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Portable 3-D Scanner Photon

Portable 3-D Scanner PhotonAmong the exhibits of the latest high-tech exhibitions one new device became increasingly popular, and it is the 3d-printers for personal purposes. However, for full use of the professional features of this scanner it is needed to have the knowledge of the packages of 3d-graphics, or the basics of computer graphics. But if you are the designer, or model creator or anybody else, who works with the projects in 3D, then such a mundane task as getting a 3D copy of an object for a simple user will be impossible without the 3d-scanner.

Developers from the company Matterform presented their new small-sized portable 3D-Scanner Photon - the world's first truly affordable and compact multi-purpose scanner for personal use, and thus with the easy and clear management options. The scanner is powered by USB or an external DC power source with a voltage of 5 V. Therefore you can connect it to your laptop and get the 3D pictures directly to your computer, or you can take the scanner with yourself to the site and make the scanning of the objects, that will be stored in the inner memory of the device, and thus later copy them to your computer.

Portable 3-D Scanner PhotonPhoton 3-D scanner uses a high resolution camera and two semiconductor lasers for improved accuracy. The scanning speed depends on the quality setting, but the average is three minutes for small-sized objects that are a little bigger than a fist. Dimensions of items are limited by the size 190x190x250 mm, for some it may seem as quite a limit; though let’s not forget that the scanner is originally made for personal use and the industrial or other purposes.

To get the image from this scanner you just need to put any physical object on a stand and press the button on the scanner or in the special program on the computer and the scanner will make a digital copy of it. All necessary settings (focus, lighting and other) and the turning of the model are performed automatically, unless you have set special features and specifications beforehand. Software is provided by the developers and capture images of the objects are made in popular formats supported by major 3d-graphics packages such as 3ds Max, Maya, Google SketchUp, rhino, and etc.

At the moment the project has already passed the prototype stage, and in the near future it is planned to start the mass production with the preliminary sale price of $ 400. However, by those time we can find a lot of alternatives to this 3D scanner. May be some of them will be smaller, more lightweight or have other usefull features.

Although 3D-printing - a technology is relatively recent; it has already gained popularity in different fields. The portable printer Photon will be best suited for people who are doing their own 3D models for different purposes – creating game figures and objects, prototypes, 3-d films and cartoons and many other. In addition this scanner will be perfect for beginning scientists and biologists. The current version of Photon 3-D scanner also has some small disadvantages, unlike scanner CADScan3D, Photon generates no color data, and scans only in the horizontal plane that can be expressed to obtain the partial data, if some other part of the object is closed.

However, these minuses are easier to accept, given that the cost of Photon is $ 400, which is less than half the cost of the scanner CADScan3D and thus is much cheaper than any other industrial 3-D scanners. It is likely that in future the second version of Photon will get the color-scanning feature and will thus be much more valuable for the customers. Portable 3-D Scanner can be really useful in your everyday life as well as other small-sized devices like camping fridges or personal fans. 

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