The Inexpensive Phiz Tabletop 3D Scanner
The Phiz tabletop 3D scanner [Source: KIRI Innovation]
I’m looking at a new inexpensive tabletop 3D scanner today, the Phiz.
There are plenty of tabletop 3D scanners available these days, and typically they are configured as follows:
An automatically rotating turntable
A light system to illuminate the object, perhaps a laser or structured light system
A camera system to capture reflected light
Software to interpret the capture and develop an actual 3D model
Most of these systems are much the same and offer similar results. They also tend to carry similar prices.
Phiz Desktop 3D Scanner
Toronto-based KIRI Innovations seems to be taking a slightly different approach by leveraging existing hardware.
The Phiz 3D scanner includes a turntable and light source, but no camera. Instead, they repurpose an existing camera you likely already have. The system can use either your laptop’s webcam or a smartphone camera.
The Phiz 3D scanner involves a clip-on laser light source [Source: KIRI Innovation]
The light source used by the Phiz 3D scanner is a laser, but don’t be afraid — this one is an eye-safe green laser. You can adjust its focus to ensure it is able to handle objects at differing distances from the camera.
The system works like this:
You clip the Phiz light source on the laptop bezel, near — but not covering — the webcam
Place the turntable in front of the laptop in view of the camera and Phiz light source
Place the object to be scanned on the turntable. Objects can be as small as 10mm or up to 1m in size
The Phiz software on the laptop controls all elements to capture a point cloud
A watertight mesh is prepared from the point cloud using the Phiz AI algorithm
Here is a video of the system:
Phiz 3D Scanner Performance
KIRI Innovation says the Phiz can produce a 3D model in less than three minutes at a resolution of mm.
That’s pretty decent resolution for larger objects, but may be problematic for small 1cm objects. On the other hand, three minutes of processing is quite fast. They also say the system can generate point clouds up to m in size.
The Phiz 3D scanner lighting up an object with its laser [Source: KIRI Innovation]
After watching the video you may think that the Phiz 3D scanner can only capture geometry and not color textures due to the manner of laser projection. That is indeed the case. However, KIRI Innovation also offers a “Pro” version that includes something they call “smart lighting” which enables capture of color textures from the object.
The result is a fully watertight “3D printable” object. In fact, they say you can send the 3D model directly to your 3D printer, although it is not clear how that is done.
Phiz 3D Scanner Pricing & Availability
The Phiz 3D Scanner is not yet available for order, although it (or prototypes) have been presented to the public at recent Makerfaire events. You can sign up for updates on KIRI Innovation’s website.
The major feature of the Phiz 3D scanner seems to be the price level, but unfortunately the company does not publish any pricing on their site. It would seem reasonable that the price level is a bit lower as there is less hardware involved, but it would be nice to know the actual price. We reached out to the company for comment and received some information from their CEO, Jack Wang.
Wang explained they intend on launching a Kickstarter in late September of this year for both the Lite (laptop) and Pro versions of the Phiz 3D scanner.
The early-bird pricing for these two will be the ridiculously low prices of US$ and US$, respectively. That is indeed very low pricing. However, after the limited quantities of early bird units runs out, the prices will rise to US$ and US$, respectively, for the remainder of the launch period. After that you’re looking at US$ and US$ for each unit.
One very interesting thing Wang mentioned is that they intend on partnering with Anet, the well-known Asian manufacturer of inexpensive 3D printers. They intend on offering a bundling option during the Kickstarter where you can obtain a Phiz 3D scanner paired with any of Anet’s current line of machines at a discount. For example, you will apparently be able to pick up a Phiz 3D scanner with an Anet N4 resin 3D printer for only US$ in total; that’s about the price of the N4 itself!
If you’re in the market for a tabletop 3D scanner, you might want to keep an eye on this.
Via KIRI Innovation (Hat tip to Randy)
The 3D Printer Bee
Besides many test devices, Martin now has his fourth own 3D printer running and prints as a hobby for friends, family and himself. He is happy to share his experience with each new article.
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Disclosure: Links marked with * are Affiliate Links. I earn from qualifying purchases if you decide to make a purchase through these links – at no additional cost for you!
The Phiz 3D Scanner from Kiri Innovation* brings 3D scanning technology into your home. Using a new patented technology and powerful artificial intelligence, it is possible to split the 3D scanner into a laser, a turntable and a smartphone. The result is an affordable 3D scanner for the hobbyist.
Due to the low cost compared to industrial 3D scanners and the amazingly good results, you get a very good price-performance ratio.
In this review I will show you how the Phiz 3D Scanner works, how to use it and what results you can get with it. I scanned some objects to test the performance.
- Smartphone assisted 3D scanner
- 3D printer compatible
- up to mm accuracy
- Scan volumes from 50 x 50 x 50 mm to x x mm
- Scan time approx. minutes (depending on settings and smartphone)
- easy to use: after experiments you get the hang of it
Who Should Buy the Phiz 3D Scanner?
The Phiz 3D scanner is suitable for those who want to 3D scan at a low cost. The accuracy is suitable for objects between 50 and mm height and normal to little details. For reflective, transparent or small objects with a lot of details, the device reaches its limits.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Phiz 3D Scanner
- high accuracy
- fast scanning
- very affordable
- easy operation
- smart AI
- compatible with 3D printers
- scan quality partly dependent on smartphone
- not suitable for small objects (< 50 mm) with many details
Scope of Delivery
Phiz 3D Scanner
The Phiz 3D Scanner* comes in a nice box. It is about the size of a shoebox and contains the following things:
- Phiz Beacon
(here the smartphone is mounted and the laser beam is emitted)
- Phiz Turntable
(the object to be scanned will be placed on this turntable later)
- USB Type C cable for charging
- Instruction manual
Phiz 3D Scanner
Normal 3D scanners need a light source, a turntable, a camera and a powerful processor with suitable software. The Phiz 3D Scanner uses the camera and CPU of your smartphone and thus saves a lot of costs. Modern smartphones now have very good cameras and powerful CPUs to enable 3D scanning without their own processing unit and camera.
