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Turn 3D Scanning Into a Business

by • April 21, 2016 • No Comments

Recently it came to my attention that
one of our community participants
runs a 3D scanning business. As a scanning enthusiast, I had to know
additional of what she’s doing. So I got in contact with Sophie Barrett-Kahn and asked her the tough inquiries
on 3D scanning and turning 3D scanning into not only art, but in addition
a business.

Emerging Jobs: 3D Scanning Pro of One Planet Pictures on Vimeo.

Sophie runs a studio in New York, called ScannerWorks NY. She has been working with 3d laser scanners and printing devices since 2003. She has an MFA in Art & Technology studies of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has experience in preparing prints for approximately any 3D printing innovation that
you can ponder
of.

How did you come of begin
ing a business in 3D scanning?

I’m a visual artist and I require
ed the scanner for my own artwork. I took out a lease on one during art school, and had to come up with the payments pretty! I accomplished that
there must be other artists with the same require
. I in addition
know
how overwhelming the world of 3D can be if you are
new to innovation, as I’ve struggled with it so much myself as an artist, so I begin
ed the business to assist demystify digital production for individuals who don’t have that
background and only want to get their work created
.

5b39a5_211d66cf333a46c90f746b51c25aa202
Sophie performing a scan

What types of things do individuals ask you to scan? What kind of requests do they have?

I am endlessly surprised by the phone calls I obtain. The bread and butter of my business is scaling maquettes for sculptors: I can 3D scan a tiny piece they’ve created
, and and so provide a digital file that they can modify, sculpt and fabricate at a much larger scale via CNC milling. But I’ve in addition
scanned surfboards, meditation stools, toy prototypes, train and car parts, furniture, flowers… really
, anything handcreated
or analog that
require
s to be brought into the digital world so it can be adjusted and recreated
. I’ve scanned art and architecture for archiving and historical preservation. I’ve in addition
scanned celebrities, singers and versions. More not long ago, I’ve had individuals requesting facial scans in order to pre-visualize the outcomes of plastic surgery… There’s never a dull moment!

How do your customers find out of your services? Do you find you require
to educate them on what a scan can do for them?

Google ads, word-of-mouth, and a lot of in-man networking. Mostly the individuals who find me may already
have an belief of how 3D scanning can assist them, but I in addition
work on educating next customers. I frequently obtain emails requesting guidance on developing a project, of individuals who aren’t certain
whether digital is the way to go. Sometimes it is not – there are cases when a sculptor can complete the outcomes they want via analog means like mold manufacturing and casting. But if they want to scale an object up or down, or modify it in ways that
can’t be done by hand, and so digital is usually the advantageous choice.

How did you initially connect with Shapeways for printing these scans?

I use Shapeways for my own sculptures and have in fact
been a customer for five years. It is really great that
the pieces are printed here in New York City.

What kind of hardware do you use to scan and how did you come of via it?

I have a Polhemus Cobra handheld laser scanner and a DAVID SLS structured light scanner. I have been via the Polhemus for a long time in my artwork for the reason
I love the errors that
it generates; when I begin
ed doing commercial work I had to learn to use it correctly, that is an entirely various ability set! I have tried really a few other systems. I use the Polhemus in my artwork, so I may use it regardless. I love the DAVID scanner. The level of more detail it can complete on tiny objects is really
incredible
. minifig more detailsResults of Sophie scanning of a boot for The Frye Company and a minifig for Lego

What kind of advice may you donate others looking to begin
a 3D scanning business?

For scanning physical objects, location is all things. 90% of my clients are based in Brooklyn or Manhattan, and for the reason
the objects I scan are handcreated
and one-of-a-kind, they either bring me their pieces in man, or have myself or an employee come to their space to scan. Even yet the end outcome is digital, and most
of the ZBrush artists I collaborate with work remotely, my role in the system
require
s to take place here in New York. I in addition
try to connect clients to local fabricators whenever possible. I’m not certain
my business version may work in a tinyer city with a tinyer concentration of creative individuals; those individuals may require
to be scanning items by mail, and and so they may be competing with a larger tier of businesses. I in addition
strive to provide a higher level of service: I bring an artist’s perfectionism to the work I do, that my clients appreciate, and I have experience in 3D printing and casting my own sculpture so I can consult on the entire production workflow, and manufacture referrals to designers and fabricators if my clients require
guidance. I liaise with designers and fabricators, and I store in touch until the job is done, to manufacture certain
that
the end outcome turns out the way my clients want. So I may say to concentrate on your local creative networks, and create your business around your own strengths and experience.

What do you see for the next in 3D scanning?

I hope that
the software and hardware can become additional accessible and user friendly – actually yet that
may cut into my own profit margins! I’m not too worried; my feeling is that
photography is amazingly
bargain-priced and accessible now, but individuals yet require
pro photographers and photography educators, and I see scanning going the same way. I’d love to scale up and begin
a Shapeways for 3D scanning, but I’m not certain
if the market exists really yet. As additional and additional individuals know the vast next that
scanning has, I ponder
demand is going to grow exponentially.

5b39a5_a910494214184601bb87a8550da21ea1
Sophie’s scan sculpture “Triple Portrait of E.”

What a affluence of know
ledge we have in our community! Thank you so much Sophie for enabling me to interview, and sharing such valuable information with us! And thank you for assisting us create into an actually greater 3D printing community.

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