I’ve already written about 3D printers here, but what would a 3D printer be without the models on it and how can they be made? The method, which probably everyone knows, is to make the model with a CAD program. Here are resources for beginners like TinkerCad (free) or for experts (eg Fusion360). You can use it to make models and eventually turn them into a solid model that you can cut for your printer. Building complex models in a CAD program can take a long time. Also, it doesn’t always make sense to build something completely free, especially when it comes to existing items. The effort to measure it and then construct it from this data would be too great here – but there are solutions that make it easier to capture such objects – 3D scanners. With the Revopoint Pop 2, Revopoint offers such a scanner and I tested it.
The Revopoint Pop 2 is already the second generation of 3D scanners and is mainly aimed at beginners. It also features an improved projector and high-resolution cameras for more details. For those who want to know more, according to Revopoint, the system uses binoculars and microstructured light formula for high precision and texture scanning performance. A proprietary micro-projection chip is used, which ensures that the recorded points are captured with a high accuracy of 10 frames per second, achieving a frame accuracy of 0.1 mm. The data is calculated on an integrated chip. At the same time, the integrated 6-Dof gyroscope merges shapes, markers and color features into the generated point clouds.
What understood? Okay, that means translated: the POP-2 handheld scanner works with an infrared grid that is not visible to the human eye, which it places on the object and then photographs it again with two infrared cameras (10x per second). Another camera also records the surface. The images are calculated using the curvatures of the infrared grid and the distance between the two IR cameras, which is also known, to combine everything into a solid.
Delivery & Commissioning
I received the “Premium Package” for the test. The shipping box contains the following, packed in a sturdy bag: bag, POP 2 3D scanner, tripod, power bank, electric turntable, calibration board, smartphone holder, 2-in-1 mobile cable. USB-A / USB-C cable, quick installation guide, fabric that can be used as wallpaper, dots sticker, test bust.
Specifications Revopoint Pop 2
- Technology: Infrared structured light with dual camera
- CPU: Dual core ARM Cortex-A7
- Accuracy of detail: up to 0.1 mm
- Scan field size per image: 210 mm x 130 mm
- Working Distance: 150~400mm
- Minimum scan volume: 20 × 20 × 20 mm
- Scan speed: up to 10 fps
- Light source: Class 1 infrared laser
- Output format: PLY, OBJ, STL
- Texture scan: Yes
- Scanning outdoors: a cover to avoid ambient light is necessary.
- Scanner weight: 195g
- Scanner dimensions: 154.6 x 38.2 x 25.6 mm
- Compatible with: Windows 8/10, 64-bit, Android, iOS, macOS
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: 2.4GHz
- Connection: Micro USB
Connect and scan first
The scanner can be operated via smartphone (iOS or Android) or directly on the PC or Mac. If you use the scanner directly on the computer, it gets its power via the USB-C port. With a mobile device, you have to screw the supplied power bank between the tripod and the smartphone holder. I started my first scan attempt through my Mac, but it didn’t yield any useful results. After the switch to the smartphone things went a lot better.
For the first scan, I decided to scan the included bust. Place the bust in the center of the turntable and turn it on so that the object rotates evenly. Make sure the object to be scanned is evenly lit. If the areas to be scanned are too dark, the scanning process will fail or you will have artifacts in your scan that you must then laboriously remove. For the scan, you can comfortably place the handheld scanner on the mini tripod or move it slowly along the object in your hand. The app tells you if the distance is enough. You can also see in the app during the scanning process whether the object is properly aligned and which parts have already been scanned.
So much for the theory – in practice it wasn’t as simple as it sounds. Again and again I had holes in the scan or artifacts remained. On the one hand because it was too dark or I was moving the scanner too fast. This confuses the system and it no longer understands where to attach the captured image. After a few days of frustration, I became ambitious and went back to work. After a few tries I got the hang of it and the bust was scanned. The pause function is useful here, because it helps you if you have to change positions eg B. to prevent you “wild” capturing something you don’t want.
If something goes wrong, you can use the back button to reset and repeat the last steps. When you end the scan by clicking the stop button, the app starts calculating and connecting the captured images or point cloud. Depending on the object, this may take a few minutes. The calculated file can then be saved in PLY or OBJ format and then prepared for 3D printing in your slicer software.
As mentioned, it takes time to get the hang of it, but once it’s done it’s easy. Larger objects can also be detected. For this you need the attached point stickers, which are generously distributed on the part to be scanned, so that the scanner has fixed points to which it can attach adjacent images during the calculation. Revopoint does not provide exact information about the maximum size of the scan. The only limit is probably the amount of data.
things to watch out for
The results for matte, light and smaller objects are surprisingly good and excellent to process. Reflective and dark surfaces, which usually appear as holes in the scan, present a challenge. The software can optimize the scan and close the gaps, but it is better if you better prepare your object before scanning.
The scanning spray praised on forums is expensive. Alternatively, you can work with chalk spray or, if you want it even cheaper, with dry shampoo from the drugstore. This allows you to temporarily cover the surfaces to prevent reflections. but checks beforewhether this does not harm the object to be scanned. The lighting is also relevant – so don’t necessarily aim your lamp directly at the object. If nothing works anymore, you have the option to recalibrate the scanner with the supplied calibration board.
Revopoint POP 2 – Scan & Go
Face scanning is also possible thanks to an accompanying mode. However, the scanned person must remain still. You can also make a whole head with a steady hand. There are also users on various forums who scan entire people from head to toe using a huge turntable.
Thanks to the mobility of the scanner, there is almost no limit. Professionals use it to scan entire cars to recreate them, or works of art to preserve them for posterity. Here you will find some examples at Scan the World.
The POP 2 3D scanner and I had a rough start – so tough I wanted to tear it apart first in this review. But sometimes it’s worth putting things aside and starting over after a few days. The hardware is well made and looks good. It is also lightweight and portable enough to use anywhere. You can quickly scan objects up to the size of a fist if the points I mentioned are observed.
Such objects can be captured very well with the POP-2 scanner. Scanning people and larger objects, on the other hand, requires more skill and a steady hand. The included software also offers the possibility to correct minor errors before export or automatically close gaps.
In terms of price, the Revopoint Pop 2 at 800 euros is not a cheap purchase, but compared to other manufacturers it offers good value for money. Other 3D scanners with this data are priced much higher.
About our guest author:
Year 1976 – Early on the internet, never came out. Ein Ge.erd: Half nerd, half nerd // Writes quite a bit on the internet // Chief pilot at techkrams.de // Freelancer for all things digital.
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