Capture a 3D image of a moving object in less than a second with the Fuel3D Scanify 3D scanner

Fuel3D showcases at CES 2015 a point-and-shoot 3D scanner, called Scanify, that can capture a 3D image in less than a second and also works on objects that might move during the capture.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
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The Sanify 3D scanner from Fuel3D showcased at CES 2015. Dong Ngo/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- Making a 3D scan is now as easy as taking a photo. Case in point: the all-new Scanify 3D scanner that Fuel3D showcased Monday at CES 2015.

This is a handheld point-and-shoot 3D scanner that makes a 3D scan of an object in less than a second.

According to Fuel3D, the Scanify is the world's first 3D scanner that combines precalibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging to capture a 3D image in a tenth of a second. And from the demo, the process of making a 3D scan is very similar to taking a photo with a digital camera.

The Scanify looks very different from a camera, however. It's shaped somewhat like a steering wheel for a racing video game. On this wheel, there are two camera lenses and three sensors to measure and capture the object as a 3D image instead of a 2D image.

For this reason, in a single scan, it can only make a replica of the front of the object, and not the back side. The advantage, however, is the fact you can easily capture any object, not just those that can fit in the scan platform as is the case with traditional 3D scanners. On top of that, the Scanify can also capture 3D images of object that are not completely still, such as a person or an animal. You do need a small target under target for the device to establish the 3D baseline, however.

The Scanify 3D scanner being demoed at CES 2015 with your truely as the object. Note the target I was holding. Scanify

Fuel3D says the Scanify can capture color detail down to 350 microns (0.35mm). And from the demo, the captured 3D image indeed had great details, just like a photo taken by a good digital camera.

While it took the Scanify just a fraction of a second to take the photo, the captured image needs to be processed by the Fuel3D Studio software before you can get the final 3D image. This process takes from just 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on the object. This file can then be exported into one of three common file types, STL, OBJ or PLY, which can then be used with any consumer-grade 3D printers and most other 3D processing software applications on the market, including high-end packages from companies such as Autodesk and open-source tools such as Meshlab.

The Scanify 3D scanner is available for preorder now for $1,490 (£950, AUD $1,820) and will start shipping in the second quarter of the year.