REVIEW: Kinect 3DScan with Skanect >

Kinect for Xbox 360 logo

Kinect for Xbox 360 logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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3D BUSINESS & INVESTMENT ANALYSIS:

Manctl is one of 11 startups that won $20,000 (£12,300) of funding and support from Microsoft as part of its Kinect Accelerator program, the same as startup-in-law Ubi Interactive, and similarly remains independent as a business.

French startup Manctl has created a working answer to the question, “Have you ever wanted to produce a full-colour 3D model of your house?” Its solution was to use Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows, coupled with its own 3D mapping software.

Manctl’s first product, Skanect, allows anyone with a Kinect to rotate it around a room, providing the Skanect software with visual information that it stitches together to form a complete 3D image. Much like a Computer Aided Design (C.A.D.) drawing, the user is then able to zoom in or out of, rotate and navigate an on-screen 3D version of whatever was scanned.

“Our mission is to enable the masses to capture the world in 3D,” said Burrus “We’re working on a scanner that lets you scan people, objects and rooms,” co-founder and CTO Nicolas Burrus explained to Wired.co.uk previously. (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-05/27/skanect)

‘Manctl is a startup comprising CTO Burrus, who holds a PhD in computer vision technologies, and CEO Nicolas Tisserand, formerly a software architect working with computer DJ applications. “We’ve been friends for ten years,” said Burrus, “after meeting at university.

“We’re still figuring out our best business model, but what we definitely want to provide is a free version for consumers and enthusiasts to start scanning their children, their house, their animals and share it with their friends.

“It’ll be limited to online sharing; you can’t post-process it, as that’s for another category of people, like those in the prototyping industry, artists and people working in robotics.”

 “You can either use complex modeling software that’s used by the movie industry, or use a capturing device such as a laser scanner. This works, but costs [up to] $40,000 (£25,500), so it’s not for the mass market.” ‘

Pulling A Rabbit Out Of A Printer > > >

Liz Neely, Director of Digital Information & Access at the Art Institute of Chicago, had been one of those experimenting with 3D Printing and 3D Scanning. Here is a Q&A session between she and Seb Chan of Fresh and New:

Q – What has Art Institute of Chicago been doing in terms of 3D digitisation? Did you have something in play before the Met jumped the gun?

At the Art Institute before #Met3D, we had been experimenting with different image display techniques to meet the needs of our OSCI scholarly catalogues and the Gallery Connections iPad project. The first OSCI catalogues focus on the Impressionist painting collections, and therefore the image tools center on hyper-zooming to view brushstrokes, technical image layering, and vector annotations.

Because the Gallery Connections iPads focus on our European Decorative Arts (EDA), a 3Dimensional collection, our approach to photography has been decidedly different and revolves around providing access to these artworks beyond what can be experienced in the gallery. To this end we captured new 360-degree photography of objects, performed image manipulations to illustrate narratives and engaged a 3D animator to bring select objects to life.

For the 3D animations on the iPads, we required an exactitude and artistry to the renders to highlight the true richness of the original artworks. Rhys Bevan meticulously modelled and ‘skinned’ the renders using the high-end 3D software, Maya.

We often included the gray un-skinned wireframe models in presentations, because the animations were so true it was hard to communicate the fact that they were models. These beautiful 3D animations allow us to show the artworks in motion, such as the construction of the Model Chalice, an object meant to be deconstructed for travel in the 19th century.

These projects piqued my interest in 3D, so I signed up for a Maya class at SAIC, and, boy, it really wasn’t for me. Surprisingly, building immersive environments in the computer really bored me. Meanwhile, the emerging DIY scanning/printing/sharing community focused on a tactile outcome spoke more to me as a ‘maker’. This is closely aligned with my attraction to Arduino — a desire to bring the digital world into closer dialogue with our physical existence.

All this interest aside, I hadn’t planned anything for the Art Institute.

