Robocular LLC is a Kenmore, WA start-up which is the brainchild of Antoine El Daher, a computer engineer and scientist who created the Robocular 3D scanner.
According to El Daher, Robocular is scanning for people unsatisfied with the existing solutions available for 3D scanning.
"Today, you can either buy a high-quality, but very expensive machine for several thousands of dollars, or you can buy a low-cost scanner but with low-mid accuracy components," El Dahler says. "Many high-resolution scanners don't even support color, let alone texture."
So in 2012, El Daher and his team decided to build a device which features the precision of very high end scanners that would be simple to use, and after ten different prototypes, he and his team are ready to unveil their solution.
The Robocular is built around a high accuracy line laser which projects a beam onto an object from various angles and various directions while turning the object around, constructing a 3D model based on what is visible to an HD camera. But the real secret is this: the Robocular scanner uses a high-precision turntable which rotates at about 4,000 steps per revolution. What this means is a scanner capable of collecting an amount of information comparable to taking 4,000 pictures of the object from various angles. The result is that a single model includes some 2-3 million points of information – for each pass. An enclosure insures that external light doesn't interfere with the green, low-divergence laser capable of capturing raw details at up to 150 microns.
Once a mesh is reconstructed, El Daher says the resultant scan will be even more accurate than most 3D printers can output. Scan volumes range from 7" x 7" for the "mini" version, up to 9" x 9" for the "standard" version.
In the standard version, the laser and camera can move up and down and the laser can be swept left to right. That means the device can take scans of an object from multiple angles and locations and recombine them to create a more complete look at the target version. The mini version uses two fixed lasers.
Files can then be exported to 3D editing software as OBJ, PLY, STL, XYZ – with full textures and color.
While Daher says most high quality scanners can cost upwards of $1,000, the most advanced version of the Robocular will be available for 799$. The mini option will be available for 599$. The Robocular uses in-house designed software to control the scanner, calibrate it and generate the point clouds and meshes in full color, full texture 3D models.
You can check out the Robocular Kickstarter campaign here...