Take a Photo, Get a 3D Model – This Could Change 3D Printing Design

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3-Sweep Is Simply Amazing

Rarely, if ever, do you see an academic video get over 1 million views on YouTube. Well, the research team behind 3-Sweep may have created technology that could push 3D printing forward in a major way.

With a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, the software lets a user to create a 3D model from a single photo. 

The team from Israel’s IDC Herzliya, comprised of Tao Chen, Zhe Zhu, Ariel Shamir, Shi-Min Hu, and Daniel Cohen-Or, first plans to present their new technology at SIGGRAPH Asia 2013.

3-sweep 3D model

Meanwhile, MakerBot is selling hardware for $1,400 to digitally scan real-world objects and other companies are raising money on Kickstarter to sell 3D scanner devices for under $1,000.

Below is a video with extensive demonstrations of how the 3-Sweep tech works.


We reached out to some of the 3D printing community. Nancy Yi Liang, co-founder of Mixee Labs, said “Wow. I’ve seen a lot of papers that deal with photo to 3d modeling, especially at SIGGRAPH, but this is one of the few presentations where I thought ‘I can use the interface’ AND ‘this could produce models I’d want!’ I hope they publish the paper and maybe even release some of the code behind the awesome.”

In the video above, when an object is extracted, the background is automatically rebuilt using the patch match algorithm.

Playing this forward, could this technology accelerate the vision of 3D printing in the real world?

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