HP Printer ‘Kind of’ Scans 3D Objects

Ok, so the HP LasertJet Pro 200 color MFP M275 (catchy name) does not really 3D scan an object in any way that is 3D, it does not create a point cloud capable of being converted into a 3D object nor does it make multiple views available instead:

A total of six images are captured per scan or copy—
three with flashes from different angles and three in ambient light conditions with different exposure
levels—producing virtually glare-free and shadow-free images. These separate shots are then
automatically combined into one seamless image of exceptional quality. With HP TopShot Scanning,
you’ll see images similar to or better than those captured by your hand-held digital still camera and
with better depth-of-focus than images from a flatbed scanner.

So this really makes it a handy way to document small objects which HP are hoping people will use to sell their goods on Ebay, Etsy and Shapeways, though they do not explicitly mention Shapeways I am sure it is a prime market. Here is there scenario they paint thanks to some imaginative persona modeling.

Scan directly to your online store

Kate is a small business owner who creates her own
jewelry and sells it online. She needs to capture
high-quality images of her products and get them on the
web, but she doesn’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.
HP TopShot Scanning has the answer.

In one easy step, Kate places a piece of her jewelry on
the device capture stage, hits Scan, and uploads the
image to her online store.

Now, Kate can make new product images available to
her online customers faster than ever, meaning she’s even
more likely to make the sale. And by streamlining this part
of her workflow, Kate can spend more time doing what
she really loves—creating her jewelry

Scanning is said to be Hardware and Optical both up to 245 DPI and exports PDF, JPG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, RTF and TXT. with a standard A4/ Letter sized scan area which looks like it might convert (very) roughly to 7 Mega Pixels? If anyone has a good equation please feel free to share. There is documentation that they will have direct upload of ’3D Scans’ to major auction sites but this does yet seem to be fully laid out to which sites and exactly how it works. 

Despite it being a clever way to photograph small objects from above, rather than a 3D Object Scanner this could actually be very handy for Shapeways Shop Owners to evenly and consistently document small objects for your Shapeways product pages.

3 comments

  1. Scott Ryan

    Man, I stink at taking pictures of my stuff. If I get too close it’s washed out by the flash. If I stand back and just zoom in it comes out blurry. I have to admit that I want one of these . . . Now I just need people to buy enough of my stuff so I can afford one.

    1. Glenn Slingsby

      It does seem like a neat device, depending on its cost!

      In the meantime, Scott, NEVER use flash for photographing small objects (or most things, for that matter). Instead set up your product near a window and put a reflective white board on the opposite side…

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