The Fuel3D handheld scanner has performed well during the first three days of its crowd funding campaign, nearly doubling its goal of $75,000. Based on medical imaging technology initially imagined at Oxford University, the Fuel3D combines stereo cameras and photometric imaging for advanced, high resolution, full color, handheld 3D scanning with point-and-shoot simplicity.

This is not a turntable scanner. You can't set an object on a rotating platform and get a 360° 3D scan. However, thanks to its handheld design, you can scan objects that are often too large or awkward for turntable systems. The scan is performed as a one-click 3D image capture, from one angle. The result is a 3D perspective point cloud mesh with color information that can immediately be imported into a 3D modeling program for association with a larger project. Multiple scans from multiple angles can also be taken and then stitched together or closed with 3rd party software such as Meshup, Majics, Geomagic or Meshlab. There are even pledges available that include Uformia's Meshup.

Fuel3D Sunflower Scan

Similar handheld scanning technology is available in professional circles, but at a greatly increased price of $10,000 - $30,000. The Fuel3D can be had for a pledge of under $1,000, until it is sold out. At least some of the cost difference is attributable to the hefty development expense of most professional systems' proprietary stitching/merging software. The Fuel3D also has the advantage of being directly derived from medical field technology already in use. The bulk of the R&D was done before the project started.