CADScan Cubik 3D
The CADScan Cubik 3D Scanner is a very ample piece of technology that resides in the category between professional use and hobbyist enthusiasm. The Cubik offers users a decent-sized scan bed on a turntable, very good resolution coupled with full color abilities, and a patent pending, innovative technology to capture scans. Our favorite feature, however, is the price. The CADScan Cubik wins our award for Best Value and the #3 spot on our list of 2014 Best 3D Scanners Under $10,000.
CADScan was founded in 2011, and with a combined 20 years of building image processing systems under their belt, they have sought to bring the 3D printing industry mainstream. Their goal is to make the necessary tools available to professionals and hobbyists alike. After some grant writing and development, the company took their idea to KickStarter. In 2013, they were the first to launch a 3D scanning project on the crowd-funding website, and were wildly successful. This success led to the Cubik being available to all interested in 3D technology at a great value. Developed for use in reverse engineering, prototype development, and object replication, the Cubik was certainly designed to be useful for many outlets.
The rather bulky, yet modernist design of the unit takes up a bit of desk space, but could be seen kick starting a multitude of conversations. To some, at certain angles, the Cubik looks much like a computer monitor laying over on its screen. Its sleek design is crafted in steel and, ironically enough, white ABS plastic. The unit’s footprint is 20in x 13.5in, which would pretty much require you to acquire a new table for setting up your new scanner.
Cubik delivers full-color, hi-res data in just minutes with the help of two 5MP, 24-bit color-detecting DepthPhase scanning heads. These scanning heads were developed by CADScan to set this scanner apart from others on the market. These heads were designed to maximize object coverage, giving you more detail in the process. DepthPhase technology is based on a series of phase shifted patterns projected by an LED array. This light source is more accurate than triangulation lasers, not to mention safer on the human eye. The choice of DepthPhase technology over triangulation lasers minimizes occlusions in your scan data, making it more choice, according to the manufacturer. Other benefits of the LED array setup is that it is compact, fast, and accurate. The Cubik’s resolution ranges from 0.05mm to 0.15mm (50-150 micron), which offers a level of detail that is competitive with scanners of much higher price points.
Coverage of scanned items is increased by a fully integrated turntable scan bed. The turntable eliminates errors caused by moving objects yourself while collecting scans and the need to join several scans together to achieve a complete image. The downside to that is the fact that a turntable setup severely inhibits you from capturing scan data for large items. The 8.5in x 7.8in scan maximum size and 8.8lb weight limit hinders the scanner’s flexibility.
The CADScan Cubik 3D Scanner is pretty close to a plug and play setup, with easy to install software and USB 2.0 connection. Cubik works with Windows systems, as well as Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. Scans made by the Cubik are created as fully-aligned, watertight mesh type, and can be used in applications such as 3D printing, as well as CNC and CAD programs. Cubik has the ability to export scanned images in STL, OBJ, PLY, and SketchFab formats, making them useful for about anything.
We were very impressed with the scans that were produced with the help of this fine piece of equipment. Our experimentation proved fruiful, accomplishing scans with great detail in short periods of time. Even some of the most detailed objects scanned were complete in less than ten minutes. We could absolutely see the Cubik being handy for an artist or someone wanting to recreate small objects or artifacts. For small applications, the Cubik is hard to rival. Its accuracy and detail could absolutely be used in many applications, but is hindered by its scan volume.
Overall, the CADScan Cubik scanner is a great deal. For just over $1500, you can own a very capable, well-designed scanner for home or professional use.
The patent pending DepthPhase scanning heads are an excellent development. If they could be released from their cage, they could certainly change the 3D scanning game. The turntable hinders you as far as maximum scan size, but provides an excellent way to keep your scan info accurate and eliminates certain degrees of error. CADScan has definitely succeeded in their goal to provide the tools necessary to produce high quality scans to professionals and hobbyists alike. Fortunately, CADScan has the ability and backing to continuously improve, and should be a big player in the future of 3D scanning and imaging. These things combined warrant the CADScan 3D Scanner a spot on our iReviews list of 2014 best 3D scanners under $10,000.