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3D scanning the human body down to the finest details

3D scanning the human body down to the finest details

We are now over 7.5 billion people on Earth and, although some individuals are quite similar, no two people are exactly the same. With so many different faces, it’s no surprise that, over the course of evolution, the human brain has become a real Jedi master at recognizing the finest of details that set faces apart. This is likely the reason why we can usually easily distinguish an actual famous actor from a wax reproduction; our brains just figure it out! In order to be convincing, a statue made from a 3D scan needs to be accurate and have a high geometry resolution.

Improving the quality of 3D scans was a goal that incited USIMM to use peel 3d. Specialized in the machining of non-metallic materials, the company constantly deals with artistic projects and wanted to demonstrate the evolution of its CNC capabilities by comparing the results its team obtained from machining the 3D shape of an employee a few years ago to what they obtained today.

Scanning a living person is particularly tricky, according to Ms. Lea Lepage. “The scanners are typically very sensitive to micro movements, including something as subtle as breathing. It is therefore very challenging to scan a person.” To accomplish this feat, the USIMM team required a scanner that could tolerate a certain amount of movement—all while keeping a high level of resolution and accuracy in check. With a resolution of up to 0,5mm and a volumetric accuracy of 0,5mm/m; this is precisely what the peel 3d scanner had to offer.

They took the same employee, put him is a similar pose and proceeded with the scan, the same way they did a few years back. Once the scan completed, USIMM sent the 3D scan data obtained to their 5 axis CNC machine and made a full-size polystyrene reproduction of the employee. The results were incredibly stunning.


Figure 1: Machined 3D scan obtained in 2013 with a Kinect (left) vs 3D scan obtained with a peel 3d scanner (right) 

The scan previously made with a Skanect machine did not compare with the results generated with peel 3d. “There was quite a big difference between the previous and current project,” said Lea. The new statue was much more realistic and more accurately represented reality. This test was very successful and is sure to convince a lot of USIMM’s potential new customers interested in having their own bodies turned into actual statues!