Friday, March 25, 2011

Deriving 3D Models From Photos

Alright! I may soon be able to bullet-time photograph a broken plastic widget and 3D print out a replacement from a homegrown 3D printer, like Bowyer's RepRap. Then I won't have to send as much to the landfill. Repairmen can expand their revenue stream: 1) scavenging at Goodwill or eWaste yards 2) look up the broken part online or inverse-panoramic photograph it, and 3) print out the replacement. Boom, fixed machine for a low, low price.

Although this is not the first venture into this space, I'm glad to see Microsoft throwing some weight behind it. We will need lots more development. I visualize a day when I can call in a contractor, who shows up with a laser grid projector and a camcorder, and then brings an accurate blueprint/3D model to the next meeting.

I wonder if the intellectual property protectionism will be as ineffective for manufacturers as it has been for the music industry.

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