A Whale of a 3D Scanner

Want a highly detailed, digital copy of that priceless Ming vase you’ve got stashed in the den? Scientists at Germany’s Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the folks at NEK Ltd. have a solution for you: the OracaM, a massive 3D scanner that can produce 3D scans with detailed color and texture of objects up to 80 cm wide and as heavy as 100 kg.

The sphere-shaped Orbital Camera System uses seven cameras, a projector and spotlights to simultaneously capture images and reconstruct an object digitally, with sub-millimeter accuracy. And the whole thing is highly automated; users don’t have to calibrate the cameras and lights.

According to NEK’s website:

The processing of the individual images and the reconstruction of a 3D geometry is performed using specialized software developed at the DFKI GmbH. The reconstruction method used for this process is based on the “structured light” principle, where the object is illuminated by special patterns. Based on the deformation of such patterns, acquired by multiple cameras, the geometry of individual surface points can be computed using triangulation.

NEK thinks museums could use the scanner to create digital copies of art and artifacts. The Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern presented OrcaM-scanned objects during an event in November.

You can watch some OrcaM demonstration videos below:

Source: NEK

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