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3D Scanners and their Economic Feasibility


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These slides use concepts from my (Jeff Funk) course entitled analyzing hi-tech opportunities to analyze how the economic feasibility of 3D scanners is becoming better through improvements in lasers, camera ICs, and processor ICs. 3D scanning is both a complement to 3D printing and a technology with its own unique applications. 3D printing of complex objects can be done from a CAD database or from a 3D scan where a 3D scan can be done with laser or other sources of white light such as LEDs.
3D scanning can also be done for other purposes. For example, scientists and engineers are using 3D scanners to survey archeological, construction, crime scene, and engineering sites, to document maintenance and repair of engineered systems, and to customize medical and dental products for humans. Improvements in lasers, LEDs, camera chips, ICs, and other components continue to improve the economic feasibility of 3D scanning. Longer wavelength lasers increase the scanning range, better camera chips improve the scanning resolution, and better lasers, camera chips, and processor ICs reduce the scanning time. For example, third generation scanners from Argon, one leading supplier, have 100 times higher resolution and one tenth the scan times of Argon’s first generation system.
For costs, lasers make up the largest percentage followed by camera and processor ICs. For example, lasers make up 80% of the hardware cost for one high-end system with a current cost of $1346 and a price of about $3000. As laser costs fall and as volumes enable smaller margins, the price of such systems will fall.
For the same reasons, low-end systems continue to emerge. These include Microsoft’s Kinect and an app for the iPhone. Microsoft’s Kinect was $150 while the app was only $4.99, both in early 2013. As such low-end systems proliferate, and high-end systems continue to get cheaper, 3D scanning will find new applications.

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3D Scanners and their Economic Feasibility

  1. 1. Group Members: Huang He A0098538L Benjamin Cho Eng Keong A0098460X Neo Yee Ping A0098542W Oh Wee Meng, Wilson A0008231X See Soon Hui A0098554N Wong Kim Jyh A0098426U Kelvin Ho Kong Meng A0082023W 1 For information on other new technologies that are becoming economically feasible, see
  2. 2. Outline 2 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. White Light Scanner 4
  5. 5. Outline 5 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  6. 6. Applications – 1/7  Site Surveying  3D laser scanning accurately captures large sets of 3D coordinates  Can detect pavement distresses, eg. potholes and large-area utility patches.  Able to get a higher level of accuracy by capturing all data at once, instead of one point at a time.  Can estimate very quickly, the volume of earth to remove Source: Source: 63D Laser Scanning of Inca ruins of Machu Picchu
  7. 7. Applications – 2/7  Archival of Building Designs ○ capture as-built data for a historical, religious, or other culturally significant structures to create a permanent digital record. Source:  Architecture, Engineering and Construction  Building retrofits and remodels • capture as-built data and modify on digital model. • estimated that 60% of U.S. building in the next 20 years will be based on existing construction, reliant on old 2D drawings or no existing data at all 7
  8. 8. Applications – 3/7  Product Design & Inspections  Archiving ○ Store digital copies of the designs, etc.  Reverse engineering ○ Create new objects from existing products.  Inspection ○ Compare 3D scans with CAD data or previously captured data. Source: Inspection Archiving 8
  9. 9. Applications – 4/7  Crime Scene Investigation  Reproduce 3D digital model of crime scene.  Allows investigator to ○ revisit the crime scene over and over again. ○ simulate “what if” scenarios. ○ reproduce physical models of weapons, etc. for further analysis. ○ take multiple critical measurements in a fraction of time compared to traditional methods. Source: 9
  10. 10. Applications – 5/7  Maintenance and Repair  Create 3D digital model of machine under repair.  Can send scan over the internet to engineers in other region to analyze. ○ No need for engineer to visit site. ○ Engineer can revisit “machine” numerous times without visiting site. Internet 10
  11. 11. Applications – 6/7  Archaeology & art  Scan historical sites and artifacts both for documentation and analysis purposes 11 204 Scans in 4 days on site
  12. 12. Applications – 7/7  Medical, Plastic Surgery, Forensics  Dental ○ braces, retainers, and mouth guards  Face ○ form-fitted face mask for treating burn victims  Body Parts ○ prosthetics (ie. leg, back)  Non-contact scanning ○ Especially useful for situations of extreme pain, eg. burn victims  Relatively fast compared to conventional methods ○ Patients may not be able to hold the posture for long. Source: Source: Source: 12
  13. 13. Outline 13 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  14. 14. 14 Previous Technology used to reconstruct 3D Images Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) • A CMM is a 3D device that can move in the 3 axis for measuring the physical geometrical characteristics of an object • The computer will recorded these co- ordinates to form a 3D image of the object • The X,Y,Z co-ordinates are collected by using a contact probe that is positioned manually by an operator or automatically
