There are scanners out there that are purpose-built to scan buildings or outdoor spaces, and there are others that are designed to scan static objects or even people. But – what if there was a low-cost 3D scanner that was capable of both?
Occipital has just announced the release of the Mark II Structure Sensor, a long-awaited follow-up to its original iPad-mounted Structure Sensor released in 2013. The Mark II is a significant upgrade, but maintains the small, portability of a sensor that can mount to several different iPad models.
The Mark II is just 65 grams in weight and 27 mm in height, and barely sticks out from the back surface of the iPad when mounted. The internal measurement unit (IMU) is combined with an ultra-wide angle camera and two infrared cameras. The built-in tracking camera provides a 160 degree ultra-wide vision.
Operating as close as .3m and as far as over 5m in range, the Mark II has the potential to be a jack-of-most-trades sensor for those who may need quick, reasonably accurate scans for smaller-scale projects. It is also capable of outdoor scans, something that the previous version could not do.
There are, of course, some trade-offs to the versatility in capture with such a low-cost 3D scanner. The Mark II can export scans to .OBJ files, but does so via its own software via email, so that might be an extra step that’s a bit clunky for those doing large-volume work.
If you use Skanect Pro (another software platform from Occipital), you can export STL, PLY, OBJ and VRML formats with color and texture options in per-vertex or texture UV. Skanect Pro can be used with a Structure Sensor and iPad through the wireless Uplink feature in the Structure app.
The new scanner can be pre-ordered from Structure’s website, and include the sensor, bracket for mounting, and even a tiny screwdriver to install it.