Friday, May 27, 2011

Photofly: Free Software to Transform Photos into 3-D Models

Free Software to Transform Photos into 3-D ModelsJust saw this article at Technology Review. In a nutshell, it says that Autodesk will release free software next week, called Photofly, that can convert a set of overlapping photos into its 3D counterpart that can then be outputted to a 3-D printer for printing.

Autodesk says that the Windows based software will upload the photos to a cloud server for processing and then downloads the results. The finished product can then be seen as a wire-frame model or one with a realistic surface color and texture.

Of course if you don't have a 3-D printer of your own, you can always try to build one using opensource technologies from the Reprap project or buy from Makerbot that packages their own Reprap based 3D printer. I have to caution you however to first check out the literature from their site as to whether the quality of the output of the printed object will suite your needs.

Another option is to go for 3rd party commercial printers who allow 3D designs to be sent to them for printing. Try googling for companies that offer that kind of service. Be sure to ask for the price though as it might be expensive since the cost of commercial grade 3D printers is still through the roof, so companies who offer that kind of service are justified in charging a lot since they have to recoup their investment.

Of course all this remains to be seen as to whether the Photofly software being touted by Autodesk can actually pass muster.

Photofly: Free Software to Transform Photos into 3-D Models

Photofly page already up at Autodesk's site, here.