  15. 15. 15 Previous Technology used to reconstruct 3D Images Digital Photogrammetry • A passive and contactless method of obtaining 3D images (only camera needed) •Operates on images of a scene captured from different locations using a standard digital camera •Once the positions of the cameras are known, the 3D location of any point in the scene can be determined by locating that point in both images Products include: • Surface models • Aerial images • 3D Building Models • Contour Maps
  16. 16. 2. Laser scanning •A laser line is projected onto the object surface. •Laser profilers have to be moved over an object to digitize its surface. •Camera capturing the laser profile of the object. Current 3D Scanning Technologies (1/2) 1. Coded Light / White Light / Structure Light •Projecting a narrow band of stripes light onto a three-dimensionally shaped surface. •Distorted stripes light were capture by camera. •Distorted stripes were used to rebuilt the shape of the original object 16
  17. 17. Current 3D Scanning Technologies (2/2) 3. Interferometry •Light from light source are split towards specimen and reference mirror. •Light from the test specimen is mixed with light reflected from the reference mirror to form an interference pattern. •Interference pattern captured by camera 4. Time-of-flight •A laser is used to emit a pulse of light. •Amount of time before the reflected light is seen by a detector is measured. •Since the speed of light is known, the round-trip time determines the travel distance of the light. 17
  18. 18. Outline 18 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison  Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better  Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance - Case study of Creaform  Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  19. 19. Comparison Overview (New) White Light Laser Triangulation Interferometry Time of Flight Imaging Speed Resolution Object surface Object Size Cost
  20. 20. Outline 20 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance  Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  21. 21. Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better 21 Light source: Laser / white light Processor Sensor: CCD / CMOS
  22. 22. Improvements in Light Source – Laser  Improvements in scanning range: longer wavelength = longer range  Brings about the possibility of scanning at night with little light source 22 Source: technology-progress-64402-2.html “A team of researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland ...were able to obtain centimeter resolution depth images of low-signature objects in daylight at stand-off distances on the order of one kilometer at the relatively eye-safe wavelength of 1560 nm.” Source:
  23. 23. Improvements in Light Source -White Light Cheaper price with better performance over the years 23
  24. 24. Computational camera performance 24 Improvements in Sensor
  25. 25. Improvements in Sensor  Increase in resolution over the years  Higher pixel count = able to capture finer details 25 Source: 079672702000241 Source: 56/CCD-vs-CMOS-Image-Sensors-in- Machine-Vision-Cameras CMOS vs. CCD – Capture Speed 2x in 1.5 yrs 2x in 7 yrs
  26. 26. Improvement in Processor Speed 26
  27. 27. Evolution of Stand-Alone Scanners – Case of Argon 27 Evolution since 1995: • Accuracy • Resolution • Scannable surface • Ambient light conditions Source: Measuring-Solutions.pdf Case Study of overall 3D scanning improvement (1/2)
  28. 28. Evolution of Stand-Alone Scanners – Case of Argon 28 Case Study of overall 3D scanning improvement (2/2) Atos I Atos III Atos III Triple Scan time significantly reduced!
  29. 29. Outline 29 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better  Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance  Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  30. 30. Price breakdown of 3D laser scanner Laser emitters $1160 Sensor CMOS $86 Processor <$50 Power unit <$50 Next Engine Laser desktop scanner Total cost: $1346 Sale price: $2995 30
  31. 31. Improvements in Average Selling Price (ASP) and Power of Semiconductor Lasers Source: Martinson R 2007. Industrial markets beckon for high-power diode lasers, Optics, October: 26-27. MT5009- fifth session (1) – lighting.pptx Cheaper Light Source - Laser 31
  32. 32. Source: Materials Today 14(9) September 2011, Pages 388–397 MT5009- fifth session (1) – lighting.pptx Reduction in Operating Cost - Laser 32 Reductions in Threshold Current, i.e., Minimum Current Needed for Lasing to Occur, enable lower power consumption More portable and cheaper lasers!
  33. 33. 33 The projection method uses non coherent light and works like a video projector. Patterns are generated by a display within the projector, typically an LCD . Light Source - White LED Bulb Pattern Generation on LCD Cheaper Light Source – White Light
  34. 34. 34 Cost of White LED Bulbs decreasing The price of LEDs has been consistently going down, and this trend is expected to continue. By 2015, LED bulbs are expected to be competitive to other forms of white light in terms of price. 0.09 0.009 Price (USD) 0.0009 Cheaper Light Source – White Light
  35. 35. 35 Cost of LCD panels is decreasing Cheaper Light Source – White Light
  36. 36.  From video camera tubes to CCD/CMOS sensors, image sensors are constantly improving  At the moment, CMOS is mainly occupying the low cost, high volume market  CMOS looks like it might displace CCD in the high performance market in the long run 36 Cheaper Sensors
  37. 37. 37  Time required to produce image sensor wafer is reduced over the years  Improved production rate leads to cheaper sensor Cheaper Sensors  Average Selling Price of Image sensors falling continuously.