Mad props go out to our friends at the Met who accelerated the 3D game with the #Met3D hackathon. Tweets and blogs coming out of the hackathon-motivated action. It was time for all of us to step up and get the party started!

Despite my animated—wild jazz hands waving—enthusiasm for #Met3D, the idea still seemed too abstract to inspire a contagious reaction from my colleagues.

We needed to bring 3D printing to the Art Institute, experience it, and talk about it. My friend, artist and SAIC instructor Tom Burtonwood, had attended #Met3D and was all over the idea of getting 3D going at the Art Institute.

On July 19th, Tom and Mike Moceri arrived at the Art Institute dock in a shiny black SUV with a BATMAN license plate and a trunk packed with a couple Makerbots.

Our event was different from #Met3D in that we focused on allowing staff to experience 3D scanning and printing first hand. We began the day using iPads and 123D Catch to scan artworks. In the afternoon, the two Makerbots started printing in our Ryan Education Center and Mike demonstrated modelling techniques, including some examples using a Microsoft Kinect.

Colleagues began dialoging about a broad range of usages for education programs, creative re-mixing of the collection, exhibition layout planning, assisting the sight impaired and prototyping artwork installation.

Q – Your recent scan of the Rabbit Tureen used a different method. You just used existing 2D photos, right? How did that work?

In testing image uploads onto the Gallery Connections iPad app, this particular Rabbit Tureen hypnotised me with its giant staring eye.

Many EDA objects have decoration on all sides, so we prioritised imaging much of work from 72 angles to provide the visual illusion of a 360 degree view like quickly paging through a flip book.

It occurred to me that since we had 360 photography, we might be able to mold that photography into a 3D model. This idea is particularly exciting because we could be setting ourselves up to amass an archive of 3DPrintable models through the museum’s normal course of 2D sculptural and decorative arts photography.

This hypothesis weighed on my thoughts such that I snuck back into the office over Labour Day weekend to grab the full set of 72 image files. Eureka! I loaded the files into 123D Catch and it created a near perfect 3D render.

By ‘near perfect’, I mean that the model only had one small hole and didn’t have any obvious deformities. With much Twitter guidance from Tom Burtonwood, I pulled the Catch model into Meshmaker to repair the hole and fill in the base. Voila-we had a printable bunny!

The theory had been proven: with minimal effort while making our 360 images on the photography turntable, we are creating the building blocks for a 3DPrintable archive!

Q – What do you think are the emerging opportunities in 3D digitisation?

There are multitudes of opportunities for 3D scanning and printing with the most obvious being in education and collections access.

To get a good 3D scan of sculpture and other objects without gaping holes, the photographer must really look at the artwork, think about the angles, consider the shadows and capture all the important details.

This is just the kind of thought and ‘close looking’ we want to encourage in the museum. I’ve followed with great interest the use of 3D modelling in the Conservation Imaging Project led by Dale Kronkright at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum.

Q – Is 3D the next level for the Online Scholarly Catalogues Initiative?

A group of us work collaboratively with authors on each of our catalogues to determine which interactive technologies or resources are most appropriate to support the catalogue. We’re currently kicking off 360 degree imaging for our online scholarly Roman catalogue. In these scholarly catalogues, we would enforce a much higher bar of accuracy and review than the DIY rapid prototyping we’re doing in 123D Catch. It’s very possible we could provide 3D models with the catalogues, but we’ll have to address a deeper level of questions and likely engage a modelling expert as we have for the Gallery Connections iPad project.

More immediately, we can think of other access points to these printable models even if we cannot guarantee perfection. For example, I’ve started attaching Thing records to online collection records with associated disclaimers about accuracy. We strive to develop an ecosystem of access to linked resources authored and/or indexed for each publication and audience.

Q – Has anyone from your retail/shop operations participated? What do they think about this ‘object making’?

