First, let’s take a moment to clear something up – the app in question is not available just yet. It’s still in the development phase. Second, it’s not designed to work with a 3D printer, but to take 3D pictures and save them to your phone for sharing.
However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t work with a 3D printer. There are plenty of examples out there highlighting how images can be extracted from programs and apps and then transformed into 3D printed models. So, now that that’s cleared up, let’s look at the app in question.
3DAround — Scan Objects With Your Phone
The app’s name is 3DAround, and it does pretty much exactly what the name implies. Using the camera of your smartphone and the app, you’ll take a continuous series of images around the periphery of your subject.
You’ll capture your subject in a 360-degree inclusive field of view. Then, the app goes to work combining every single angle you shot into a complete 3D image.
The app was developed to work with food – food photography has become extremely popular on the internet. It’s everywhere, from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter.
Chances are good that you’ve got scads of juicy hamburgers, bacon-topped delights and sugary confections in your Facebook stream right now. Chances are equally good that you’ve taken a few food photos yourself.
The developers of 3DAround realized that while those photos are certainly delicious-looking, they could be so much more if only they weren’t two-dimensional. Thus, the idea for 3DAround was born.
There are a few caveats to understand here. First, 3DAround will only be available for Apple devices. Second, it will only work on devices running iOS 8. So, if you haven’t upgraded your operating system yet, or use a device that’s too old to qualify for the software upgrade, you’ll be out of luck.
If you own an Android device, you’ll also be out of luck. There’s no word yet as to whether the developer (Dacuda) will be releasing an Android version of the app, although that would seem like a no-brainer, considering the fact that Android is now more popular than Apple.
Will It Really Work with 3D Scanning?
The question of whether this could be the next revolution in 3D scanning is really up in the air. There’s a distinct possibility, but it will depend on the innovation of others outside the app developer.
Dacuda is only releasing this as a 3D photography app – it’s not designed to work with 3D printers. However, if the trend of modifying software and creating additional technology to extract necessary information from apps continues, you could see a solution for getting at that 3D image very shortly after the app goes live.
In short, 3DAround very well could become the only solution you need for 3D scanning on the go. Only time will tell if that’s true, though.