Peel 3d, Creaform’s initiative focused on offering affordable high-quality 3D scanning, recently released its new model the peel 2. Featuring a lot of new options such as color capture, the peel 2 embodies the expansion of the 3D scanning industry to a wider audience.

Just a few years ago, 3D scanning was very costly and limited to a select few industries. Today, the new peel 2 is introduced as a “3D scanner for professionals on a budget”.

We interviewed François Leclerc, head of the peel 3d initiative, to get his take on the market changes.

Peel 2 Handheld 3D scanner

What changes have made cost-effective professional 3D scanning possible?

“With peel 3d, we have simplified the entire purchasing experience. Customers order directly online, pay with a credit card and their equipment is shipped directly to their door. We have also stripped down the product offer to its most simple expression and oriented this aspect of the business towards more of a B2C experience. With higher volumes and mature technologies, this allowed us to bring the purchase price down while maintaining full product quality.”

Which industries and types of companies can benefit from these market changes?

“A lot, actually! Basically, any job working with existing objects or manufacturing goods can benefit from 3D scanners. The most common applications are Reverse Engineering (bring an existing component to CAD), Digital Archiving (where the shape of an existing object is backed up for future considerations) and even basic Quality Control (where the dimensional characteristics of an object are compared to a reference).

The most common user types for peel 3d are tuners, people from the medical industry, artists, designers, crafters… As prices get more accessible, we start seeing more and more diversified applications for 3D scanning!”

The peel 2 can capture colors; is this a must-have feature for 3D scanners nowadays?

“It is pretty useful; beyond making the 3D scan looking even more realistic, texture can be used to further improve the tracking of the 3D scanner. It is an additional layer of information naturally provided by the object and that can be exploited by the scanner.

There are also more marginal advantages such as viewing details not shown in the geometry, digitizing styling lines and annotations, or using color for monitoring (surveying a healing wound for instance). When you offer new tools to people, they get creative and come up with applications you didn’t even think of in the first place.”

What value does the peel 2 bring in comparison to the first peel 3D scanner?

“Besides having a better measurement resolution (meaning it will show more details when using the same mesh resolution) and capturing color, it is superior in about all aspects of scanning. It does better with sharper edges, it captures more geometry-intricate locations, it handles high contrast objects better… It is basically the evolution of the first-generation peel 3D scanner. That being said, peel 1 are still pretty interesting scanners, especially for simpler, more organic geometries.”

In which ways are these enhancements relevant in today’s 3D scanner market?

“Professional-grade 3D scanners (and up) will provide better accuracy, resolution and scan quality in general. It is possible to work with medium (or even low quality) 3D scans when doing reverse engineering for instance but it takes longer. Poorly detailed or missing areas have to be designed “from scratch”; although not impossible, this takes time (and ultimately time is money…).

Accuracy is also an important aspect to consider. If a reference is too far off, the manufactured component simply will not fit and will require re-works and additional iterations, which again costs time and money. This is the main difference between a scanner worth $500, $5,000 or $50,000.”

Interested in the peel 2? Order it here.