Kiri Innovation's Phiz Aims to Turn Smartphones Into High-Accuracy, Affordable 3D Scanners

Combining laser triangulation and photogrammetry, the multi-part low-cost Phiz claims to create high-quality scans in just four minutes.

Gareth Halfacree
a month ago3D Printing

Canadian tech startup Kiri Innovation has opened a crowdfunding campaign for Phiz, a gadget which turns a standard smartphone into a high-precision 3D scanner — and has already blown past its CAD $70,000 goal.

"Being a team of engineers, designers, and tinkerers, we continuously seek for affordable but accurate 3D scanning solutions. After a long search-and-trial period, we realised there weren't many options available. More importantly, there wasn't a community where we could ask for help," Kiri's staff explain of the project's origin. "That's why we designed Phiz. The accurate, affordable, easy-to-use 3D scanner. It connects all the 3D enthusiasts around the world.

"This project started 2 years ago, our ideas and expertise grew together with team size. It was started by two innovation pioneers and now the team size quadrupled with PhDs and overachievers across top colleges in the world. Today, we are ready to let the world see our hard work. Phiz, the 3D scanner that can turn almost anything into detailed 3D models."

The Phiz system works by splitting the various parts of a traditional 3D scanner up: the camera is provided by the user's smartphone, a stand positions it correctly, laser triangulation is provided by a secondary laser unit perching on the user's laptop, while a high-accuracy turntable rotates the object in steps of 0.18 degrees.

The result, the company claims, is a low-cost device which combines the accuracy of laser triangulation with the color reproduction and finish quality of photogrammetry — complete with a system to accurately capture an object's surface colors. The company claims Phiz offers up to 0.2mm accuracy and 2.2 million vertex resolution, while being able to complete a scan in just four minutes. The software, meanwhile, runs on Windows and macOS with Android and iOS mobile devices supported, and can output files in STL, STP, and OBJ formats for importing into a range of modelling packages or 3D printing.

With the early bird reward tiers still available the Phiz Lite — which lacks the smartphone tower for photogrammetry functionality — is priced at $199 while the full Phiz bundle is $299, both representing a 40 percent discount off the expected retail price post-launch. Kiri claims it will be shipping the first units by the end of the year, with non-Early Bird backers receiving their units in early 2020.

More information is available on the project's Kickstarter campaign page.

3d scanning3d printing
Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin.
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