You know how it is: You’re out somewhere and the one item you’ve always wanted to 3D print just drops out of the sky. What do you do, hotshot?
If you’re Microsoft Research, MobileFusion is the answer. You just whip out your smartphone and scan that elusive object using nothing more than an app and the camera that was shipped with the phone. That’s all. No other scanning software or special equipment, just a phone and a steady-ish hand.
Most of the work is being done at a software level, with the phone comparing the object at various angles in order to create the impromptu 3D model.
It’s not detailed enough to really impress anyone until you point out that it was all done with a smartphone and the 3D models that MobileFusion creates can indeed be used by 3D printers so you can actually print whatever it is that you’ve found. The model could also be used for augmented reality games and so on.
This is one of Microsoft Research’s projects that will hit the market at some point. The experimental division is just working on making sure that the app works on most platforms before letting it out.
Source: Microsoft Research