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Arqball Spin: 3D For Everyone's video poster

Help fund the manufacture of a custom rotation stage that will enable creating and sharing a new type of 3D interactive media! Read more

pledged of $40,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on May 18, 2012.

Help fund the manufacture of a custom rotation stage that will enable creating and sharing a new type of 3D interactive media!

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About this project

Funding Goal Reached, Congratulations!

Thanks again for all of your incredible support, especially over the last 72 hours of our campaign. We reached our funding goal of $40k on Friday, May 18 at 8:05AM EDT (nearly three full hours to spare!).

What the Press are Saying

Endgadget - This technology is a perfect fit for online retailers, educators, and, ahem, even gadget reviewers

Eric Schonfeld, former Editor-in-Chief of TechCrunch - This is truly disruptive...

CNET - Arqball lets you quickly create a spinning model of an object for sale and embed it in a sales page

Forbes - Anyone can create "spins," interactive data sets, with their phone...It's for people selling stuff to create much more compelling representations of their products.

TUAW - could mean some big things for 3D modeling in the future...Very cool indeed.

Venture Beat - If you've ever wanted an easy way to create a 360-degree interactive video to show off a new product, Arqball Spin has you covered

What’s A Spin?

Spins are interactive visualizations of a 3D object that you can zoom in and out and spin around an axis—an experience like touching the real physical object on your mobile, tablet, or laptop.

Interact with a Spin of an Ant
Interact with a Spin of our Red Shoes

Producing similar visualizations previously required professional photographers, dedicated facilities, and thousands of dollars in equipment. Our goal is to change that, and we need your help!

We’re Halfway There

Arqball was founded by Jason Lawrence and Abhi Shelat, two Computer Science professors at the University of Virginia with PhDs from Princeton and MIT. 

We reached our first milestone with the release of Arqball Spin, our free iPhone app. It captures spins of an object on a rotating stage, which simulates rotating the phones's camera in a perfect circle around the object. The optimal speed is three revolutions per minute (RPM), which captures all of the rich details of any object in just 20 seconds. Here is a short (and silent) video illustrating the complete process of using Arqball Spin to create, edit, and share a spin (please note that the stage shown in this video is one of our early prototypes, the ones you will be receiving by backing this campaign will have either a red/white/black body and a white top like the hi-res image further down below):

We launched Arqball Spin at South By Southwest in March, and have spent two years developing the software as well as building and testing prototypes of stages in our labs.  Now we’re asking for funding to design and manufacture our first run of custom stages.

Why A Custom Stage?

Our deep understanding of computer vision and has led us to the conclusion that achieving a simple and reliable user experience and high-quality visualization requires some form of motion control. There is just no way around this. Our stage will provide that motion control in the simplest way possible.

The stage doesn't need to communicate with the capture device (e.g., phone or tablet) in any way and has a single on/off switch. This makes the final system flexible and very easy to use.

Please see the FAQ to learn how the rest of our service works.

Where Funding Goes

We have all of the engineering specifications and now we need to raise $40k in order to design and manufacture our first run of stages. These stages will be functional and super cool:

·  The hull is CNC lathed from 6063 aluminum and powder-coated in the color of your choice—red, white, or black.

·  Our stages are rugged and portable (powered by batteries) and possess a beautifully simple design inspired by Arne Jacobson's "salad bowl."

If successfully funded, we will be ready to get started right away and anticipate that the first stages would ship within 1-2 months. By backing our project you will become one of the first to access this exciting new technology.

We plan on making the final designs available for free (open-source) on our website to support hacking and design improvements.

Help us take the next step by successfully funding this project! This is just the beginning!


