Imagine being able to quickly scan almost any 3D object with a device the size of a large book, no power required and weighing about 2 kg. If only yesterday such an opportunity seemed fantastic, today it has become real thanks to the Drake wireless 3D scanner , launched on the market by the Moscow company Thor3D.
What is Drake
Thor3D Drake is a unique development without exaggeration. Using a handheld 3D scanner, you can scan with high accuracy any objects ranging in size from 1 cm to 8 m, then transfer the resulting files to a computer using USB or Wi-Fi and edit for further playback on a 3D printer . At the same time, the device is equipped with a rechargeable, replaceable battery, thanks to which it can be used anywhere – indoors, in transport, on the street, and, if necessary, even in space.
The scanner has an embedded computer system based on a multi-core processor and a high-precision 7-inch sensor-display, with which the result can be observed in real time throughout the entire scanning process. The built-in battery is rated for 90 minutes of continuous use, which is enough to digitize almost any desired number of items.
Special algorithms and patented mathematical methods allow the 3D scanner to handle even the most challenging surfaces with ease. Another unique feature of the model is a set of three interchangeable lens-objectives (so-called “heads”), each of which is used to digitize objects of various types and sizes.
Drake Lenses: From Coins to Plane
Detachable interchangeable lenses are an indispensable solution that turns a small handheld 3D scanner into a versatile all-purpose super device. As already mentioned, the set includes three lenses, each of which has its own name and purpose.
- Drake Mini is a lens designed to work with the smallest objects (the minimum size of a scanned object is 0.5-1 cm). The use of a mini-lens will allow achieving not only the maximum resolution (up to 0.15 mm), but also the unique accuracy of the result obtained (up to 40 microns).
- Drake Midi – “golden mean”. The lens is perfect for medium-sized objects up to 1 meter long, for example, with individual parts of the human body. The maximum accuracy is 70 microns.
- Drake Maxi is a removable “head” capable, if necessary, of quickly scanning not only a person in full growth, but also any object measuring up to 8 meters. Moreover, such a lens has the maximum field and depth of view. Accuracy – up to 150 microns.
Scan in two modes
Another plus of Thor3D Drake is the ability to work in one of two modes to choose from (with or without markers).
- 3D scanning with markers is the ability to digitize any object (up to the most complex) with incredible accuracy. There are several important advantages to using markers that are pre-placed on the site before starting work. In particular, such “marks” prevent the device from losing orientation during the scanning process, which will facilitate and speed up the workflow. In addition, markers almost completely eliminate geometric inaccuracies and provide guaranteed reliable operation of algorithms. The end result is an extremely accurate 3D printed model.
- Scanning without markers is carried out according to a simplified scheme and is used in cases where the accuracy is not critical. For example, very large objects are scanned in this way for their further transformation into many times smaller mini-models. In addition, without markers, a person and objects with a lot of geometry are scanned.
The creators of Drake have made sure that working with a 3D scanner is as simple and productive as possible. That is why, by default, each device is equipped with a set of specialized software Thor3D Suit, which includes two programs at once.
The first program is built into the scanner itself and automatically starts every time the device is turned on. The purpose of this software is to collect 3D data as quickly and easily as possible. It is thanks to the built-in program that the user has the ability to control the process using the touch screen. Despite the fact that the software provides only a few buttons and settings, such a seemingly “simplified” interface allows you to achieve, without exaggeration, brilliant results in the process of digitizing.
Among the useful functions of the built-in software are starting and stopping the scanning process, deleting unnecessary files from the hard disk, entering the preview mode, choosing a mode for working with or without markers, flexible adjustment of texture brightness and noise suppression level. Advanced users can adjust the sensitivity as they see fit, depending on the brightness of the ambient light.
The installed program
Software installed on a computer or laptop has even more amazing capabilities. The main task of Thor3D Suit is to edit and finalize the model after transferring files. A big plus here is that the program works in two modes and is designed for both relative beginners and sophisticated users.
- Simple mode is only 4 buttons that will not allow an inexperienced user to get confused in complex settings. The mod is recommended to be used in cases when in the process of work it is planned to digitize a large number of objects of the same type for subsequent printing on a 3D printer. In this case, it is enough to configure all the parameters once and then start the process with one button when importing a three-dimensional model from the scanner. Editing and finalization is done automatically.
- The Advanced (Advanced) mode opens up much more extensive possibilities and is designed specifically for the true 3D printing fanatic. In particular, using a professional mod, you can combine digitized frames, work with textures, minimize noise, and simplify the model. If necessary, the built-in tools will make it easy to get rid of unnecessary geometry elements, soften geometry in certain areas or throughout the model as a whole, adjust the sharpness or remove markers from the scan. Other super-features of the program include filling holes on any surface, creating sealed models, and exporting in 4 popular formats.
Thor3D Suit software is available in 6 languages. A nice bonus is the unlimited number of licenses.