3D Printing is not science fiction
The 3D printing Expo in NYC showcased leaders in the 3D industry, within which, Control Group’s Jonathan Spooner observed, “One field that is experiencing growth and innovation is in real world 3D source creation.”
Due to the open competition in the desktop printer field, 3D protyping costs continue to drop, so this competition among Markerbot and its competitors is not all together bad.
Newest 3D Technologies
The field that seems to be experience the most growth and innovation is the real world 3D source creations. New technology is creating a great need for the ability to accurately scan and create 3D models base on physical, real world object.
3D artists who covet being able to “feel” their work, will appreciate the Geomagic® Touch™ X Haptic Device (formally known as the Sensable Phantom Desktop) . According to the web site, “Haptic sensors allow users to feel 3D on-screen objects by applying force feedback on the user’s hand, and the Touch X delivers expanded true-to-life sensations with a more fluid feel and lower friction.” With the haptic sensors you can feel every contour of the object you are creating, giving the creator a very real illusion.
Another tool aimed at the 3D creator is the Bird system from Leonar3do. This system is composed of a hand-tool, 3D glasses, software and sensors. Once it is set up, it is a completely immersive virtual reality system that creates a completely 3D spatial work environment. Currently, they offer three versions: LeoArt (for designers and artists), Vimensio (for students and teachers) and Leonar3do SDK (for software developers and programmers).
Creaform has the Go!SCAN3D to offer creators. It has a handheld scanner that uses “white light.” The Go!SCAN web site states, “it’s by far the fastest handheld 3D scanner on the market today, delivering consistent high-quality 3D models. Through its highly intuitive process, it can be used by anyone without prior experience or training.” Which makes it a great option for people who have no experience with 3D scanning because basically, you point the scanner at the real object you want to create a 3D image of and scan it; it is really that simple.
Lastly, another handheld scanner from GoMeasure3D, called eMicroScribe, is a combination laser scanner/point scanner. It resembles a stylus pen attached to an arm and you trace the surface and contours of the object you want the scan and it captures “thousands of data points to outline the object.”
What can this technology do for you?
Making the virtual tangible
3D technology enables you to touch and feel concepts without actually holding them. And all of the aforementioned scanners assist you in taking a real world, tangible object and turning it in to a 3D image than can be manipulated.
- For teachers, this means your students can touch and feel dinosaurs with the same excitement as if you transported one to your classroom.
- For artists, it means you can manipulate an image as many times as you want without deleting or saving a single thing until you are ready.
- For software developers, it opens up new doors for ways to look at a concept, from all angles before finalizing it.
With 3D technology, the possibilities are absolutely endless. It is definitely something you should check out, if you haven’t all ready.