3D Systems iSense
The 3D Systems iSense allows you to convert your iPad into a physical photography camera, allowing you to use it to scan on-the-go. Users simply attach the iSense to an iPad, then walk around and scan entire objects or environments, obtaining a digital copy of the surroundings or subject. Unlike other 3D scanners, you don’t have to be stationary or place your subject in a box to get a good scan. Within minutes, 3D data captured by the camera can be converted into printable files, with quick editing and cropping tools integrated into its software.
As one of the first, yet ever-progressing names in 3D printing and scanning, 3D Systems is also growing a cloud-sourced on-demand database of custom print instructions, using materials including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. Working with integrated 3D scan-based design, 3D Systems is making great strides in the world of 3D printing. Experiments are also being conducted in freeform modeling, printing digital thread for personalized surgery and patient-specific medical devices. 3D Systems prides itself on its efforts, and for good reason. As the future of manufacturing, 3D printer users and designers are making a more efficient way to design and manufacture products, and 3D Systems is near the front of the pack.
3D Systems has developed the iSense, a truly remarkable product. It brings the art of 3D capture and physical photography from the lab and workshop to the hands of the consumer. Not only has it made these capabilities more available, but it has cut the tethers, allowing 3D capture to hit the streets. The power of mobile 3D scanning is now available on your iPad, iPad Air or iPad mini (as long as it is equipped with Retina Display), and the iSense handles the power well. Created by Occipital and powered by Structure Sensor technology, the iSense is ready to roll. You might remember Structure Sensor from its groundbreaking 2013 Kickstarter campaign, which gathered over 300% of its $100,000 goal very quickly. The investment was used to develop the first portable, iPad compatible 3D scanner.
The iSense is fully compatible with the Cube line of 3D printers, which makes printing easy for those familiar with the Cube printing system. Also, the iSense can be used with apps and software designed for Occipital’s Structure Sensor. Further ease is implicated in its simple attachment to your iPad and the ability to turn your scanned images into printable files in minutes. Wherever you are, you can use your iPad to turn your environment into creativity. It is clear that the iSense, in all aspects, was designed to be user-friendly for consumers and professional users alike.
With a scan distance of 3.5 meters and a view field of 58 degrees (height) by 48 degrees (vertical), the iSense is ready to scan items both small and large. 3D systems touts this flexibility by marketing the ability to scan items ranging in size, “from shoes to SUVs”, giving it the “most versatile scan range in its class”. In numbers, that equates to a scan volume of 0.2 x 0.2 x 0.2m minimum, 3 x 3 x 3m max. Intuitive design uses automatic object recognition to be able to extract precise targets from the busiest of backgrounds. With a built-in battery, you don’t have to worry about the iSense draining your iPad battery. This battery has a three to four hour life if you are actively scanning. The battery pack will hold its charge for more than 1000 hours on standby.
Most important are the implications of this technology being developed in this medium and what it means for the future of 3D scanning. With this product, 3D Systems has knocked down a huge door. With its availability as an iPad companion, the sky is the limit, due not only to the magnitude of Apple products, but to what happens to these products as they are improved and developed. Historically, the track record of Apple, like that of 3D Systems, is pioneer, develop, perfect and re-release. One would assume that the only way for 3D scanning to go is up, and the iSense seems to be propelling the technology to the next echelon.
Of course, since the technology is new, it is yet to be seen how the public will take to it. Substantial growth has been seen in the 3D scanning world, even in the past year. 3D printing has never been a hobby for the penny-pincher, and a $499 price tag added to the cost of an iPad does not help the case. However, for most 3Ders, the price tag is no hindrance. Overall, the iSense earns the top spot on our list of 3D scanners in its class because of the factor of cool design, among other things. On the market, however, iSense earns its top spot because of what it brings to the industry in the way of innovation and marketability. So we present the 3D Systems iSense, the iReviews top pick for 2015 best 3D scanner under $1,500.
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