Kinect 3D scans with Skanect

Cross-platform Kinect scanning

Upcoming version of Skanect

I’m a huge fan of the Microsoft Kinect, especially when using it to make 3D scans. It’s just a great bit hardware that gets repurposed again and again in interesting ways. Naturally, when I saw this new 3D scanning software the other day, I had to give it a whirl.

Skanect is a Kinect 3D scanning tool that works in Windows and OS X. In its current state, it appears to be best-suited for scanning a room, rather than a person or single object.

Newer (but currently unreleased) versions appear to make some decent people scans – like the one at the top of this post. That came from the official blog, which shows a series of gradually improving 3D models.

My own attempt at scanning a portion of my living room / work area got me a point cloud like this:

Room scan

What caused problems for me was that the optimum capture depth did not seem to be adjustable, which meant having to scan an area from pretty far away. Even with an extension cable on the Kinect, there was only so much maneuvering I could do in my apartment.

Still, if you’ve got a Mac and can’t use ReconstructMe, it’s worth a look. And like other Mac software that interfaces with the Kinect, installing Skanect is a one-step process. Contrast that with the Windows version which requires three driver installations and a reboot!

Hopefully a new version will be released soon. If you’d like to try Skanect for yourself, it is available on the official site here: http://skanect.manctl.com/

(via Fabbaloo)


Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.

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One Response to “Kinect 3D scans with Skanect”

  1. AndyL Says:

    I think optimum capture depth has to do with the hardware. The lens that projects the infrared pattern is not adjustable, so the resolution is fixed.

    I wonder if the after-market clip-on lens “Nyko Zoom” product would work, or if it would distort your scans too much.