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3D printers are one thing, but what about a 3D scanner?


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How long will it be before we have home workshop 3D scanners that would scan an object and create a scaleable file for a 3D printer?

Say you have a kit that only came in 1/32 scale (Lindberg Granada, for example) and you want to recreate it in 1/25. Possible someday? 

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anything's possible, however unlikely in the near future simply due to the cost... that said, however, is echoed in what was being said about the printers only a couple of years ago. Resolution will be the key, just as it is in the printers. It will take some serious resolution to be able to scale UP an existing kit.

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I just did a quick search ... 3D scanners are out there and range in price form $130 to OMG!!!!  I imagine that scaling up or down would be a function of the computer program running the printer.

I'm guessing you can scan the desires of your heart, or the needs of your model, and email the data to an outfit like Shapeways, just hit a button on Paypal and wait for the merry mailman!  B)

I am hoping within the next year or so the prices on this stuff is going to drop to the point we'll have to plow some of the clutter off our workbench to make room for this brave new world.

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Sorry to burst the bubble, but a $130 scanner doesn't have the means to give you a quality scan . It's like using an $200 fdm printer and expecting quality parts. If it is a laser scanner, the camera is 5 mega pixels. On top of that, you still need to use a cad software to fix the scan to make it 3d printable. Then, there is a learning curve in knowing how to set up and scan something usable. I purchased a diy 3d scanner kit one year ago and printed out the frame on my fdm printer for the sole purpose of scanning 1/32 & 1/48 die cast cars. I have been waiting for some improvements to occur. I'll be getting back into working with it in the forth coming months. Any scaling has to be done by using an actual, full size measurement and the software to resize.

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It will happen in time.  Think about simple stuff such as putting working headlights in a model, with those big, heat-generating incandescent bulbs.  Now, we can get a full set of flashers for a cop car that uses micro miniature LEDs and have adjustable flash rates(thanks to variable RC components). 

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I think the main benefit of affordable and high-precision 3D scanner tech will be that people without 3D-modeling experience could potentially make masters using traditional materials (Plaster, MDF, wood, foam, etc), perhaps even in relatively large scale, scan them, and send the resulting files to someone more knowledgeable who can clean up the scans and produce a printable file. For many objects, it would be easier to just model them in CAD to begin with. It would be faster, cleaner, and easier to produce a printable file. Cleaning up 3D scans can be really difficult, or so I've been told. The film industry uses this tech all the time, and it's beginning to appear in video games.

However, the main problem with 3D scanning scale models is that we're hoping to scan very small parts....it's very difficult to create a blemish-free scan of tiny objects. It would be much better to scan a large object (ensuring that the various blemishes will be smaller in proportion compared to the whole object), and then reduce the resulting 3D model in size, kind of like the pantograph-reduction process of old.

 

 

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My crystal ball is broken, but having a few years behind me in the technology industry, let me just say that what you are asking about will be available in the future. How far in the future is the only question.

If someone can imagine it, it will inspire someone to build it. It may not work quite the way we imagine it, but the end result will be the same.

Edited by OneTrickPony
clarity
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Unless there is some magical software available out there, the results of a 3D scan require much cleanup in your CD software.  You can't just scan and 3D-print the result. Well, you can, but it'll look like c r a p.

Edited by peteski
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