mfioretti: 3d scanning*

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  1. When it comes to 3D scanners, it’s safe to say that it’s not a matter of if you should buy a 3D scanner, but rather a matter of when you should buy one — but there are two major factors that you should take into consideration before making the plunge.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2015-12-23)
    Voting 0
  2. One of the most exciting things about widespread access to 3D printing is how it has started to push cultural institutions to begin digitizing their 3D collections. Now, in addition to being able to see free high quality 2D scans of paintings like a 15th Century Italian Pentecost and 18th Century Japanese Woodcuts, you can see (and sometimes download, print, and modify) high quality 3D scans of the Cooper Hewitt Mansion, Abraham Lincoln’s face, and Musette the Maltese Dog. With objects reaching back thousands of years scattered across cultural institutions around the world, it isn’t hard to imagine a future where the world’s cultural heritage objects are available to anyone with a 3D printer (or, say, a Shapeways account).

    a question about copyright is lurking in the background of this glorious future. Specifically, a question about copyrights in the scans of the objects themselves: are 3D scans protected by copyright? If the answer is yes, scanning could drag parts of cultural heritage objects away from their home in the public domain and lock them up behind proprietary walls for decades. That would make it much harder for people to access their own cultural heritage.

    Fortunately, at least one court in the United States has found that scanning an object does not create a new copyright in the scan. That means that scanning a 9th century Hanuman mask doesn’t wrap the scan in a new copyright. However, a paper from earlier this year by Thomas Margoni illustrates that the copyright status of scans is not as clear in the European Union. That lack of clarity alone could slow the dissemination of objects housed in Europe’s finest cultural institutions. Hopefully, the EU will move to clarify that 3D scans of objects do not create entirely new layers of copyright protection.
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  3. Companies are beginning to patent 3D scanning

    As the market continues to get more crowded, MakerBot has applied for patients for its Digitizer 3D scanner, which is now $799, to make 3D printing more accessible and simple to use -- two things they've proven to be good at. One patent is about the way the Digitizer calibrates, and the second is for the software, which makes it easy for the user to choose settings for the scan. Time will tell if other companies will start to patent their system as well, but MakerBot is again setting the precedent for the industry.
    8. Your smartphone may soon function as a scanner

    Apparently, Caltech scientists have developed a laser chip that determines the distance and size of an object by measuring the laser light reflected off of it. Since it's only about a millimeter in size, it may be ideal for fitting in smartphones to 3D scan images with a camera -- which makes 3D printing seem much easier and more efficient.
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  4. Researchers have created a new technology that uses the camera and accelerometers in an average cellphone to measure real objects in 3D space. Created at Carnegie Mellon University, you can use the system to build “3D models of the world” just by waving your phone around an object or scene.

    The accelerometers, called inertial measurement units, roughly tell the phone’s software the position of the phone in space. IMU’s are very noisy and rarely usable to truly assess a phone’s actual orientation with any degree of real accuracy but coupled with the camera you can get far more useful results.

    “We’ve been able to get accuracies with cheap sensors that we hadn’t imagined,” said Simon Lucey, associate research professor in the CMU Robotics Institute in a release. “With a face tracker program, we are able to measure the distance between a person’s pupils within half a millimeter.” Such measurements would be useful for applications such as virtual shopping for eyeglass frames.”

    The tool allows for better computer vision and could mean that you could create a 3D model of almost anything with your smartphone alone. The researchers expect to use this in self-driving cars, bypassing expensive and “power-hungry” radar. The team used the technology to create something called Smart Fit that finds the perfect glasses frames for your face.
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