With recent advances in 3D scanning and 3D printing we are at the advent of low-cost and easy-to-use 3D copying machines. While scanning objects is feasible today, existing commercial systems are either slow or rely on expensive equipment, require skilled users, and will often generate incomplete 3D geometry. The algorithms developed in the ERC project ConvexVision provide the foundations for easily scanning people and objects with minimal effort for direct printing of colored 3D models. This opens novel markets such as plastic surgery planning or 3D photography. Currently, the size of the industry for 3D printing equipment and services is estimated at around 2.4 billion Euro with an annual growth of 30% over the past five years. Assuming that in five years only one in a thousand photos is a 3D print, we will soon have an annual market of 2.5 million printed 3D objects. Therefore, this is the right time to bring this technology to market.
The aim of the proposed PoC project CopyMe3D is to develop software which creates high-resolution 3D models of people or objects from an RGB-D camera such as Microsoft Kinect. The goal is to develop an easy-to-use software that generates a printable, colored 3D model of the scanned object. In March 2013, Dr. Jürgen Sturm and the ERC Principal Investigator Prof. Daniel Cremers founded the university spin-off company FabliTec UG which offers a basic software tool for 3D scanning. While this first step into the market was successful, the support of the PoC project CopyMe3D will enable us to substantially advance this effort on three levels: Firstly, we will bring in convex super-resolution techniques developed in the ERC project ConvexVision to drastically increase the resolution of scanned 3D models. Secondly, we will integrate user feedback making the software more intuitive and easy to use. And thirdly, we will conduct a systematic market analysis in order to identify relevant market segments for 3D scanning technology.
Fields of science
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