  38. 38. 38 Why Sensors are Getting Cheaper Scaling Bigger wafer diameter  Lower die unit cost Smaller pixel size  More pixel / area Bigger processing machine  Handle more wafer & faster speed Process Improve in machine technology (example) : •5 machines merged into 1 machine •Chemical cleaning replaced by vacuum cleaning  speed Testing innovation  Multi dice testing  Reduce in test time / die Material Uses dual sided PCB instead of single sided  Safe material cost and area Gold wire replaced by copper wire Component Stacked multi- chip for IC (US patent 5422435) Use nanowires to build relatively low cost sensor in comparison of silicon
  39. 39. Outline 39 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  40. 40. Commercial Applications 40 (As Previously Presented) Source: Site Surveying Source: Product Design & Inspections Source: Crime Scene Investigation
  41. 41. Trend is heading towards the Consumer Market (Portability and Low Cost)  Portable 3D Scanners from (Cost : US$30K-100k) 41  Desktop 3D Scanner from (Cost:US$2,995)
  42. 42. Trend is heading towards the Consumer Market (Portability and Low Cost)  Home DIY 3D Scanners Kits from (Cost : US$650 –US$2610) 42  Microsoft Kinect Depth sensor (Cost: US$150) DAVID-Laserscanner Starter-Kit Version 2 DAVID Structured Light Scanner The depth sensor is able to return images like an ordinary camera, each pixel value represents the distance to the point. As such, the sensor can be use as a range- or 3D- camera
  43. 43. Trend is heading towards the Consumer Market (Portability and Low Cost)  iPhone 3D scanners Apps (Cost: USD $4.99) 43
  44. 44. 44 3D Laser Scanning Market (The Future) •The 3D Laser Scanning market including hardware, software, and services is rather dynamic with major segments experiencing rapid product innovation. •Also, improved 3D laser scanning products provide lower total project costs which enable more projects to obtain financial approval. •Analyst estimated the market size for 3D scanner to be $6.2b in 2016. • With the overall worldwide market grow at an 8.8 percent annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016. Quote: Research Director Ralph Rio, the principal author of ARC’s “3D Laser Scanning Worldwide Outlook”
  45. 45. Market demand that could aid in the diffusion of 3D Scanners  Home and Small Offices  Low cost and smaller device size make it more appealing for home / small office application (like personal printer)  Usage ○ Work/School projects ○ Personalization in 3D Video Games and Social Networking (Personalized 3D Avatar) ○ Online 3D Virtual Try-On Solution 45 For example, CADScan (a start-up company) is exploring desktop 3D scanner for ~USD $1,200 Source: Examples of exploitation of human body digitization for styling applications. Left: virtual fashion show, from Digital Fashion (Japan). Center: digital customer card with stored body sizes, from e-Tailor project (EU). Right: 3D virtual-try-on solution, from Optitex (Israel)
  46. 46.  Designers ○ 3D scan to help modeling and reverse engineering (Industrial Designers) ○ 3D scan of house interior to provide 3D image of house design (Home Interior Designer) 46 Market demand that could aid in the diffusion of 3D Scanners
  47. 47.  The demand in 3D printing as seen now, will also lead to a demand for 3D scanning in the future 47 Market demand that could aid in the diffusion of 3D Scanners Scan in 3D Print in 3D
  48. 48.  Holographic Images  Projection of stage performance to worldwide audiences in 3D holographic 48 Market demand that could aid in the diffusion of 3D Scanners
  49. 49. Outline 49 Introduction Applications The “Old” vs. “New” Cost and Performance Comparison Why 3D Scanning Will Get Better Why 3D Scanning Will Get Cheaper 3D Scanner Market at a Glance Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  50. 50. Opportunities 50 Conventional Projector MicroVision's PicoP Projector Red, blue and green laser light sources to create the projected image (Colours/Shades) The MEMS scanning mirror directs the beam of light toward the projection surface in the pico projector case  Product scale down for the structured white light 3D scanner, using a MEMS Scanner
  51. 51. Opportunities  Suppliers of 3D Scanner Components  Lasers/Projectors, Lenses, Cameras, Software Source:  Third party scanning services.  Service providers that are able to provide scanning services for a range of requirements.  Specialist scanning service providers, ○ eg healthcare. Source: Source: 51
  52. 52. Opportunities  “Secondary” Software Developers  Software that uses the point cloud data from scanners. ○ Eg. Simulation software, QA software, 3D design software, animation software. Source:  Suppliers of Computer Numerical Control Machines and 3D Printers  Easy availability of point cloud data increases “supply” of 3D models to CNC machines.  Suppliers of raw materials to CNC Machines and 3D Printers Source: 3d-printers-euromold-2012/ 52
  53. 53. Opportunities  Suppliers of Computer Accessories  Eg. specialized mouse, touch pads, gesture control interfaces, larger monitors, etc.  Providers of Specialized 3D Modelling Services  Inspection of failures, creation of new product designs, etc.Source: animation-software-that-professionals-should-look-at/ Source: pc-accessories/ 53
  54. 54. 54