Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Free Mobile Apps to Turn Your Smartphone into a 3D Scanner
August 10th, 2017 by Susan Smith
A popular technology that has mushroomed in the past couple of years has been the ability to use your smartphone or tablet as a 3D scanner. Easy to use apps let you capture, share 3D scans and apply 3D models easily.
itSeez3D’s app lets you capture, share and apply 3D models on your mobile device powered with Structure Sensor or Intel RealSense 3D camera.
Victor Erukhimov, CEO and co-founder of itSeez3D, said that the Occipital Structure Sensor for IPad has changed the landscape of information gathering by way of 3D scanning.
Jeff Powers co-founder, Occipital, said the Structure Sensor is designed to gather tons of information from the world around us and the itSeez3D scanner puts that information back together to create incredibly beautiful 3D models.
“Our goal was to create a 3D scanner that could create models so realistic that you can’t tell the difference between the visual object and the rendered computer model,” said Powers. “To scan a tabletop object, you scan around it with your mobile device. After your scan data is captured and synthesized in the cloud, you can visualize it on the iPad, or export it as a 3D model. Structure Sensor measures to hundreds of thousands of points by admitting a spectrum of infrared light. itSeez3D scanner takes that data to reconstruct a point cloud of the object. Then it creates a mesh wireframe and applies a texture layer mimicking the surface of the original object. It will also isolate the object from the background as you circle around it.”
The calculations necessary to do this are quite complex for an iPad so the software downloads quickly in the cloud, so you simply download the 3D model in a number of formats. itSeez3D software has incredible texture. Color 3D prints come out beautifully as well.
Face scanning and soon entire room scanning will be available. This app can be downloaded from the App Store.
With the Scandy iPad App with an attached Structure Sensor, you can scan an object or person in 3D. The Structure Sensor talked about for the itSeez3D scanner can use the iPad camera to overlay image data, and picks up depth data. With this combined information, they can create a 3D scan. The Scandy App is designed for the 3D scan to then be used for 3D printing. You can upload an existing 3D scan to Scandy.co that was created in another program. This app can be downloaded from the App Store and is also available for Android devices.
Trnio is another free iPhone or iPad, or Android app that allows you to do mobile scanning. Users must make sure they do their scan in bright, even lighting and keep an equal distance from the object as they position themselves around it. It is suggested that you get different angles so you get a more complete scan. The tutorial is extensive and gives you advice on what types of objects to avoid, such as thin or stringy objects, plain objects, transparent items like glasses or ones that move around. Face scanning is also possible with this app. Two types of guided scanning are available, accessible through the center camera button. The first, object mode, guides a user around an object if the user is moving in a circular pattern around the object. Scene mode allows for free scanning outdoors and for scanning larger items. There are several options for error handling, processing and trimming your scans. This app can be downloaded from the App Store.
Australian company Scann3D provides something a little different from the previous offerings: the Matterport Pro Camera to transform 2D media into interactive and immersive 3D content. The camera is popular for planners, floor plan providers, real estate agents and others working with interiors and exterior landscapes.
Matterport Pro collects accurate visual and spatial data to map entire commercial, construction, and functional spaces. From this collection professionals can produce immersive 3D content easily. All of the images captured are processed, hosted and organized in the Matterport Cloud, so you know where they are and can access them easily. No photo editing skills are required because the panoramas are automatically processed and optimized for color balance. Measurements can be collected using the Matterport Workshop. Accurate dimensions are within 99%. It has been used a great deal in real estate but its value to construction and design are intriguing.
AECCafe SIGGRAPH Sweepstakes Winner, Duncan Chen, senior principal Technology R&D at CoreLogic has been a vital leader and influence on FNC’s overall technology strategy and system development since joining the company in 1997. Chen works to define and bring to development innovative technology solutions for FNC’s clients. Chen designed and architected the AIXML concept and led production of FNC’s flagship products CMS® and AppraisalPort®, which have become one of the largest platforms for both retail and wholesale loan organization. Chen also developed the high performance Rule Engine, which serves FNC patterned GAAR (General Accepted Appraisal Rules), an automatic appraisal risk assessment tool.
Chen is currently leading the strategic plan to bring FNC’s technology to the Brazilian market. He also actively serves the mortgage technology industry through his work with GSE and MISMO standard committees. He is a noted guest-speaker for numerous internal and international conferences.
Tags: 3D, AEC, architects, architecture, building design, building information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, design, engineering, infrastructure, iPad, laser scanning, point clouds, reality capture