There are three major market segments within the 3D printing space which combine to influence the entire market. The three segments are the hardware (the printers themselves), software (design, manipulation and slicing), and materials(filaments, powders, resins) markets. All three areas have been seeing significant innovation and growth, as they converge with one another, equating to the rapid expansion we are witnessing currently within the 3D printing industry as a whole.
It can be argued which of these areas is the most important for the long term growth of the industry. I will not be taking sides, but will say that after fumbling around with various software when I began my 3D printing hobby some time ago, that the software niche is incredibly important. Today, unlike a few years ago, there are all sorts of amazing programs out there, many with uses both within the 3D printing market as well as other areas of design and modeling. Today, however, we may have witnessed what could be described as a game changer, both within the 3D printing space, as well as a vast array of other industries.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of California have announced a new suite of 3D manipulation software. Basically, what the software does, is allow a user to take an object within a 2D photograph and turn it into a 3D model. That model can then be manipulated and moved around the photo however the user desires. It will also adjust the lighting and texture of an object in order to blend in with its surroundings. A brief clip of the capabilities of this software can be seen in the video below:
The algorithms behind the software are complicated, but the basis for how this software works lies within the availability of stock photographs and 3D models online. The software utilizes vast libraries of stock photographs as well as 3D models, and compares them to the two dimensional object which a user wishes to manipulate. It then merges the attributes from the library of stock photos with that of the 2D object to create a 3D model, viewable from every angle. Once the model is created, the photo can be completely re-imagined.
“Graphics is now entering the age of Big Visual Data: enormous quantities of images and video are uploaded to the internet daily,” the research report states. “With the move towards model standardization and the use of 3D scanning and printing technologies, publicly available 3D data (modeled or scanned using 3D sensors like the Kinect) are also readily available. Public repositories of 3D models are growing rapidly and several internet companies are currently in the process of generating 3D models for millions of merchandise items such as toys, shoes, clothing, and household equipment. It is therefore increasingly likely that for most objects in an average user photograph a stock 3D model will soon be available, if it is not already.”
Such software could have tremendous benefits within the 3D printing and modeling community, as it would allow for the physical fabrication of an object based solely on a single photograph of that object. Imagine being able to sift through old photographs, select an object from that photograph, and then print it in all its three dimensional glory. Such software, and its interaction with 3D models and stock photography, should soon make all this possible and more. For those of you interested in this incredible software, the source code has been made available for download here . The software itself is also available as a free download as well.
Have you tried it out? Will such software play a major role in the modeling of 2D objects for 3D printing? Let’s hear your thoughts in the 3D software forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below exploring the full potential of this software.
Posted By Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer Founder, CEO/CTO of Synapse Synergy Group, Inc. http://Synapsesynergygroup.com from WordPress for Android