About this project
Desktop 3D scanning
We have developed an easy-to-use, low-cost 3D scanning system that will change the way you do your 3D modelling. The scanner captures accurate, full-colour 3D object data in minutes on either your Windows PC or Mac.
The desktop scanner can scan objects sized up to 250mm x 250mm x 250mm yet has a compact footprint similar to that of an inkjet printer, making it easy to integrate into your workspace.
Our 3D scanner will change that. With the CADScan 3D you simply put your object into the scanner, press a button and scan. The result is a fully aligned and meshed colour point cloud. No calibration, no alignment, no post processing, no training - although we encourage you to read the manual first!
The system software has been developed using both the prototype scanner hardware and our own simulation software. A complete system simulation has been created which allows us to test and validate system performance and to optimise the configuration of the scanner for several different applications. The first version of the scanner has been designed for general purpose scanning of small objects. We are still finalising the exact configuration but we anticipate that the scanner will be able to scan objects of up to 250mm x 250mm x 250mm with high detail and an resolution of up to 0.2mm.
Our unique patent-pending approach has been specifically developed for 3D object scanning. We use a combination of low-resolution and high-resolution scanning methods to minimise problems associated with surface reflections. For robustness we use the object profile to rapidly build an approximate model, while we use a novel white-light scanning technique to capture surface detail. We have developed our own scanning head which does this without the use of expensive projectors or complex optics, meaning we can position our scanner head close to the object. This improves the resolution of the captured data and is key to our compact and low-cost design.
What do we need this Kickstarter project for?
We are now ready to take the product into low-volume series production. This involves a number of steps which we need to complete before we are able to manufacture and sell the CADScan 3D scanner:
- Engineering - we need to make some refinements to the prototype hardware and software and finalise the performance parameters.
- Tooling - the production tooling must be designed and built. We have designed the product to use methods that minimise the tooling costs and which are well suited to low volume production. However, tooling is still required for some components, and is an expensive one-off item that we need to design and purchase prior to manufacture.
- Product Testing - the product must undergo a certain amount of conformance testing and certification before we are able to sell the product in both the UK and overseas. Again, this is an expensive one-off activity that must be performed.
- Manufacture - we need to establish a supply-chain that can manufacture the electronic and mechanical sub-components in the system. These must then be shipped to a plant in the UK where the components will be assembled into a final product. Finally, end-of-line quality testing processes need implementing.
This Kickstarter project will enable us to complete these tasks, taking us from prototype through to a fully validated, commercially available product. Once all this is in place we will be able to ship a high-quality 3D scanner to you.
Who are we?
CADScan was formed in 2011, motivated by a desire to make 3D scanning easy to use and accessible to all. We have first-hand knowledge of many of the issues faced by those wishing to capture 3D data, and over 20 years experience of solving real-world problems through image processing. We've built an amazing team of software, electronic and optical design engineers who have collectively been involved in a number of award-winning image processing products, including one of the first automotive Lane Departure Warning systems.
We're based in Chester, a beautiful walled city lying on the River Dee, in the North West of England. Chester was founded in the AD79 by the Romans, is loaded with well preserved archaeological and architectural treasures, and has the oldest racecourse in the UK.
Risks and challenges
As with every new product development there are risks and challenges that we need to manage for the development to be successful. The main risks are:
System Performance - We have developed a suite of simulation software that allows us to replicate almost any object, giving us a deep understanding of the system performance. We will use this to validate the configuration and rapidly troubleshoot any issues during the final engineering phase.
As with any new technology we are constantly discovering new ways to improve the accuracy and speed of the system. These will be captured in additional software releases once stable, and we will provide periodic updates during the lifetime of the scanner model.
Testing and Certification - This must be done before any product can be shipped. We've been careful to design the scanner to make use of existing sub-components and benign electronics, but there is always a risk of delay while the product undergoes final testing and certification.
Manufacture and Assembly - We have worked closely with a number of manufacturing partners, but we have yet to finalise our final assembly process. The scanner has been designed for ease of assembly, and we will work closely with our suppliers to develop this. Our aim is to have a robust process that produces a product with consistently high quality from the start.
Team - We've got a great team of developers and suppliers who have worked tirelessly to get us where we are today. However, we need to find even more talented, committed, enthusiastic employees to help take the product forward to production and beyond.
Shipping - We've staggered the rewards into several manageable batches so that we can meet our delivery targets on-time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Each scanner is supplied complete with all the software required to scan objects. We will periodically provide free updates to this software, along with versions for additional operating systems once available.
The 3d models are provided in three formats (.ply, .stl and .obj) which can be viewed and manipulated using the superb, freely available Meshlab software (http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/)
The scanner will launch with support for both Windows PCs and, by popular request, OS X on the iMac.
The unit works from a standard 12v/5v power supply and is connected to the PC via a single USB 2.0 connector. We will supply the unit with the correct power supply for your country.
We have included a small charge of £25 to contribute towards our overseas shipping costs for each unit.
We're really excited that people want to be a part of making 3D scanning better, cheaper and more accessible. We feel that the fairest way to treat all our backers is for everyone to pay the same for each reward. Being based in the UK means that we have to charge VAT on these rewards when it is due. To keep the reward structure clear, we've decided to pay this VAT from the reward value.
However, in some cases VAT may not apply and, once certain details are provided, we may be able to issue a VAT rebate.
If you purchase the reward as a company within the EU, we will need your address and VAT number - we'll collect that information once the project finishes and provide the rebate at that point.
If you are outside the EU, we will need your address - we'll collect that information once the project finishes and provide the rebate at that point.
If you are in individual based within the EU, like anything else you may buy, VAT must be paid on the purchase and so we cannot offer any rebate.
The speed of the scanner is dependent on a number of factors, including the speed of your PC, the size of the object and the quality of the reconstruction. The capture time is currently around 5 minutes, although we will be optimising this further. For the dragon model shown in the video the reconstruction time is under one minute on a 64-bit Intel i7 running at 2.67Ghz, giving a total scan time of 6 minutes.
We have developed and patented a completely new method for 3d data capture. This is based on a combination of complementary techniques designed to maximise performance and robustness. At the heart of this is a new depth measurement method which uses phase-shifted structured light, combined using a 360 degree turntable. Unlike other phase-shifting methods - such as '3 phase scanning' - our method measures the depth directly, and does not use expensive projectors, optics or triangulation methods.
The 3d scanner produces a watertight, 3d mesh of objects that it scans. It does this by automatically combining multiple surface and profile measurements as the object rotates on the turntable. This mesh can be saved in a number of formats and is suitable for 3d printing without any further processing.
An example mesh can be found here: http://skfb.ly/54je1dca
For users who wish to perform their own meshing or manipulation of the model, the data can also be saved as a point cloud.
An example of the corresponding point cloud can be found here: http://skfb.ly/54je1dc0
You can find more examples, including various meshes, surface points and dense point clouds here: https://sketchfab.com/cadscan/
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