Like a traveling salesman I show up at every meeting with 2 or 3 printed replicas and an iPad with pictures and videos of all our current projects. At one meeting where I had an impromptu show and tell of the printed Art Institute lion, staff from our marketing team prompted a discussion about the feasibility of creating take-home DIY mold-a-ramas! It was decided that for now, the elongated print time is still a barrier to satisfying a rushed crowd. But in structured programs, we can design around these constraints.

At the Art Institute, 3D scanning and printing remains, for now, a grass-roots enthusiasm of a small set of colleagues. I’m excited by how many ideas have already surfaced, but am certain that even more innovations will emerge as it becomes more mainstream at the museum.

Q – I know you’re a keen Arduino boffin too. What contraptions do you next want to make using both 3DPrinting and Arduino? Will we be seeing any at MCN?

This should be interesting since MCN will kick off with a combined 3DPrinting and Arduino workshop co-led by the Met’s Don Undeen and Miriam Langer from the New Mexico Highlands University. We will surely see some wonderfully creative chaos, which will build throughout the conference.

These workshops may seem a bit abstract at first glance from the daily work we do. I encourage everyone to embrace a maker project or workshop even if you can’t specifically pinpoint its relevance to your current projects. Getting your hands dirty in a creative project can bring and innovative mindset to e-publication, digital media and other engagement projects.

Sadly I won’t have time before MCN to produce an elaborate Arduino-driven Makerbot masterpiece. I’m currently dedicating my ‘project time’ to an overly ambitious installation artwork that incorporates Kinect, Arduino, Processing, servos, lights and sounds to address issues of balance…’

Adapted from an article by Seb Chan

http://www.freshandnew.org/2012/09/pulling-rabbit-mesh-hat-liz-neely-talks-3d-digitisation-3d-printing/

KamerMaker: Game Changer? > > >

A massive mobile 3DPrinter to print architecture on demand… the stuff of science fiction again becomes reality with 3Dprinting.

While in one direction 3DPrinters, from heom desktop prtiners to nanoscale lab machines, are printing ever smaller objects, in ever finer details, things are moving at the other end of the scale as well.

We’ve seen concepts of monolithic printers that can 3DPrint entire homes, but, currently,, they appear to be for the future. However, in the now, we are seeing real printers getting larger, and DUS, a Dutch architecture firm, has produced a printer prototype large enough to print  structures that can actually shelter people!

The KamerMaker, and is based upon DUS’s normal-sized 3DPrinter, the Ultimaker, with a print range increased to huge 2.2m x 2.2m x 3.5m!

The unit is mobile, a traveling pavilion, where on-demand architecture can respond to local needs. Think of such a printer home modules on-site, to provide permanent or temporary housing, perhaps even using recycled plastic. Here’s DUS’s amazing video:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/36027546″>KamerMaker</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user9732280″>DUS Architects</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Kinect 3D Scan with ‘Skanect’ >

Scan it. Watch it made for you… Microsoft Kinect purchase Skanect takes 3D scans and turns them into designs for 3DPrinting.

Skanect is a low-cost 3DScanner based on Kinect. While the Kinect is moved around, it captures new views of an object or a room and automatically computes a metric 3D model, in real-time. Skanect can detect planes, such as floors and walls, and perform automatic ground alignment.

Skanect’s output can be imported into popular 3DSoftware further examination, measurement and refining.

Skanect 0.2 can be downloaded for free and is available for Windows (32 & 64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.6 & higher: http://manctl.com/products.html

COMPARISON: ReconstructMe, KinectFusion & Skanect…

A quick demonstration of different software with Kinect to gather 3D spatial data. The first software is ProFactor ReconstructMe, then KinectFusion, and finally,  Skanect…

http://youtu.be/ZZrmPLas66E

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3D BUSINESS & INVESTMENT ANALYSIS:

Manctl is one of 11 startups that won $20,000 (£12,300) of funding and support from Microsoft as part of its Kinect Accelerator program, the same as startup-in-law Ubi Interactive, and similarly remains independent as a business.

French startup Manctl has created a working answer to the question, “Have you ever wanted to produce a full-colour 3D model of your house?” Its solution was to use Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows, coupled with its own 3D mapping software.

