3D garbage model creation with your phone (WHL #61)
Virtual product review for today – an Android app that promises 3D model generation from just a bunch of photos. Extreme spoiler (yes, keyword placement for Google): It doesn’t work, and charging for it is basically a scam. It’s called Scann3D and it is brought to you by a company called SmartMobileVision in Hungary with a defunct website.
Ready for a quick marketing wank?
Scann3D deploys patent pending photogrammetry technology to enable true 3D model capture and reconstruction for smartphones and tablets. Your device becomes a standalone tool to turn images into 3D models – all your images are processed by and on it. The resulting 3D models can be stored, shared, and edited by 3rd party applications, and can be used in augmented or virtual reality applications.
I recently had the need to recreate a small plastic part that failed after just about 30 years of use. Delicate details, unfortunately black, likely injection moulded. Here’s what it looks like when photographed in my usual setup, but put on a rotating base that basically would be suitable for generating pictures that can be stitched together into a 3D model.
That, spoiler once again, didn’t work. It generally does not work with the free version of the app, and it also did not work with the paid version. It does not state what’s causing the model generation failure, it just tells you “tough titties, try again”.
Well, obviously I tried before, with my phone camera. The software even offers visual guidance for making correct spatial separation between the images, and it also failed. That time, I went around a well-lit table. Nope, not a chance. Crappy phone camera, but the free app demands direct image capture and does not allow for using existing images (which can be synced to the phone, of course). And it crashes a lot, which also forces you to start over
And I tried again, outside, with the phone. That’s a booklet underneath, with text but no structure on the front page, plus the marbled texture of the patio floor. Weird camera angles forced by the software, as once orientation is lost, one must return to the location of the first photo and start again.
23k vertices, capturing every speck of dust.
No objections, went straight to the printer.
Fuck off, you want 5.99€ a month for a software that makes THIS heap of shit? Or is that split 50:50 for the very exclusive option to actually export this in STL format?
Alright – since I missed the cancellation date of the paid subscription (3 day free trial) by mere minutes, I mailed the entire image set captured with my RX100 camera to the developer. That took 3 mails with HEAVY attachment sizes (my explanation was pretty light-weight in comparison). Sent another mail a couple days later to check progress. No reaction, not even an autoresponder that they got it.
Given an entirely useless model creation, frequent app crashes and no support is a pretty bad business model, I applied for a refund of that (usually non-refundable) subscription. It took Google less than three minutes to approve it – maybe the recent app rating crash had something to do with it. Well, recent might be a bit of an understatement – upon closer inspection, all those good ratings are old, like years old. Most recent app update was on December 23rd 2017, app requirements are Android 5 and up.
Looks like abandonware to me. Don’t fall for it, as of now, I’d classify this as a scam, but in principle this could work. If you have a working piece of software for such application, without the need for a carefully calibrated scanning setup, let me know in the comment section below. Can be paid as well, depending on the quality of the models.
As I do need the replacement part, I made my own in DesignSpark. Files as usual: RSDOC, exported STL, thingiverse. The thingiverse viewer still sucks and still hasn’t completed the third file of my #P29 upload over a month ago, plus the upload page is broken with pre-filled data, likely from other users (wtf…). Still, as this is a pretty small file, it did generate the preview…of the preview. The small one on the profile page. Guess that has to do for now. The part will be featured in another project post, as it is currently being printed in a variety of materials.
thingiverse is still free to use, so there’s that…