Software that allows your camera to capture 3D images

3D Modeling softwareUsing your regular camera and this software, you’ll be able to “scan” a 3D model out of a regular photograph and then print it on your home 3D printer. One of the more difficult aspects so far about using a 3D printer is the fact that you also need the 3D CAD files that you want to print. Most of us regular people don’t have access to CAD or know how to use it, so how can you copy that fork to complete your grandmothers set or duplicate the house key that you keep misplacing? This software allows you to turn a regular image into a 3D one that could then be translated into a printable file.

There was a time not long ago when digital image editing was something left to the experts. Then tools like iPhoto and Instagram came along and brought some of those capabilities to the masses. There’s still room for experts today, but for most of us, quick fixes and prepackaged effects are enough. These tools effectively democratized image editing. Tao Chen hopes that 3-Sweep, an incredible piece of software he created with a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University, can do the same for 3-D objects.

The video demo is genuinely jaw-dropping stuff. It takes us through a series of photographs, showing how with just a few clicks of the mouse, 3-Sweep can turn the objects inside them into resizable, turnaroundable 3-D models. The first two clicks establish the object’s profile; the third traces its main axis, with the software snapping intelligently to the object along the way, like a more sophisticated version of Photoshop’s magic lasso. The background of the image is filled in with something like Photoshop’s content-aware fill, allowing the object to be turned and repositioned anywhere in its environment. Basic shapes like beer bottles and jars are easy to pull out of their static surroundings, but we see how more complex objects, like water taps and telescopes, can be similarly mapped with just a little more legwork.

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Watch: Jaw-Dropping Software Makes 3-D Models From Any Photo | Wired Design |
Tao Chen hopes that 3-Sweep can finally democratize 3-D design.

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