Manctl’s first product, Skanect, allows anyone with a Kinect to rotate it around a room, providing the Skanect software with visual information that it stitches together to form a complete 3D image. Much like a Computer Aided Design (C.A.D.) drawing, the user is then able to zoom in or out of, rotate and navigate an on-screen 3D version of whatever was scanned.

“Our mission is to enable the masses to capture the world in 3D,” said Burrus “We’re working on a scanner that lets you scan people, objects and rooms,” co-founder and CTO Nicolas Burrus explained to Wired.co.uk previously. (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-05/27/skanect)

‘Manctl is a startup comprising CTO Burrus, who holds a PhD in computer vision technologies, and CEO Nicolas Tisserand, formerly a software architect working with computer DJ applications. “We’ve been friends for ten years,” said Burrus, “after meeting at university.

“We’re still figuring out our best business model, but what we definitely want to provide is a free version for consumers and enthusiasts to start scanning their children, their house, their animals and share it with their friends.

“It’ll be limited to online sharing; you can’t post-process it, as that’s for another category of people, like those in the prototyping industry, artists and people working in robotics.”

 “You can either use complex modeling software that’s used by the movie industry, or use a capturing device such as a laser scanner. This works, but costs [up to] $40,000 (£25,500), so it’s not for the mass market.” ‘

3DPrinting & Copyright: Future War? >

Image

The next great technological disruption is fermenting away, out of sight, in garage workshops, college labs, and basements. Hobbists with machines that turn binarys into molecules are pioneering a new way of making, everything. One that could well rewrite the rules of making and manufacturing, in much the same way as the PC revolutionised the world of computing… and the world.

The machines, called 3DPrinters, have existed in industry for years. But at a cost of $100,000, few individuals could ever afford one.  But, as with all technology, their price has fallen – industrial 3DPrinters can now purchased for $15,000. Home versions for little more than $1,000, or half that in kit form…

“In many ways, today’s 3DPrinting community resembles the personal computing community of the early 1990s,”
– Michael Weinberg, a staff lawyer at Public Knowledge

As an expert on intellectual property, Mr Weinberg has produced a white paper that documents the likely course of 3DPrinting’s development – and how the technology could be affected by patent and copyright law.

He is far from certain about its potential. His main fear is that the fledgling technology could have its wings clipped by traditional manufacturers, who will doubtless view it as a threat to their livelihoods, and do all in their powers to nobble it. Because of a 3DPrinter’s ability to make perfect replicas, they will probably try to brand it’s produce piracy to protect their brand.

But while the pirates’ labour rates and material costs may be far lower, the tools they use to make fakes are essentially the same as those used by the original manufacturers. Equipment costs alone have thus limited counterfeiting industry growth… but given a cheap 3DPrinter coupled to a laser scanner, and pirated goods may indeed proliferate.

Intellectual property is unconcerned with the 3DPrinter itself, but before it can manufacture, it needs a file of the object to be produced, along with specialised software to tell the printer how to lay down the successive layers of material, designed on a computer using CAD software, or downloaded from open-source archives.

But many may be copied from an existing product, using a scanner that records the 3D measurements from various angles and turns that data into a CAD file. This is where claims of infringement start, unless the object is in the public domain, copyright law could well apply. This has caught out a number of unwitting users of 3DPrinters who have made reproductions of existing products.

Earlier this year, for instance, one hobbyist worked out how to print the popular “Penrose Triangle”, an optical illusion that cannot exist in normal three-dimensional Euclidean space, and released a video challenging others to say how it was done.

Another 3D modeler not only figured it out but uploaded the CAD file of his own solution to Thingiverse. Whereupon the initial designer threatened Thingiverse with legal action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998.

The issue was only resolved when it was pointed out that someone else actually invented the Penrose Triangle (a Swedish artist in the 1930s), and the optical illusion itself could be considered a useful object—and therefore did not qualify for copyright protection which covers only non-functioning intangibles such as pictures, philharmony and prose.

