13/07/2016No Comments

You’ve Been Tango’d! Google Tango that is! Google’s Augmented Reality

Google Tango Augmented Reality is another leap for new tech, and it's pretty exciting!

I love this industry, and Google's new augmented reality (AR) makes us very excited! Why though? Augmented reality is when a virtual image, text data, etc is overlaid into the real world. The easiest way to do this is to point your smart phone at a tracker (a unique image), and your phone recognises this tracker and overlays the virtual image into the real world on the screen of your phone. Ikea did this very sucessfully with their app, check it out here http://www.gizmag.com/ikea-augmented-reality-catalog-app/28703/

The only problem with this method of AR is that the camera on your device needs to see a tracking image (like the Ikea catalogue). Google Tango doesn't! Now that's impressive!

How it does it is probably something very technical, and I assume it uses some kind of 3D scanning to gauge depth and distance, but developing hardware isn't our thing, so I'm only guessing. What I do know is that this is a real game changer for AR. By removing the need for tracking images means we could, in theory, overlay virtual worlds into the real world much much easier. It's also interesting to read that Tango can also measure. Imagine if we take the Ikea concept, but say develop a feature where a user holds their Tango device at a room, and the app then selects tables which would fit in the space. There'd be no need for that tedious process of measuring a space, reading the dimensions in a catalogue, and then hoping it all fits OK!

Google Tango AR Augmented Reality 3D CGI

Augmented reality has huge potential in education and marketing. The need to engage and excite people is very important and AR can help. It can make seemingly dull experiences very exciting. Take kids to a museum and they'll probably look forward to their pack lunch and gift shop, but if you make the experience exciting and engaging they'll probably forget all about their cheese sandwiches! In Google's promo video the kids visit a museum, and use Google Tango AR to see a T-Rex come to life, and also display further info for them to read and learn. This may not engage or excite a group of OAPs, but the beauty of digital content is that each AR experience can be tailored different users.

Google Tango AR Augmented Reality 3D CGI

If we look at the area we primarily work in, marketing architecture and products, augmented reality could really be a great tool to use. Imagine walking around a house or residential development with a Google Tango style app. Whilst the parents are using it to learn about the boring stuff like energy efficiency, crime rates, or even the choice of carpet colours, and the kids could see where their new school could be, learn about local clubs and groups, or how high the new swing goes in the near by park!

Google Tango is a very interesting development, and we'll be watching it very closely. There's only one device at the moment that's Tango enabled, and that's the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, but I'm sure more will follow very soon. Imagine the Samsung GearVR with Google Tango, my mind's already blown!

Dean

20/01/2016No Comments

3D printed miniatures aren’t just miniature!

 

3D printed miniatures come in all scales. Over the past few months we have been 3D scanning and printing 3D model railway folks in what's know as 16mm (16mm = 1 foot), but the print size can be almost anything.

Over the past 2 days we've printed miniatured from 2cm to 20cm high, all to suit different model scales. The 3D scan can be scaled to to any size, which is one of the advantages of working with digital files!

SONY DSC
From tiny to large, we print in a range of sizes!

The largest "miniature" here is the driver, standing at 20cm high! The smallest is only 2cm tall. The size difference is large, but the process of 3D scanning and 3D printing is largely the same.

SONY DSC
A 16mm figure looking very smart!

16mm is the most common scale we print, meaning the miniature stand at around 10cm high, with the smaller two models being 2cm and 4cm high. 16mm is a great size to work with, you can see a lot of detail in the miniature, and it's a great size to paint and hold.

miniatures_03_1600-1024x682

Printing at smaller scales can be very tricky, the printer only has a certain resolution, and also the strength of the prints is decreased as we reduce in size. You would struggle to break the largest model even by jumping on it, however a child could snap the smallest print quite easily! A miniature at 2cm high is really the smallest we could print at.

If you're interested in having your very own miniature model, please get in touch!!

02/12/2015No Comments

3D Printed miniatures from 3D scans

Recently I have been exploring the use of the 3D printer, and one of the avenues I've been experimenting with is using the 3D printer to produce miniature figures.

The process is relatively straight forward, we use a 3D hand scanner coupled to a laptop to 3D scan the person. This captures the figure in 3D, and works incredibly well. We then refine the 3D mesh, fixing errors, or adding parts which the scanner hadn't quite scanned correctly, and then we send it to the 3D printer.

3D Scanning & Printing Railway Modellers 16mm

The above figures were created for use with model railways, and are printed at a scale to match the railway. These figures stand at approximately 95mm high (a scale of 16mm - 1ft), but figures can be produced to other scales quite easily.

Once the prints are complete, they are then handed over to the customer, who can refine, sand, and paint the figures as they desire! Here are two figures I painted, badly, but if gives an idea of what can be achieved!

3D Scanning & Printing Railway Modellers 16mm

I'd love to see what a professional miniature painter could produce, if you are a painter, get in touch, it would be amazing to collaborate!

Anyway, that's what the 3D printer has been doing recently, and it's definitely been a learning curve, but adds something a bit different and alternative to the Ard Digital portfolio!

Finally, if you're potentially interested in being imortalised as a 3D printed miniature, have a read at the 3D Scan & Print a Miniature You page and of course get in touch!

Dean

19/10/2015No Comments

WutheringBytes 2015

A couple of weeks ago I attended WutheringBytes over at Hebden Bridge to demo, show and explain 3D scanning and 3D printing.

WutheringBytes was set-up by Calderdale Council, to allow the public, companies, and anyone else to learn, engage and be a part of various technologies from numerous individuals and organisations. The wealth of technologies within our local area is fantastic, and I hope this event help to open people's eyes to just what's out there.

For my part in the event, I ran a 3D scanning and 3D printing demo. Through out the day I scanned anyone who wanted a go at turning themselves into digital versions.

3d scan scanning print printing

3D printer and scanner ready to go!

The response to the 3D scanning was fantastic, people couldn't wait to be scanned, and see themselves in digital 3D form! The scanning takes a few minutes, and as such the person being scanned has to stop completely still, which is harder than you'd think! The best response to the scanning was from the crowds of primary school children, who all wanted a go!

3d scan scanning male

A 3D scan from the day.

I will be sending the 3D scans to each person once I've had chance to sort and tidy the 3D files, and if they agree, I'll upload the scans so anyone can print or play with the 3D files.

I also gave away 3D printed bottle openers, some freshly printed that day. A penny coin slips into the bottle opener to give a hard edge to stop the plastic from breaking.  This is actually the last one I have from around 100 being printed! There's also the same bottle opener, but has ard Digital logo incorporated. I must print a few more!

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3D printed bottle opener.

So that's what I got up to at WutheringBytes, be sure to keep an eye out for next years do, I'm sure it'll be a good one!

Dean

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Punch Digital Services Ltd

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