After testing the MakerBot 3D systems and the Ultimaker 3, the 3Dnatives lab is now focusing on the Shining3D Einscan S model. The scanner’s origins date back to a Kickstarter campaign in early 2015, where the brand raised a whopping $123,000 to develop their product.
Shining3D is also present on the 3D printer market and offers two models of scanners: the EinScan-S and the EinScan Pro, whose prices are well below the professional models of the market. Before the start, we would like to thank the manufacturer Machines-3D for the borrowed scanner.
The 3D scanner EinScan-S is based on the technology “structured light”. This method captures the 3D model of a physical object using two cameras and a video projector.
In practice, scanning begins with the projection of light grids onto the object by the scanner’s video projector. These are deformed according to the distance and the shape of the object. The object, which is placed on a turntable, rotates continuously through 360°. The two cameras attached to the left and right ends of the 3D scanner then take a series of photos. The software then derives the pattern of the object’s shape and connects the different shots between them. The resulting 3D model can then be exported to either an STL or OBJ format, which in turn can then be 3D printed.
In the box of the EinScan-S we find the turntable, the scanner, the base of it and a fastening screw. A number of different cables are also provided: two power adapters (for the tray and the scanner), two USB connection cables, a VGA cable, a VGA to HDMI adapter and a mini-USB cable (whose usefulness remains unknown to us until now ).
The manufacturer also provides a calibration template and positioning mat to ensure correct spacing between elements. A quick start guide, in English only, completes the list of accessories provided. Only a free user manual in French is included by the manufacturer Machines-3D.
The EinScan-S scanner has slightly larger dimensions than the 3D Systems Sense. It allows scanning objects in automatic mode with a maximum volume of 20x20x20 cm, which is the same volume of the MakerBot Digitizer. A manual mode, which allows you to pick up the scanner by hand or mount it on a tripod, enables scanning of objects smaller than 70 x 70 x 70 cm.
Installing the scanner is not very complicated. Using the supplied pad to position the scanner and the rotating platform, we were able to connect the devices to the computer using the software we downloaded from the Shining 3D website.
However, it should be noted that the scanner must be calibrated with each new installation. This operation can be performed once you have changed your location or changed the brightness. It takes less than 3 minutes and allows you to scan in a way that optimizes the final scan results. An additional step called “White Balance Test” allows you to scan in color.
The only negative point about the installation is connecting the cables to the back of the scanner. This is because the device becomes somewhat unstable when connected, resulting in a change in the orientation of the scanner on the turntable. Because of this, it is important to ensure your scanner is stable in position before you begin scanning.
With its minimalist interface, the software may seem simplistic, but it offers multiple ways to scan. In automatic or manual mode, you have to choose from four brightness modes: “light”, “medium”, “dark / difficult to scan” or “bright / dark”.
The software then offers you three scan qualities: high level of detail, medium level of detail and low level of detail. Only the latter allows you to take into account the texture and color of the object. Once the scan is complete, you will be offered to continue scanning: the possibility to reposition the object to scan it in a different position.
Once this part is completed, it is possible to print the object directly, save it in STL or OBJ format, share it or restart the process. Unfortunately, the software does not offer a modification/repair mode for the 3D model, which would have been useful for those new to 3D software. Currently, Shining3D only offers its software in English and Chinese and is only compatible with Windows 7+.
In order to fully experience the EinScan-S scanner, we started a test protocol in 3 parts:
The turntable allows you to scan a model 360º and smoothly. Just like with the MakerBot Digitizer, you often have to start a second scan and reorient the object to get the parts that weren’t visible during the first scan.
Below are the results of our scans with the Shining3D scan:
Despite some concerns about whether the inside of the mug will be captured, the result is almost identical to the original. To go even further, we decided to 3D print the replica. A very similar result to the original.
Finally, we tested a Minion figure that comes in both light and dark colors. Although the texture (in terms of colors) had no luster, the model we received is very close and almost identical to the original model.