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3d scanner for iPad

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Have any of you used the Structure 3d Scanner for iPad?


I may need to make a mold of a big terra cotta Scamozzi column cap and cast a concrete reproduction to replace a missing one elsewhere on a historic landmark building. This is difficult mold work up on a scaffold. If I could scan the cap, modify the 3d data file, and print the mold that would be fantastic! But I can't tell if this scanner can capture correct detail or shape.

Scanner produces obj and ply files. No import in vwx, so Rhino? or C4D? Or?

Any comment appreciated.


PS, vwx challenge: Model a scamozzi column cap. It's tough!


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Hi Benson,

John Biehler, who runs our local 3D printing group and is a tech writer, did a mini review here - http://johnbiehler.com/2014/06/19/hands-structure-3d-scanner/

I suspect you might get a fairly useable scan. I have used Skanect, the software that pairs with it, with a Kinect to do some scans. It does some pretty good reconstructs.

The Structure 3d scanner is the same as the iSense scanner sold by 3D Systems (they are rebranding Structures). The software there is a little different. I'm not sure if it can use the Skanect software or if its locked out.

I preordered a Structure back last December but they haven't started shipping the non Kickstarter ones yet.

I've used C4D to open and work with the OBJ files from Skanect.


Edited by Kevin McAllister
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Just a possibility:

If this terra cotta capital is in Seattle, it might well have been made by Gladding McBean (Terra Cotta) in California. They still exist and have retained some of their historic molds. They may have other resources (2d,3d?), or know of people who've had to recreate molds / casts of same or similar capitals.

Gladding McBean

Corporate Headquarters

601 7th Street

Lincoln, CA 95648-1828

Phone: 800-776-1133

Manager, Architectural Products: Jamie Farnham

E-mail: jamie.farnham@paccoast.com

- Carl Burns

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it might well have been made by Gladding McBean

Thanks, Carl - We checked with Gladding and Valley. I used to do lots of this kind of reproduction. The historic molds and parts are almost never available. Or at least are too difficult to identify. Or maybe these reproduction parts cost too much? The landmark boards, owners and contractors seem less insistent on terra cotta. Aluminum, concrete, poly resins are all the rage. Alpha plaster hybrids are even in play for some projects.


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Thanks for report of your tests with the the Kinect. That's encouraging.

I read John Bieher's review. Good info.

This was confusing:

Currently, the only way to perform a 3D scan is to use the Uplink feature of the iOS app to connect to a computer on the same wifi network and pair with Skanect running on a computer. This is wireless scanning! So much better than using a Kinect or Sense scanner with long USB cords.

I thought it stored on the device for later upload or wifi'd direct to the cloud rather than to an intermediary computer. Need for a paired computer would be a problem for the job site. The ITseez software (A Russian app for the sensor) might offer options for local storage. More to research.

Also, the promos only show iPads. Good to know it can clamp to an iPhone 5s.

Anyway, I always appreciate your deep knowledge on 3d.


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