February 4, 2015 -
Fuel3D is a developer of advanced 3-D scanning systems and solutions for the consumer electronics market. Originally developed for the medical imaging sector, Fuel3D technology has been adapted for the broader 3-D market, with the goal of bringing the benefits of point-and-shoot 3-D imaging to consumers, professionals and businesses.
The firm’s flagship product, SCANIFY, is a handheld scanner, that allows users to quickly and easily capture 3-D models of everyday objects for 3-D printing or on-screen applications. The company publicly demonstrated the product at the International Consumer Electronics Show for the first time in early January.
When users take a picture on a conventional 3-D mobile phone or digital camera you are using a technique known as stereoscopic imaging. This uses two camera viewpoints, one for each eye, to display a “3-D” image on a stereoscopic screen that gives the impression of depth. In contrast, the core technology used in Fuel3D’s SCANIFY device fuses geometric and photometric stereo 3-D recovery techniques and is finely tuned to capture high-resolution 3-D color images.
The company notes that its scanner is perfect for capturing 3-D models of the human form, fabrics, plants, stone and masonry, textured paintings, statues, wood carvings, clay sculptures and other high-texture surfaces. SCANIFY is designed for a range of 3-D applications, such as 3-D printing and personalization, as well as on-screen applications like 3-D art and animation.
BiometricUpdate.com obtained an exclusive preview of the point-and-shoot, stereoscopic system at CES 2015:
“When we set out to create SCANIFY, our goal was to democratize the 3-D movement for consumers and, in particular, to allow for the personalization of their creations,” said Stuart Mead, CEO, Fuel3D in a statement when the product was released. “SCANIFY allows consumers to transform highly-complex subjects, such as the human face, into high-detail, full-color 3-D scans as quickly as they could take a photo using a digital camera.”
Since generating worldwide attention through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, Fuel3D has secured millions in private investment and signed retail and distribution partners across the world in preparation for the launch of SCANIFY. Based on technology developed at Oxford University, SCANIFY breaks down the cost and technical barriers that have limited consumer adoption of 3-D scanning and printing.
The company attests that SCANIFY is groundbreaking because it is the world’s first 3-D scanner to combine pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging to capture a 3-D image in a tenth of a second. This rapid speed of capture gives SCANIFY a unique ability to scan subjects that may move during capture.
The firm also says its product is unique because SCANIFY mimics the intuitive point-and-shoot technology of digital cameras while delivering fast, high-resolution shape and color capture for a range of 3-D modeling applications. Able to capture color detail down to 350 microns (0.35mm), and priced at nearly US$1,590, SCANIFY is less than one-tenth the cost of professional handheld 3-D scanning systems that capture a similar level of detail.
SCANIFY comes with Fuel3D Studio software, which allows scans to be manipulated and exported to popular file formats for 3-D printing and on-screen applications. This allows consumers to capture everyday objects as accurate, 3-D models, with color, for printing, animation and other applications.
SCANIFY is currently available to U.S. consumers for preorder via the Fuel3D online store, with shipment expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015 and general retail availability expected in the second quarter of 2015.