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Volumental - The Cloud-Delivered 3D Scanning Service Supporting A Future Of Mass Customization

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - VSP (Volumental - The Cloud-Delivered 3D Scanning Service Supporting A Future Of Mass Customization)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-03-31

Volumental is currently building, and delivering, leading software technology that enables the 3D scanning of objects, (e.g. bodies), using both current and emerging camera technologies. The resulting accurate scans can be readily used by mainstream 3D software systems & packages.
Volumental is currently focusing on the mass customization market, even though Volumental technology itself is broadly applicable. Enabling technology development of mass customization in Europe offers the opportunity to move production products that touch the human body back to European markets as well as building technology leadership within fields such as 3D scanning and 3D printing.
The key differentiator for Volumental is that our proprietary software algorithms can produce high-accuracy 3D models using inexpensive hardware. Further on we excel in ease of use, having a cloud service and have a sustainable competitive advantage in the technology leadership our team has shown and continue to show.
For the Horizon 2020 project Volumental’s high-level goal is to turn our technology and prototypes into fully functional products in their final end-user configuration. This translates to taking the products to TRL 8. This will require significant R&D to achieve – mainly focused at improving robustness, free-hand accuracy, mobile phone scanning and API development. This R&D will result in additional inventions, so the project also aims to protect current and resulting inventions by analysing the current patent situation and filing relevant patents. The R&D in this project will follow an agile methodology and will be tightly linked to customer needs and envisioned products.
During the whole period of the project we have been focusing on the design and implementation of the software cloud platform, which will enable using low cost 3D scanning hardware and will provide high accuracy 3D models of scanned objects. We have been focusing in two market segments where mass customization of the products will have the biggest commercial potential in the near future:
Footwear
Recent anthropometric studies of human feet have shown large variation of foot shapes and proportions. Ill-fitting shoes are causing irreversible foot injuries therefore it’s very important that the shoes fit in shape and size. Latest developments in shoe production technologies (3D printing and robotic knitting) will make the fit customization commercially accessible to large number of customers. Having precise information about customers’ feet shapes and dimensions will play an important part of this process.
Eyewear
Ill-fitting glasses are causing various discomforts like slipping glasses, pain of the bridge of the nose, ears and temples. 3D printing technology has made the shape customization commercially available.
As the first part of WP4 – Platform, which is the technical core of the project, we have developed a platform accuracy based on a controlled hardware setup for each segment. For foot scanning 3D depth cameras were used to capture 3D surface of both feet. For face scanning RGB cameras were used to capture the frontal part of the head. Two separate controlled hardware setups have been used since the accuracy and ergonomics requirements are very different for scanning feet and faces.

By the end of the project Volumental instore foot scanners have been installed on 5 continents. Additional scanners are being produced, in 3 months more than 400 scanners will be installed in 31 countries.
Volumental instore scanners have shown to be a very profitable exploitable result of the project. What is even more important for Volumental is that the scanners are collecting large amount of foot data on 5 continents, which will be exploitable in two directions:
- Food data are extremely valuable for footwear brands. They are very interested in these data to be able to develop footwear, which will fit to specific foot types, shapes and dimensions of each market
- 3D data will be very valuable for developing a simple mobile scanning solution, which will be using only RGB cameras of smart phones
Enabling technology development of mass customization in Europe offers the opportunity to move production products that touch the human body back to European markets as well as building technology leadership within fields such as 3D scanning and 3D printing.
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