If you’ve ever seen the classic 1982 movie Tron, you might recall the scene where Jeff Bridge’s character accidentally gets sucked into the video game. A big machine uses a laser beam to scan each part of his body into the computer, creating a digital duplicate piece by piece.
This was pretty futuristic stuff at the time. To create a digital copy of something from the real world was something only a sci-fi movie could pull off.
Creality is a crowdfunding success story that has raised millions of dollars for their line of 3D printers. With the CR-Scan Lizard, the brand is moving into the other side of the 3D pipeline – creating the models to print in the first place.
The device is able to visually scan real objects, people and more thanks to an array of advanced optical sensors and custom software. Two cameras work in unison side by side to get a stereoscopic view of the object (just like our eyes).
That footage is then combined with a near-infrared sensor in the middle that is able to precisely scan every inch of the object.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to potential applications. You could scan a broken or old part and print a replacement. Antiques could be preserved through digital copies that never chip. You could even scan your own face and make yourself into an action figure.
The ultimate 3D printing companion tool
Despite its technical capabilities, Creality’s CR-Scan Lizard looks remarkably simple to use. The device plugs into a computer via USB just like a webcam. An optional tripod stand and turntable are available, but you can also hold the scanner in your hand.
By slowly panning the device around the object you’d like to scan, you get real time feedback through the paired software.
A complete 3D model takes only a few minutes to generate and is accurate down to 0.05mm (less than a human hair!).
If you’d like to send your digital scan to a 3D printer, Creality’s CR Studio software supports multi-positional auto-alignment, auto-noise removal, auto-model simplified topology, auto-hole filling, and auto-texture mapping.
It can also export to other popular programs like Blender, Maya, Fusion 360 and others.
Where to buy the Creality CR-Scan Lizard
Creality’s Kickstarter campaign is currently $1.6 million over their initial funding goal with 25 days to go. The cheapest reward is currently the $329 standard package which includes the CR-Scan Lizard and necessary cables.
For $384 backers can get the tripod, turntable and carrying case too.