Another day, another Kickstarter story, and another 3D scanning product – but Fuel3D could seriously shake up the professional 3D scanning industry
Fuel3D is a high resolution shape and colour capture 3D scanner which will be available for Kickstarter pledgers for just $1000. The current price for a portable scanner of this type of spec (such as an Artec EVA) is $15,000! It’s already smashed its $75,000 Kickstarter goal and there are still 29 days to go!
I personally saw the working prototype a few months ago and was highly impressed. At the time, the company were focussing on medical applications, and I was shown how the device could be used to scan injuries so surgeons could get a greater understanding of the severity of them. It was VERY impressive but I had no idea that this technology would be available for such a low price.
Portable 3D scanning systems have been developed to enable maximum scan flexibility for working around objects of almost any shape and size. Prices of hand-held solutions cost $15,000 – $30,000. In addition to Fuel3D being much less expensive, these handheld systems don't collect colour data in addition to 3D geometry.
“The explosion of 3D printing and the continued expansion of the games market means that there is an increasing demand for 3D scanning products that capture high resolution 3D data,” said Stuart Mead, CEO, Fuel3D Inc. “With Fuel3D, our goal is to bring high quality 3D scanning to a wider market by making it available at an affordable price-point.”
Fuel3D is the world’s first 3D scanner to combine pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging to capture and process a 3D model in seconds. Fuel3D’s ability to capture color in addition to geometric shape means that the product is also particularly well suited to on-screen 3D applications, such as game development, animation and 3D art.
The company has teamed up with 3D design software company, Uformia, another Kickstarter success story. For Fuel3D, Kickstarter pledgers will have the opportunity to get their product bundled with Uformia’s MeshUp software, the first real volume modeler for meshes, allowing any creator to make sure their models are always ready for 3D printing.
“Fuel3D’s scanner promises to change the game in the 3D scanning and modeling space,” said Cherie Stamm, CEO, Uformia. “For the first time, professional level handheld scanning is in the price range of the average computer user or 3D modeling and printing enthusiast, at a quality that even surpasses devices costing tens of thousands of dollars. Uformia is very excited to partner with Fuel3D on their Kickstarter campaign, as our upcoming product MeshUp is a perfect tool to use together with Fuel3D’s scanner to creative an infinite number of possibilities by scanning and remixing the world around you.”
It is getting endorsement from Sylvain Preumont, founder of iMakr, the company behind the world’s largest 3D printer store in London, who said: “Using a typical 3D scanner to capture an image can take a long time and requires the subject to remain very still….With Fuel3D, you will be able to simply click one button to capture a very high quality 3D model of your subject in just a few seconds. Combine this with the incredible price they are selling it for and Fuel3D makes us very excited!”
Pre-production Fuel3D units will be available in Spring 2014, with full production following soon thereafter.
The 3D scanning market is set to explode. According to '3D Scanning Market – By Devices (Optical, Laser, Structured Light), Range (Short , Medium, Large), Solutions (Portable, PCMM), Services (Reverse Engineering, Quality Inspection, Rapid Prototyping) – Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2013 – 2018)' report, the market is worth $2.06 billion in 2013 and will rise to $4.08 billion by 2018.
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