So the components of the Phiz 3D scanner are as follows:
- Light source = laser on the Phiz Beacon
- Turntable = Phiz Turntable
- Camera = camera of your smartphone
- CPU = processor(s) of your smartphone
- Software = 3DScanLink app on your smartphone (iOS & Android)
Besides outsourcing the camera and CPU to your smartphone, what makes the Phiz 3D scanner special is the software. With normal 3D scanners, it is important that the distance between the light source, camera and turntable is always the same, so that you can determine the shape of the scanned object by triangulation.
With the new patented technology of Kiri Innovation, it is no longer necessary that the distances are constant. Therefore, it is possible that you use your own smartphone and that the Phiz Beacon and the Phiz Turntable are separate from each other.
The sophisticated artificial intelligence (machine learning algorithm) then intelligently merges the scanned image.
Even though its all very complicated, in practice its quite simple! The app is very intuitive and the user guide tells you exactly how to position everything to achieve perfect results.
Phiz 3D Scanner
The powerful AI of the Phiz 3D scanner can process millions of data points. It also calculates the exact position of the object, laser and camera, resulting in high spatial accuracy.
Compatible with many Smartphones
All newer smartphones (from iOS 12 and Android ) are supported by the Phiz 3D Scanner. Older smartphones are not compatible with the software, their camera and CPU performance are not sufficient for 3D scanning. Conversely, the quality of the scan is also somewhat dependent on the quality of the camera and the performance of the processor of your smartphone.
After the 3D scanner has scanned the shape of the object, it moves around the object a second time to detect the color. The result is a scanned, colored object.
Since the exported file can be used with a CAD program, you can still edit the scanned object. Artifacts can be removed and details can be improved.
Phiz 3D Scanner
The combination of easy-to-understand instructions and an intuitive app is ideal. After youve scanned once or twice, you dont need instructions anymore!
If you do need a little more help, there are plenty of video tutorials like this one:
Operating the hardware is pretty simple with a total of three buttons and a rotary wheel.
- Phiz Beacon:
- On/Off switch
- Button to clamp and release the smartphone
- Rotary wheel to adjust the focus of the laser
- Phiz Turntable:
The mechanism for clamping the smartphone is operated via a single button. When you hold it down, the head moves up. If you then release it and press and hold it again, it moves down again.
The mechanism automatically detects when it has clamped the smartphone and stops. After that, your smartphone sits firmly in the Phiz Beacon.
As already mentioned, the associated app is very intuitive to use. It is available for Android and iOS.
Once you have registered, you can also directly start and connect your Phiz 3D scanner. The app notices that you have never connected to the device before and gives you a video tutorial for each step.
These tutorials are really easy to understand and repeatable. Even in the later course of operation, short descriptions are always displayed and small videos are played so that you always know what you have to do.
Phiz 3D Scanner
In the hands-on test, the Phiz 3D scanner made a very good impression. The very simple operation just described made it extremely easy to get started. Only a few minutes passed between unpacking and starting the first scan.
I tested the device in the highest quality settings. The results are impressive, as you can see in the following gallery.
Only with very small and detailed objects did Kiri Innovations 3D scanner reach its limits. There you could see that the details were not well noticeable. But here I am probably a bit too picky because a resolution of mm is already really very good.
The artifacts that can still be seen in the point cloud are removed or compensated for by the software during export. The result is a smooth surface. The export options are designed so that you can set the level of detail yourself.
Fields of Application
Phiz 3D Scanner
All scanned objects can be exported as .STL and .OBJ. These file formats are used by all popular slicers. The combination of a 3D scanner and a 3D printer allows you to literally copy objects!
The affordable price and ease of use make the Phiz 3D scanner ideal for schools and universities. The ability to create a 3D model with just a few clicks inspires young people and promotes their technical understanding and use of new technology.
As in many other creative fields, inspiration is very important in 3D design. With a 3D scanner, you can bring your inspiration directly into your 3D program and build on it. This makes the process of creating new 3D worlds much easier.
Phiz 3D Scanner
- Scan time: minutes
(depending on selected resolution and smartphone used)
- Accuracy: up to mm
- Max. Scan volume: x x mm
- Min. scan volume: 50 x 50 x 50 mm
- Max. Weight on turntable: 2 kg
- Point cloud resolution: Up to 1 million vertices
- Export format: STL, OBJ, PLY
- Weight: 1,65 kg
- Size Phiz Beacon: x x mm
- Size Phiz Turntable: x x mm
- Battery life: hours
- Laser: 5 mW, nm
- Volume: 20 dB
- Compatibility: from iOS 12 and Android
- Language: English and Simplified Chinese
Disclosure: This website is the property of Martin Lütkemeyer and is operated by Martin Lütkemeyer. Martin Lütkemeyer is a member of the Amazon Services LLC and other Affiliate Programs. These are affiliate advertising programs designed to enable websites to earn advertising revenue through advertising and linking to Amazon.com and others. Links marked with * are affiliate links.
Phiz Smartphone Powered Laser 3D Scanner
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