Android compatibility will be added soon after release. The software was made by Israeli company EyeCue Vision Technologies, which is mostly known for developing interactive children’s products. Its advanced digital vision recognition technology is integrated in a variety of board games as well as toys made by major manufacturers like Lego and Playmobil. According to Ronen Horovitz, CEO of EyeCue Vision Technologies, "With Qlone, our aim is to truly democratise 3D by removing barriers for 3D content creation for everyone, whether it’s for 3D printing, AR/VR content creation, sharing and selling...The possibilities with Qlone are truly endless.”

The Qlone software doesn’t technically enable direct 3D scanning, as that would require much more advanced imaging hardware than what mobile devices have to offer, but it does use a relatively simple technique to construct detailed, accurate 3D representations of physical objects.

An Augmented Reality (AR) mat is available for a user to print out after downloading it free from the app, or alternatively it can be emailed to a user separately for printing. This mat has a black-and-white grid, which creates a three-dimensional AR ‘dome’ on the phone screen when the app is running and the camera is pointed at it. All you have to do is place the object to be scanned inside this dome, and the software will guide you through the process of capturing a high-resolution 3D scan. Just two images are required, from different angles, and these are then automatically merged to form the 3D model. The processing is all done live and locally in a matter of seconds, with no connection to the cloud required.

Once the high-resolution 3D scan is captured, it can be cleaned up, optimized, and modified in the app itself, with Qlone’s extensive range of integrated editing tools. Advanced ‘texture’, ‘art’, ‘sculpt’, ‘clean’ and ‘resize’ modifiers are all available.  Exporting the image requires you first to purchase some credits from inside the app (prices start at $2.99 for 1 export), which thus far is the only cost involved in the whole process. The 3D model is then unlocked and ready to be exported in a range of different formats, depending on what you want to do with it and what 3D tools are being used. OBJ, STL, PLY, and X3D formats are all available.

The number of ways that your 3D scan can be used after being captured is limited only by your imagination (and perhaps also your budget, and level of technical know-how). Emailing the image, or sharing it with friends on Facebook, Instagram, or Whatsapp is a straightforward process that can be done directly from the app. You can also easily upload the image to a range of popular 3D design and technology sites which are integrated seamlessly with Qlone. Shapeways’ online 3D printing service could convert your 3D model back into a 3D object again, which would perhaps be useful as an affordable way for sculptors or model makers with limited digital design expertise to mass produce their work.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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shaun lamont wrote at 7/21/2017 9:19:35 PM:

you had me at "print the mat"

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