The DMC can print items up to 28.5L x 15.3W x 15.5H cm (11.2 x 6.0 x 6.1in).
All 3D printing projects are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Time to completion will depend on demand and complexity of the print. 3D printing is a lengthy process, so please be sure to allow sufficient time between submission and when the project is needed. Please allow a minimum of 3 business days for processing and printing. After you upload a print, the DMC will contact you by the next business day with a price estimate and the expected completion date and time.
The Matter and Form 3D Scanner
Now available in the
Digital Media Center
How the Matter and Form Scanner Works
The Matter and Form 3D Scanner is a laser-based scanner. Laser scanners work by shining a laser at an object, using a camera to capture data that is returned from the laser hitting the surface of an object and then using software to stitch all that data together. On the Matter and Form scanner, as the lasers pass over the surface of an object, data is generated at a rate of approximately 2,000 points per second. This data is comprised of thousands of individual points that record things like surface detail, distance from the camera, texture, and color. These thousands of points, when viewed collectively, form a “point cloud” that is a direct representation of the scanned object.
The scanner is very good at capturing organic shapes. Curves, surface detail and outer geometry scan very well. Deep depressions and overlapping features, however, are difficult for the scanner to capture accurately. For example, it would be able to scan the outside of a drinking straw but not all the empty space on the inside of the straw. Like a photo camera, the scanner can only capture what is in its field of view.
What Happens During a Scan
The scanner uses two lasers to scan small to medium sized objects placed on its rotating bed. One rotation provides 360° coverage of an object. For some small objects, one full rotation (or pass) is enough to scan the whole thing. In order to capture larger objects, the scanner’s head rises and automatically detects whether there is more of the object to scan. Like building a virtual layer cake, the scanner continues additional passes until the full height of the object is captured.
During the scan, the bed will rotate forward, but will also sometimes rotate back. This is by design and is called Adaptive Scanning. Its purpose is to capture as much of the object as is physically possible. As new sets of points are captured, the distance between them and the previously-captured set of points is calculated. If too much distance has been detected between the last recorded point, the scanner “backs-up” and re-scans the areas between the two sets of points in an attempt to fill in that distance with additional data.