As services go, 3D scanning is pretty hard. To get good models you need expensive lasers and data acquisition systems and even the Kinect-based scanners require expensive hardware… or do they?
Volumental, a Stockholm-based company, is created a browser-based scanner that connects to your depth camera and can grab 3D models of real objects in full color. While you’re not going to get amazing quality out of the rig, it is definitely a start.
Depth cameras are basically any camera with two lenses designed for Kinect-like interaction with your computer. This app will connect to the scanner and then take the measurements and make models in the cloud.
They are looking for $20,000 to help fund a team of programmers to complete the system and they’ve already hit $4,000. A $10 pledge gets you the opportunity to scan and download a model of your own head while $300 gets you a depth camera and 100 printable models to download. They will be selling downloads on the site and they will also open a public download market.
The idea – cloud-based 3D scanning – is pretty radical, especially considering that home computers could probably do the same thing fairly easily. However, the entire ecosystem – the market, the rendering, etc. – makes this far more interesting than any standalone system I’ve seen.