July 1, 2013 12:04 PM   Subscribe

What with all the talk of 3D printed exoskeleton casts it seems like a good time to try asking this question. Where and how can I get myself 3D scanned?

I've long wanted an exoskeleton (particularly of my torso, hips, lower legs and feet) for various applications, and that 3D printed cast that's making the rounds looks ideal in many ways. (Plus I would love to be an early adopter of that cast, should I ever have another fracture.) But how do I get the 3D data of myself? I don't need any more radiation exposure and I can't have an MRI due to multiple stainless steel rods, so I guess lasers are my best option.

I'm in the New York City area, but can travel reasonable distances. Complication: paralysis. (I'd have to be held up or lie down for the scan. But I'm tiny and light.)
posted by Soliloquy to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ah man, if you were in LA I could definitely recommend a few places! I've worked in visual effects houses that do this, and know someone who works with their own equipment and is able to fly to various shooting locations with it. It does tend to be expensive - I've never been privy to the actual numbers, but depending on the type of end data and resolution you're looking for it could be +1k.

I just did a Google search for 3D scanning services in NY, and a few results look promising. Stuff like this, perhaps?

People have done some cool things with the Kinect, but the results are rough and you'd probably need someone to do clean-up work. There are also ways to get a 3D result off of a series of photographs, rotating around the subject, but that suffers from messiness as well.

I hope you get more cost effective answers!
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 12:28 PM on July 1, 2013

Just for fun and not for a medical-quality scan, you could go to the Makerbot Store in Manhattan.
posted by moonmilk at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

3D-scanning (of a surface) can be done with visible light, in which case it is basically taking a whole bunch of normal digital photographs. The more there are, and the less you've moved, the better the results. You might want to mount the camera onto a rig so it can be moved smoothly.

After that, the pictures are converted into a 3D-file by 3D-modeling software. So with a normal camera and a bit of dedication, you and a friend could totally do the scanning yourself.

Some links to get you started.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:51 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

What about heading out to Coney Island for the Great Fredini's Scan-O-Rama!
posted by chr1sb0y at 2:19 PM on July 1, 2013

Our local university occasionally looks for research subjects to be scanned for student projects.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2013

Buy a kinect ($150ish) and download tools for using it as a 3d scanner. Judging from YouTube videos, it gets surprisingly good results, and as a bonus, it can photo-scan you simultaneously, generating a color texture map of you for the 3d model of you.
posted by anonymisc at 9:19 PM on July 1, 2013

Disney World was recently doing face scanning for a Star Wars promotion. They used it to put your face on Han Solo's body frozen in carbonite. I think it was $150 and resulted in a little action figure-sized toy.

I know that doesn't help you much, but it made me realize that this tech is slowly trickling down to the masses.
posted by tacodave at 2:32 PM on July 2, 2013

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