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3D Scanners - any pointers or tips?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by 10000YearsBC, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. 10000YearsBC

    10000YearsBC Occasional commenter

    I'm looking to adapt my mode of delivery in schools, by creating 3D models of many of the replica prehistoric artefacts that I normally give to KS2 children to handle and explore. I've already tried photogrammetry with multiple photos and Autodesk 123D, but the package is no longer free and the process is slow.

    I'm considering buying a 3D scanner to speed up the workflow. My desktop computer is running Windows 8.1 and has an AMD A8 processor, which is apparently Intel i5 equivalent. We also have a more recent laptop running Windows 10.

    My teaching background is secondary ICT so I'm no stranger to computing equipment and its foibles, although I've been retired for a few years.

    Ideally I'd like a scanner that will capture anything up to full body size, as long as I don't have to spend a fortune on it. I believe some hand held units can do this. If full body isn't feasible, up to head and shoulders size would be OK. Most of the artefacts are less than 30cms long.

    If you have any experience of 3D scanning hardware and software in a school context I'd be most interested to hear your thoughts and recommendations. I don't mind spending on a versatile one, as it's for an established business venture that will (I hope) repay me eventually. I'm not yet considering 3D printing, but it may be a future option. Thank you in advance.
  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    It is a year or so since I looked at this in depth, but anyway,
    The problem with 3d scanning overall is that complex objects almost always need some form of post-production tweeking. If you have say an 80 DSLR camera rig you should be able to do one shot work - they're only around £100,000. but below that ....it is very much a lottery.
    That dark-coloured piece with lots of concave shadowed surfaces is probably best left in the drawer.

    If you do go down that route - even using a budget (£2k) hand-held scanner -your really have to be able to try the kit out yourself before buying

    If it were me I'd

    a) look at some of the 3d mesh warehouses/Museums. Who have prehistoric artefact models ready to go e.g.

    b) stick with the photogrammetry
    - the cameras are getting better all of the time - e.g. the Samsung galaxy tab 10+ which now has a 'time of flight camera' built in and a 3d scanning app
    as is the software - look at the AliceVision plugin for Houdini , Blender etc

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