Fuel3D was spawned from a medical imaging project developed at Oxford University and is able to capture exceptional detail in everyday objects, such as the contours and colors of the item being scanned. The makers say that it is particularly suited to capturing objects such as skin e.g. faces and body parts, fabrics, organic subjects e.g. plants, leaves, stone, masonry, brick, wood, food and artwork, e.g. textured paintings, statues.
“The explosion of 3D printing and the continued expansion of the games market means that there is an increasing demand for 3D scanning products that capture high resolution 3D data,” said Stuart Mead, the head of Fuel3D Inc, the firm using the Kickstarter site to raise money for the scanner. “With Fuel3D, our goal is to bring high quality 3D scanning to a wider market by making it available at an affordable price-point.”
The Fuel3D scanner works using pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging to capture and process a 3D model in seconds, and is literally a point-and-shoot process. Once the scanner has produced the raw 3D data it is processed with Fuel3D’s own software to create a 3D model file that is compatible with most modeling software, in either .OBJ, .STL and .PLY format.
Fuel3D has turned to Uformia to provide their MeshUp modeling software for one of the product bundles, but this pushes up the price from $990 to $1090. Although the Fuel3D scanner is priced at almost $1,000 the makers say that the quality of the scans surpasses any other solution on the market, and as the following image shows the Fuel3D produces far better results than a DIY Microsoft Kinect scanning solution.
Fuel3D are currently working towards producing a final retail version of the product (as shown in the image at the top of this article) and all results shown so far are produced by a prototype scanner. Fuel3D say that the final product will be much smaller, but still produce the exact same high-resolution scans of the prototype.
Fuel3D have already more than doubled their $75,000 funding target on Kickstarter, with nearly $200,000 raised from 273 backers at the time this article was written. As they have raised more money than expected Fuel3D are adding additional features to the product, including joining multiple scans together and the ability to mount the scanner to a tripod.