3D scanning is a wonderful technology that is extremely useful in a wide range of industries. Instead of having to meticulously model a person or item, you can simply scan it to create a digital 3D model. But as it stands, the technology has serious drawbacks. You can only choose two of the following: speed, fidelity, or cost. DIY solutions and software that stitches together photos are relatively affordable and fast, but have poor quality. Pixello is a new 3D scanner design that has all three characteristics, and you can back it through Kickstarter now.
The Pixello crowdfunding campaign just launched on Kickstarter today, and it has a long way to go to meet the lofty $440,000 funding goal. They plan to reach that by offering 3D scanning services with the Raspberry Pi-based 3D scanner they designed. The hope is to have many Pixello 3D scanners scattered around the world, so that you can find one that is convenient for you. You can get a scan done of yourself and have it 3D-printed or use the digital model for some other purpose, such as a video game avatar. There are SDK options already for Unreal Engine and Unity, and others are planned for the future.
They’re able to achieve speed, fidelity, and a relatively low cost by building the Pixello 3D scanner with a bunch of Raspberry Pis. There are a total of 220 boards arranged around the perimeter of the Pixello machine, each with their own camera module. A custom set of Pi POE Switch HATs from Pi Supply are used to combine power and networking to minimize the cost and complexity. The Raspberry Pis can all snap their photos simultaneously, and then the custom Pixello software algorithms can generate a 3D model within just a few minutes.
The Pixello Kickstarter campaign will be running until March 28th, and early birds can get a single scan for $10 (starting in December). There are also options to get a 3D-printed full-color statue of yourself, and those should be ready for delivery in March of 2021.