One of the most promising technologies is being explored by Autodesk. In the next few posts we will explore the implications for those of us with 3D printers.
What we will see is that while it is not yet a mature technology, it does show promise. When I began playing with the beta it was called PhotoFly and the Photofly team believed that you could not use a turntable to capture items. That is because their engine relies on background information to determine angles and stitching points. It turns out that it IS possible to use a turntable; but, you have to creaet a false background.
Here is an image of a small fire truck model on a turntable with colored posts acting as false backgrounds.
Using a series of pictures at 10 degrees rotation for each image, the following 3D object was created in 123D Catch.
Here is a video that probably priveds the best way to view the quality of the resulting 3D object.
Turning this object into something that can be printed involves exporting the object as an OBJ file and importing it into a program like the free NetFabb to be cleaned and converted to an STL file.
Here is the resulting print using a RapMan 3.2.
It certainly isn't a rousing success; but, it definitely is a modest success. We started with normal 2D images and ended up being able to print a recognizable 3D object.
Subsequent posts will explore objects that show even more promise.