Oct 20, 2015 | By Alec

With 3D printers now a common sight in most makerspaces throughout the world, the making community is increasingly discovering other devices to add to their creative capacity. 3D scanners are often top of the wishlist for their ability to make 3D printable digital models in a flash. While several affordable scanners are currently in developed, few have caught our eye as strongly as the Eora 3D Scanner. Announced a while ago, this Australian high quality, low cost add-on for iPhones and Android is now making its debut on Kickstarter.

This interesting device is being developed by three young Australian entrepreneurs, Rahul Koduri, Richard Boers and Asfand Khan, for the same reason that most of us avoid 3D scanners entirely: the costs involved. Faced with a $20,000 bill for a 3D scanner, they devised a plan for building their own iPhone-powered 3D scanner that could be built and sold to others like them for significantly less.

As the founders explained, they wanted to combine all the qualities found in those expensive models, but packaged in something ordinary makers can afford. ‘We considered every element that defined professional 3D scanners - the processors, cameras, build quality, turntable design, projected light scanners and laser based scanners,’ they say. ‘Sure, there are all kinds of 3D scanners today -- from projected light scanners that connect via a tablet that are handheld and fast, to traditional flat-bed/turntable scanners that are too often slow and stationary -- but none are accurate, unless you have $15,000 to spend. So we challenged ourselves to design and engineer a 3D scanner that not only was extremely precise and accurate but also fast, portable and affordable.’

The medium for this unlikely 3D scanner was sitting in their pockets all this time, and like so many apps before them, they harnessed the capacity of a quality smartphone and combined it with green laser technology. The result? A small add-on for your phone that can make scans up to a precision of sub-100 microns, a truly amazing level for a portable scanner. ‘Scan up to a range of 1 meter (3 feet). Based on a typical smartphone camera's Field Of View this lets you capture an incredible 1 square meter (3 feet X 3 feet) in one scan. For objects that are larger, you can take multiple scans and stitch them in-app or on compatible desktop software. A 1/4" - 20 UNC thread is included in the bottom for easy mounting on tripods,’ they say. To accommodate users, the Eora 3D is also compatible with both iOS and Android, connecting via Bluetooth 4.0 and using a free app.

But the most remarkable feature surely must be the green lasers. If you’ve ever seen a 3D scanner in action, you’ll know that red lasers are commonly used. ‘But digital camera CMOS sensors (like our eyes) are twice as sensitive to the green spectrum as they are to red. (It's how we evolved to better spot predators in the brush.) This means you can scan in a variety of lightning conditions, even outdoors,’ the makers explain. ‘A green laser costs almost three times as much as a standard red laser. But when you have a smartphone that does all the heavy lifting, it allows us to save cost on the camera and processor and instead invest more in other areas like the laser optics and powerful algorithms for the app.’ That means that the Eora 3D is a particularly powerful, yet affordable scanner. It also doesn’t require a turntable because it stiches scans together to create a full model.

Finally, the smartphone nature of this scanning solution means it’s also simple in use, user-friendly and comes with an Library and dropbox. ‘With Dropbox integration built-in, you can load your existing 3D models or share the ones you have scanned. You can import your existing 3D models (.ply, .obj, and .stl) and with Dropbox integration you can sync your 3D models across all your devices,’ they say. You can even send them to 3D Hubs or Shapeways for 3D printing, if you’d like.

In short, the Eora 3D is packed with interesting and easy-to-use features, and will be a perfect addition to any maker’s arsenal. What’s more, it only costs $229 on Kickstarter, making this one of the most affordable scanners we know of.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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Zachary wrote at 8/8/2016 4:59:21 PM:

Is it possible to scan something not on a stand like a persons face or something?

Ranjith wrote at 7/11/2016 12:24:59 PM:

It will be better if it scans any object using mobile phone camera,for example if it scans a tree it should connect to the internet and explain about the specified tree as in display and also as well by voice...

Debra AlObeidy wrote at 7/3/2016 11:07:53 PM:

The S5 and Note 3 came out about the same time or very close. Will this work with Galaxy Note 3?

Michael Gathings wrote at 6/24/2016 12:50:21 AM:

I didn't receive the backers survey. Please resend it to my email address.

saurabh gayali wrote at 6/3/2016 10:44:03 AM:

they didnt show 360 rotation. This app can not scan complete 360 of an object but just front. I am not sure if i scan complete object with rotation, I will be able to make a combined object in 3d, untill I am a pro.

pavan modi wrote at 3/2/2016 11:14:24 PM:

Hi. Can it scan transperent object. Like glass and impurity inside transperent object . If yes i would like to buy your product. U can contact me on pavan_modi@hotmail.com

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