3d scanning with Xbox Kinect & ReconstructMe

On the weekend, during the Vancouver Island Mini Maker Faire, we had a chance to finally play around with ReconstructMe. It’s software that allows you to create 3d models using the Microsoft Xbox Kinect Sensor.

Long story short, we can not believe how well it worked our first try:

3d scanning people at @vimakerfaire

The software was a little fussy to install…it’s Windows only and only supports certain videocards. I installed it on Windows 7 using BootCamp on my MacBook Pro with no problem.

It does require a fair amount of room…an unmodified Kinect seems to need about 5 feet from the subject to get a good scan. You can either mount it on a tripod and have the person spin on a chair or in our case, we used it mounted on a 3d printed grip that we moved around a stationary person:

The Hammerhead

You literally paint in the missing parts of the model as you move around the person. Grids and patterns on the clothing can cause issues…Dan’s hat had a grid on it and the Kinect went crazy when trying to scan him. He switched to a black hat and the problem went away.

We tried a number of different apps to cleanup the scans (which were surprisingly clean to begin with) including Meshlab and NetFabb Studio Basic. Both are free apps and work on all platforms. We seemed to have the best success with NetFabb to reorientate the model and create a proper bust by cutting off the bottom part of the scan with the cut tool.

Loaded the model into Replicator G:

ReconstructMe Kinect Scan

and ended up with a surprisingly printable bust with little fuss!

Does it look like me?

As you can see, the scan of me turned out quite well in this timelapse build video:

We started scanning everyone that would sit down for a minute at the Faire. Still can’t believe how well this works. We also discovered that you can get a used Kinect on Craigslist as cheap as $30 as nobody seems to be using them to play games. Pretty sweet for a 3d scanner!

We also tried scanning smaller objects without much success. The standard Kinect just can’t focus too closely so we’re going to try a lens modifier (like this) to shorten the focus distance of the Kinect.

Can’t wait to play with this some more.

One Comment

  1. Kevin Groce says:

    Please keep us posted ! :)

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