Jan 8, 2015

Artec EVA 3D Scanner: The Fastest Way to Enter the 3D World

Who should read this: any small business-user interested in finding out more about affordable 3D scanning solutions for 3D printing

Any 3D print shop worthy of such a definition should have at least one 3D scanning system on its premises and considering the price/quality ratio that 3D scanner, today, is very likely to be an Artec EVA. Let’s find out why.

The enthusiasm for 3D printed self-portraits is gaining momentum and the increased capabilities of full color 3D printing systems such as the Projet 4500 and the mcor IRIS make it easier than ever to reproduce full color copies of any person or object.

Priced at just under €10.000, the Artec EVA is the easiest solution for high definition 3D scanning

All the more so with an 3D scanner Artec EVA at hand. The very fact of having a 3D scanner in the store offers the client the possibility to arrive with their own replication and clone it magically, almost in real time. It goes without saying that the first object, or subject, to clone is ourselves or, if we’re lucky, we are worth cloning to someone else as well, as a physical reminder.

The Artec EVA is the first semi-professional choice. It can do a little bit of everything and, in fact, is almost always present in the best 3D print shops. The cost is sufficiently competitive for a business, just about €200 a month, and it delivers on what it promises: definition down to 10 micron and the ability to acquire up to 2 million points per second, at a distance of up to one meter.

Like a 3D camera

Artec, the Russian company that created the EVA, is doing for 3D scanning what 3D Systems did for 3D printing by opening up the market and exploring new business and consumer opportunities. Scanners are in 3D printing what photography used to be for 2D printing: if we think of the cost for professional photograpic equipment we can easily imagine what professional 3D scanning could run up to and this is a value that grows exponentially with respect to the definition and resolution.

It works like a camera, taking hundreds of photos in order to capture every detail (image: Artec)

Until not too long ago, that could mean hundreds of thousands of euros. Artec, which has been working in the field for over 10 years, has managed to scale down the technology and get closer to the demands of the semi-professional sector, now beginning to effectively meet even the consumer services segment’s needs.

From professional photography, 3D scanning also inherits the technical challenges associated with light reflection. Having a lot of light is the main ingredient that is impossible to do without, along with a powerful PC and a good concentration while performing fluid movements. The Artec EVA and its software take care of everything else.

It can be used manually to cover and capture every part of an object or a person’s body (image: Artec)

Painting in 3D

3D scanning is a filed that has its own art and technique. The Artec EVA is its instrument: it does require a basic understanding of the concepts that govern modifications to the the polygonal mesh, that is the set of triangles that make up a 3D model: the more you are able to master the process, the better you will be albe to perform the 3D scans and thus reduce the amount of post-production work.

As shown in the video below, the scan itself is made with long, fluid brushstrokes, waving the 3D scanner around the object and collecting a sequence of “3D frames”,  which are made up of digital points and textures. Each one represents a portion of the surface.The Artec Studio 9 software eliminates the errors generated by reflections and sows the frames together by identifying the points they have in common, thus creating the final mesh, that is the closed, digital surface of the 3D object.

Artec’s EVA fully justifies its cost through the quality of it performance and also for the superb range of accessories and software included: Artec Studio 9 takes care of the post-production process, in automatic and manual modes, allowing the operator maximum freedom of choice and guiding him or her step by step: point-cloud, exclusions, mesh repair, welding, texturing and color matching.

After the 3D scan

The post-production is the most time consuming part of any workflow, the last phase of technical work  before delivery, in this case, of a complete digital 3D model. The strength of the EVA is its versatility. Handy, compact and capable of reproducing precise colors, it can even be battery operated and become portable. It does, however, work best if placed on a stand coupled with a motorized rotating platform.

Alternatively it can be place on any regular camera stand and used with a rotating platform (image: Artec)

In short it can be used to 3D capture and reverse engineer a wide range of models including people, static figures, but also dynamic objects that are not too small and moderately large. There really is no pre set limit and you could, theoretically, 3D scan an elephant, if your computer is powerful enough to process all the data.

An additional resource for a 3D print shop would be to just organize courses on using the 3D scanner. It will certainly be something that any 3D printing enthusiast will need to learn and master and also a skill that has to be included in the know-how of any professional 3D printing service operator.

From painting, photo to 3D scanning, digital reproduction of reality is constantly growing and evolving; today the latest technology of this fascinating journey is opening its doors to the public, riding on the wave of demand for 3D printed objects, new creative inspirations and new commercial needs. With the EVA Artec is securely at the forefront of this change in paradigm.

License: The text of "Artec EVA 3D Scanner: The Fastest Way to Enter the 3D World" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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