3D Scanning for 3D Printing: How Kickstarter is Changing the Game
3D Scanning Makes 3D Printing Possible
Last week, two 3D scanning projects were launched on Kickstarter, looking to raise crowdfunding.
- Fuel3D, which bills itself as “a handheld 3D scanner for less than $1000″ rocketed past its target of $75,000 and is now over $200,000 raised with 23 days to go.
- Volumental’s 3D Scan-to-Print Web App, on the other hand, is still short of its $20,000 goal (they’ve raised about $12,000 so far).
Let’s take a deeper look.
First, why is 3D scanning important?
While the popularity around 3D printing continues to rise, sourcing good designs to print remains a challenge. Sure, you can buy a MakerBot 3D printer and download some 3D designs from Thingiverse, but what if you wanted to capture something in your home or office? That’s where 3D scanning technology comes in.
New entrants to 3D scanning
On the high end, there is expensive software and equipment used by professionals. Fuel3D is directly competing in this area of the market with a much more affordable solution.
Hardware innovation blog HackThings wrote, “Fuel3D is a handheld 3D scanner that’s capable of capturing extremely high resolution mesh (250 microns) and color information of objects in 3D, for around $1000. According to the creators, that’s an order of magnitude less than today’s commercial solutions of comparable resolution.”
On the low end, there is free software such as Autodesk 123D Catch. And MakerBot has announced plans for real-world copy and paste technology. This is the area that Volumental is competing. The web-based software connects to a depth camera, like a Kinect, and builds a model on the fly.
HackThings wrote about this solution, “It works as a combination of inexpensive sensor hardware and sophisticated cloud-based software. Log in to their web service, plug in a $300 depth sensor via USB, walk around the object you want to scan, wait for processing and then click “print” to get a clone either via an online printing service or on your own 3D printer.”
Kickstarter campaigns comparison
It might seem surprising that the higher priced solution has raised more money to date on Kickstarter, but this side-by-side comparison gives us some insight into the mentality of crowdfunding. Supporters don’t want to fund things that are perceived to be free; instead, they want to pledge to campaigns that are changing the market. Fuel3D is reducing the cost of high end 3D scanners by an order of magnitude, while Volumental is competing with free.
If you want to back either campaign, or both, here are videos and links to each project.
The 3D Scan-to-Print Web App by Volumental