While walking around at RAPID 2012 (see our previous Rapid Ready coverage) I had the unusual experience of people offering to make 3D scans of my head. Though interesting, I declined. As anyone that has ever met me will attest, my head isn’t nearly exciting enough to warrant a digital reproduction.
This idea of 3D scanning various body parts (mainly faces, hands and feet) does present a possible glimpse of a future sales experience. Combined with additive manufacturing (AM), 3D scanners could usher in on-demand manufacturing of shoes that fit your feet perfectly or a hat that always sits at that perfect jaunty angle. At present, the main problems with that scenario are cost and portability.
The new Artec Eva seems to be a step in the right direction for these types of applications, as well as being a candidate for any number of engineering, medical or biomechanical uses. At 1.9 pounds, the Eva weighs only slightly more than an iPad. That low a weight means the scanner much easier to wave around for extended periods of time, and also makes it portable for use outside the office.
The new scanner works in a similar fashion to a video camera. Point the business end at the object to be scanned and it captures 3D images at 16 frames per second. Results are displayed in real time, giving the user a chance to look over his work and see what areas of the scan require more attention.
According to the company, the Eva requires no calibration or markers, and doesn’t use electromagnetic tracking (meaning metal objects don’t cause problems). It also captures data without a laser, using a flash bulb for illumination instead.
The scanner captures 288,000 points per second, has a resolution of up to 0.5 mm and an accuracy of up to 0.1 mm. Color information can be captured at 24 bits per pixel, with a resolution of 1.3 megapixels. Software is included, and the scanner can output data in OBJ, PTX, STL, WRML, ASCII, AOP, CSV, PLY file formats.
The Artec Eva is priced at around $19,000, which is fairly reasonable in a market where a $60,000 scanner is considered inexpensive.
Below you’ll find a clip of the new scanner at work.