The designer subsequently dropped the copy-write case and dedicated the rights to the community. There are now five versions of the Penrose Triangle on Thingiverse.

Manufacturers are likely to behave much like the record industry did when its own business model – based on selling expensive albums that few music fans actually wanted, instead of the cheap single tracks they saught – came under attack from file-swapping technology and MP3 software: embrace copyright, rather than patent, law, because many of their patents will have expired.

Patents apply for only 20 years while copyright continues for 70 years after the creator’s death.

So expect manufacturers to lobby for their own form of DMCA, with copyright protection expanded to cover functional objects that contain elements of design. “This would create a type of quasi-patent system, without the requirement for novelty or the strictly limited period of protection,” says Mr Weinberg.

The biggest lesson the record industry learned from its copyright battles with file-swappers was that going after individual infringers was prohibitively expensive and time consuming. Instead, the record companies lobbied to get copyright liability extended to cover not only individuals who infringe, but also those who ‘facilitate infringement…’  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the file-swapping websites themselves.

The record industry was very successful. Today, websites and ISPs have to block or remove infringing material whenever they receive a DMCA takedown notice.

Google reckons that more than a third of the DMCA notices it has received over the years have turned out to be bogus copyright claims.

Over a half were from companies trying to restrict competing businesses rather than law-breakers.

Under the banner of piracy, established manufacturers could likewise seek to get the doctrine of “contributory infringement” included in some expanded object-copyright law, as a way of decimating the home manufacturing movement early in it’s development.

Being free to sue websites that host 3D design files as “havens of piracy” would save them the time and money of having to prosecute thousands of individuals with a 3DPrinter churning out copies at home.

“You’ll have people going to Washington and saying we need new rights,” Weinberg frets. Laws that keep 3D printers from outputting anything but objects “authorised” by megacorporations – DRM for the physical world. To stave this off, Weinberg is trying to educate legislators now.

Lets hope he is successful. After all, 3D printers aren’t just about copying. They’re a powerful new tool for experimenting with the design of the physical world, for thinking, for generating new culture, for stretching our imaginations.

Today’s 3DPrinting community needs to keep a keen eye on such policy debates as they grow.

“There will be a time when impacted legacy industries demand some sort of DMCA for 3DPrinting,” says Mr Weinberg.

Adapted from: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/09/3d-printinghttp://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-05/31/3d-printing-copyright

Autodesk Augmented Reality Plugin > > >

Autodesk Labs has released a free technology preview of a new augmented reality plugin for Showcase 2013 which will operate until 31 October 2012.

As a work-in-progress technology, it’s possible that it might make it into DS Max Design. According to a YouTube user comment the software can use any image as a marker when dropping a 3D object into a live video feed: most existing plugins require specific marker types.

Augmented Reality allows the ability to overlay semantically in context information (graphics, text, video, sound) on to a live video feed of the real-world in real-time. With the Augmented Reality plugin, Showcase scene environments can be more dynamic, allowing you to Imagine, Design and Create in a real world context

Autodesk Showcase has photorealistic 3D real-time rendering, but Autodesk reports that the plug-in makes it easier than ever to visualise showcase 3D models in the real-world as viewed through your web or video camera.

http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/showcase_ar

3D Scanner in Your Pocket? >

Autodesk’s iOS App 123D Catch has been updated to include iPhone compatibility: now, globally, there are hundreds of millions of potential 3DScanners!

 

The new update complements iPad, Desktop and WebApp versions of 123D Catch.

With an enhanced workflow via the web app that includes editing tools to smooth surfaces, edit details and prepare for 3DPrinting, a new paradigm in DIY digital manufacturing has truly emerged.

Wondering how this app could be used? Recently 3DP manufacturers MakerBot went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to scan art for the world to download & remix: http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2012/06/01/epic-makerbot-is-at-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art-scanning-art-for-the-world-to-download-and-make/