HP scanner for 3D objects but not a 3D scanner

While it’s not truly a 3D scanner, it looks useful.

HP recently announced the TopShot, their newest multifunctional printer/scanner/copy machine. What makes this particular model special is the addition of a “3D scanner.” It’s not what someone who is familiar with CAD/CAM would call a 3D scanner. Instead, it produces a regular photo of an object in an unconventional way that could be pretty useful.

I get the impression from HP’s advertising video (below) that they struggled a bit with what to call it. It’s a scanner designed for 3D objects, but it doesn’t generate 3D data. Basically, it takes several pictures from different angles and composites them together into one image.

The appeal of this is that it could be an extremely easy way to produce a high quality, well-lit image of a small object. HP is even specifically marketing this to people who sell things online (like our very own Ponoko Showroom).

Via designboom

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Fred Schechter

Thank you for pointing out this is a camera. It took some hunting from the original press release to realize this. I’m glad others are beginning to note what it does. It is however likely that some interesting image styles can be created, and also likely that there can be some hacks down the road to generate 3d info (but that’ll remain to be seen if anyone can pull a point cloud out of it.)

I wish that somewhere they would say maximum dimensions for an object to be scanned. For product shots, assuming this actually does a good job, it would be worth its weight in gold. (Drop a new item on the scanner, push a button and have a photo done and uploaded? Hells yes! Product shots are a giant pain in the a$$. Good ones and getting them edited and online even more so.)

Taylor Gilbert

Based purely on the appearance, it looks like the scanning bed is roughly the size of letter paper (8.5″ x 11″).

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