Matterform's Photon caters to people who want to get in on the 3D printing action, but have no existing computer modeling skills, and no desire to acquire any. A desktop-sized 3D scanner, the Photon will convert any physical object into a 3D model on screen. From there, users can print the file on any 3D printer or, in absence of that costly hunk of tomfoolery, through any online printing service. Alternatively, they can opt to transfer the rendering to an animation or video game.
Developed with anyone, anyone at all in mind, Photon use entails 4 steps: 1) Unfold it; 2) Plug it in; 3) Place a GI Joe on the scan bed; 4) Press go. Amazingly, almost as if by an act of 21st century technology, the physical object turns virtual. Apply the Photon to reverse engineering projects, prototype development, object duplication, existing product modification, archiving, and, my favorite, experimentation. Now let me ask you this Matterform: I know the scan base has some size limitations, but do you think that if I scanned in segments I could achieve a respectable replica of my butt? I don't ask because I'm a perv or a narcissist, but because I truly believe that perfection should be preserved.
The Photon scanner's copy-and-transfer capabilities stem from its high definition camera and dual laser lines, which capture 3D scans in as little as 3 minutes. Objects up to 7-1/2" in diameter x 9-3/4" high are fair scanning game, and the Photon's (free) software was designed in conjunction with its hardware, so their integration is seamless and the process straightforward. Currently, models developed from the Photon are storable as .STL, .OBJ, and point cloud .PLY formats, but Matterform aims to establish 3D file compatibility with all major CAD packages, 3D modeling software, and 3D printers.
The Photon runs as an Indiegogo campaign through April 30, 2013.
Muchas danke to The Awesomer.
December 2013 Update: The Photon far exceeded its crowdfunding goal and is now available for direct purchase through the Matterform website--follow the link below.