Whether you're an architect or interior designer, one of the hardest part of everyday work is creating a base 3D rendering of an existing project site for your customer. Creating a 3D rendering on AutoCAD, is often an integral part of the entire process as it provides the client with a clearer understanding of the proposed design style and renovation planned. Heck... it definitely beats listening to someone asking you to imagine the proposed end result.
One company has created a 3D scanner equipped with an infrared transmitter and sensor which easily clips on to your iPad and plugs into its Lightning port. Occipital's Structure sensor is a simple but somewhat bulky addition to your iPad that can help create 3D scans not just of spaces but also of items you would like to 3D-print. While this product is not exactly new in the market, Occipital has been diligently working to make this product easier to use.
The result of this is the introduction is a new iOS app called Canvas which is designed to allow you to sweep your iPad across rooms and create instantly a raw 3D map of the space. The app guides you through the scan, overlaying the already-scanned parts with a filter to show you if a spot has been missed. Once completed, you immediately see a raw 3D model of the space in the app and also the distances between objects; all without having to even use a measuring tape!
But what's even more interesting is the "Scan to CAD" feature incorporated into the Canvas app. The rendering is not done on the iPad itself but sent via the app to a computer with better processing power to properly render the spaces and then output the finished CAD files which are then emailed back to your email account within 48 hours with a fee charged for each room rendered. According to Occipital Labs co-founder Jeff Powers, to scan a eight-room home takes about 30 minutes with Structure, while manual measurements could run up to about seven hours.
However Occipital's Structure comes with a hefty price tag of USD380 while an optional wide-angle attachment comes at an additional USD20 and is not really suited for the average homeowner who just wants to use this for a one-off home renovation. With professionals being the key target of Occipital's Structure sensor, users have the option to save the raw CAD file or send the captured spaces to be processed via the "Scan to CAD" feature at a cost of USD29 per room. The benefit is a fine balance between cost incurred versus time saved on manually creating the renderings of each individual space.
We'll be posting a video to our Facebook fanpage so don't forget to follow us and find out more about the Occipital Structure sensor and Canvas app or click here if you're looking to get your hands on this nifty gadget.