3D Scanner for Home Use

3D Scanner for Home Use

I've been checking for some time now on the different solutions within 3D Scanning, from DIY projects to the more industrial expensive solutions.
As I want to get a grasp of what is out there, before I start shopping.
My main purpose is to find a good affordable solution, where I can scan my family, print them out, and put the busts on top of the fireplace.


The industrial solutions are too expensive so I will not be covering that here. And for home use you can get pretty good results with the low cost scanning.


2 Different Scanning Setups

The enclosed rotary table with stationary laser

I really like this one, as it gives a high level of detail in return, and is very good for scanning miniatures and other intricate surfaces.
But it is restricted to width and height. You can't set your grandmother on one of these and tell her to sit still while you spin her around. The laser would probably pop her eyeballs as well.
Anyway, for this setup to work you need a laser, a recorder (webcam/smartphone etc.), a turntable and software to handle the data.

Currently the best home solutions I have found are:
Moedls App
Matterform 3D Scanner




The handheld/gaming devices

ASUS Xtion and ASUS Xtion Live devices (and also PRO modifications for developers).
They are similar to Microsoft Kinect sensor and can be used in the same way. But there are certain differences that you can take into account before making decision on which device to choose
PrimeSense Carmine 1.08 device, ...which is essentially an equivalent of ASUS Xtion Live under different brand name.


Kinect vs Xtion / Carmine

Both Microsoft Kinect and ASUS Xtion (Live) / PrimeSense Carmine sensors are based on the same PrimeSense infra-red technology.
So all basic characteristics critical for full-body motion capture are generally the same.

But there are certain differences that you can take into account:


Device Pros Cons
Microsoft Kinect
  • High quality of device drivers
  • Stable work with various hardware models
  • Has motor that can be controlled remotely by application:
    this makes device positioning more convenient
  • Bigger size (12" x 3" x 2.5" against 7" x 2" x 1.5")
  • Higher weight (3.0 lb agains 0.5 lb)
  • Require ACDC power supply
  • Higher interference with another Kinect sensor in "Dual depth sensor" configuration
  • Lower RGB image quality in comparison with MS Kinect
ASUS Xtion / PrimeSense Carmine
  • More compact ( 7" x 2" x 1.5" against 12" x 3" x 2.5")
  • Lighter weight (0.5 lb agains 3.0 lb)
  • Does not require power supply except USB
  • Lower interference with another ASUS Xtion / PrimeSense Carmine sensor in "Dual depth sensor" configuration
  • Better RGB image quality
  • Less popular device
  • Lower drivers quality
  • Does not work with some USB controllers (especially USB 3.0)
  • No motor, allow only manual positioning


Xtion Live vs Xtion vs Carmine

  • ASUS Xtion Live or PrimeSense Carmine is recommended because it includes color sensor as well. Color image is currently not used for tracking, but eventually will. Also it helps to operate the system
  • Note: ASUS Xtion and ASUS Xtion Live are also available in PRO modification (for developers). But the hardware is the same for regular and PRO versions, the only difference is in the software supplied with the device
  • PrimeSense Carmine has better USB 3.0 compatibility than original ASUS Xtion Live. However, there is a firmware update for ASUS, which makes both devices equivalent.



Free software for 3D Scanning on your computer, I would recommend checking out:
- Fabscan
- Skanect






If you are looking to get a setup for scanning your family, I would go for the PrimeSense Carmine 1.09 Short Range Version.
This version also supports RGB colours, as opposed to Kinect, and this is something that will come in handy for future releases and development.

And if you need to scan all your warhammer miniatures for safe keeping, you need to go for the laser solution as Moedls describe.



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Just as a sidenote. For the rotary laser scanner, Makerbot has also come out with a new product. Will be launched on Monday (tomorrow) It's called the Digitizer and can be found here: http://store.makerbot.com/digitizer.html