3D Scanners

DiY LiDAR and Scandy 3D scanning as Sony set to unveil 3D face scanning at MWC

With news that Sony is set to unveil its latest 3D scanning smartphone technology at Mobile World Congress Shanghai this week, we take a look at some of the other recent developments in this field.

Californian company Scanse has announced a new DIY LiDAR 3D scanning kit add-on to its original 2D scanner – Sweep. While elsewhere in New Orleans, mobile 3D scanning specialist Scandy is developing a 3D object scanner using Google’s Tango technology.

The rumoured 3D scanning software from Sony. Image via TechCrunch.
The rumoured 3D scanning software from Sony. Image via TechCrunch.

Democratizing 3D scanning

As Artec 3D’s Andrei Vakulenko explains in his article on the Future of 3D Printing bringing 3D scanning to the masses will be an important next step for the technology. It is hoped this accessibility will be enabled by an advancement in mobile scanners, which is also the aim of American company Scandy, although the quality of scanned data does not yet match high end professional 3D scanners – yet.

The Scandy "unicorn dog." Screencap via Scandy.
The Scandy “unicorn dog.” Screencap via Scandy.

Using Google’s 3D augmented reality software platform, Tango, Scandy has created an object scanning application inside smartphones. Known as Scandy Pro, the application is able to create usable meshes with Tango enabled phones.

However, Sony is expected to have developed its own version of the 3D scanning software which is set to be unveiled at this year’s MWC next week. The technology which uses a depth sensor is expected to be used for facial recognition software.

The scanning process. Image via PRNewsfoto/Scandy.

LiDAR scanning

3D scanning using LiDAR technology is also advancing and becoming more accessible to a wider audience.

LiDAR is a technique often used in outdoor scanning such as in architecture and for autonomous vehicles. However, the cost of accessing such hardware seems to be decreasing rapidly as Scanse have announced a $350 LiDAR add-on to its original Sweep scanner which also costs $350.

The DIY LiDAR is hoped to put the technology into the hands of makers who are unable to access expensive scanners.

The Sweep DIY LiDAR 3D scanning add on. Photo via Scanse.
The Sweep DIY LiDAR 3D scanning add on. Photo via Scanse.


In light of advancements in 3D scanning, the Walt Disney Company has recently published a patent for an anti-scanning filament to protect its 3D printed devices.

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Featured image show the Sony Xperia Premium.