FastSCAN Gets Smaller and More Accurate
FASTSCAN, the non-contact digitiser for fast scanning 3D objects from Polhemus, has just got smaller and more accurate. As Europe’s foremost Virtual Reality Company, Virtalis is the distributor for the FastSCAN in the UK.
David Hendon, Systems and Products Sales Manager at Virtalis, explained: “FastSCAN has two variants, the Cobra, which has a single camera, and the Scorpion, which has two. Both now boast an absolute accuracy of 0.178 mm. In addition, the electronics unit is smaller and so much more portable.”
The portability of the FastSCAN is of vital importance to a team carrying out facial reconstruction at The University of Dundee. Next month, a member of the team will take their FastSCAN to Tennessee to carry out research into facial anthropology.
Caroline Needham, Research Assistant in Forensic and Medical Art, explained: “We adopted digital technology largely because of the positive results we got when we began using SensAble FreeForm software. It enabled us to sculpt a reconstruction of Bach’s face. We also realised that digital methods are completely non invasive. This aspect becomes very significant when the remains you are dealing with are in poor condition. We recently worked on some Viking skulls that were paper thin and our use of the FastSCAN meant we barely had to touch them. Also, once we have the digital data, we can recreate them, thanks to digital printing.“
FastSCAN software is extremely easy to use, a fact acknowledged by Caroline. “It only takes me a few minutes to teach our students”, she said. She and her colleagues are now using the system to carry out research as part of a project to determine whether people can still be recognised without information on their colouring.
FastSCAN models can be viewed in real-time as a point cloud, a wireframe, or as a smooth shaded image. The scanner works by casting laser light over an object, while the camera on the wand views the laser to record a cross sectional profile of that object. The embedded FASTRAK is used to determine the position and orientation of the wand, enabling the computer to reconstruct the full, 3D surface of the object. The FastSCAN Cobra costs from £11,400 making it the most cost effective and user-friendly method of accurately creating 3D digital models from real life objects.