  • When you create a spin using our app and stage you have the option of "publishing" it which allows you to share the spin with other people over the Internet. To publish a spin you first need to create a free account. This can be done from either inside the app or through our website:

    When you publish a spin it is uploaded to our servers and is added to the collection of "shared spins" in your account, which you can review by first logging into your account here ( and then following the "shared spins" link along the top of the page. Shared spins can also be embedded into other websites and blogs as descibed in this blog post:…

    A free account entitles you to share up to 25 spins. However, note that shared spins can be deleted, freeing up a slot, and allowing you to share a different spin. There is no limit on the number of spins you can capture, just on the total number of spins that can be shared at any one time. We encourage you to experiment with how our service works which can be done for free using the app, the spins that come bundled with it, and the account management portions of our website.

    We also offer a "basic" plan for $4.95/month that entitles you to an unlimited quota of shared spins (also unlimited captures). All of the backers of this campaign will receive this "basic" service through the end of this year. This is our way of thanking you for being one of our first supporters and early adopters. We'll credit your account once the campaign finishes and is fully funded.

    We plan on announcing new subscription plans in the months ahead on our pricing page: We have so many cool things planned for the future, thanks for being part of the photography revolution and backing our Kickstarter campaign!

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  • Creating traditional 3D models with tools like AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, Maya, etc. is very time consuming and expensive. Arqball Spin achieves a 3D experience that anyone can create with their phone in 60 seconds. Arqball Spin is not in the same category as those other tools, and that is the advantage of the platform.

    See this video for a demonstration of labeling (a feature that will soon be available in our app), which shows one way we use 3D information while editing spins. As our platform matures, spins will further blur the line between parametric 3D model, image-based 3D model, and video. In particular, creating 3D meshes from spins is a feature we are actively working on.

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  • Currently the app is only for iOS devices. This campaign focuses on iPhone/iPad, but we will eventually support Android as well as uploading videos taken with other cameras.

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  • The current app doesn't support this, but we're actively investigating ways to support creating 3D models from spins.

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  • 5" diameter and 3" tall and powered by 6 AA batteries, the stage can comfortably rotate up to 5 lbs (2.2 kg).

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  • Yes! The following blog post describes how to embed spins:…

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  • YES!

    Order your stage at

    Although it's too late to back our campaign, you can still order your very own rotation stage We are offering a special "early adopter rate" for a limited time: one stage costs $60 (+ free shipping in the US).

    Of course, your stage will ship only after we finish fulfilling all of the rewards for this campaign, around late June.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    13 backers

    Big Love - Be part of the photography revolution and gain the love and gratitude of our team forever.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    11 backers

    Certified Nerd - We will create a spin just for you in our studio of something cool signed by our team.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    420 backers

    Spin Me! - Custom stage in your choice of red, black, or white. Add $20 for shipping outside US.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    40 backers All gone!

    Collectors' Edition - Limited edition collectible stage, 1 of 50 hand-built and numbered by co-founder. These also ship first! Add $20 for shipping outside US.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $110 or more

    32 backers

    NEW - Twin Spins - Two stages in the colors of your choice. One for you, one for your Mom or kids. Add $20 for shipping outside US.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    13 backers

    Friends and Family - Three stages, one in each color. Create your own spin party! Add $20 for shipping outside US.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    Spinsanity - One limited edition collectible, 1 of 50 hand-built and numbered by co-founder. Plus one of each color, for total of four stages. Add $20 for shipping outside US.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $225 or more

    3 backers

    NEW Holiday Shopper Pack - Five stages in the colors of your choice, get your holiday shopping done early. Everyone will love you for backing this reward, especially us! Add $30 for outside US

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $450 or more

    4 backers

    NEW Distributor Pack - Ten stages in the colors of your choice. Your friends and co-workers will love you and so will we! Add $30 for shipping outside US.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    NEW Spin It! - One stage in the color of your choice plus we will feature one of your spins on our homepage for a week (you choose the spin).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    0 backers

    "Spin VIP Night": Dinner with founders to talk about technology, business, etc., and we will create a spin of YOU! using the custom stage in our studio. You have to arrange your own travel and lodging in Charlottesville, VA.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)