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As objectively - Thor 3D Calibry

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The Calibry 3D scanner is a professional, innovative work tool of the highest quality. A redesigned camera with color recognition capabilities delivers unmatched high quality results. The built-in touch screen ensures high scanning comfort in any working environment. Advanced software, available in Polish, will allow you to process the obtained scans in an intuitive way.

Thor 3D Calibry 3D scanner

As objectively - Thor 3D Calibry

Today we will look at the scanner, a young Russian company, Thor 3D, which became famous for launching one of the first wireless 3D scanners in 2015 called, nomen omen, Thor3D. Its successor in 2018 was the Drake scanner - a modular device that allows you to replace the optics in order to match it to a specific object to be scanned.

The Calibry 3D scanner is a device designed to scan medium and large objects. The manufacturer ensures that the device is able to scan objects with dimensions ranging from 0.2 m to 10 m, including the possibility of scanning human figures, which are often very difficult to scan. So it is a universal device that will work in every industry, starting from the broadly understood protection of cultural goods, architecture, designing, prototyping, creating models for games or films in medicine and heavy industry. The manufacturer praises that it is a device for every pocket - allowing for easy and quick scanning with the quality of professional industrial scanners. Is it true? We will try to check it out.

Calibry 3D scanner

Calibry 3D scanner

The scanner is delivered in two separate boxes. One with a 3D scanner and the other with a calibration plate. This is due to the fact that Calibry can scan large objects, which makes the calibration disc itself quite large. Calibry and its accessories are housed in a sturdy cardboard box with a plastic handle. The inside of the carton is filled with polystyrene foam, in which there are perfectly matched pockets for the scanner and accessories. The carton with the calibration plate contains, in addition to the plate, supports that allow its positioning and a stand for stabilizing the scanner during calibration. The instruction in the box is in the format of an A4 brochure, which explains how to connect the device to start the scanning process. In addition to the paper version, the manufacturer also offers support in the form of a website from which you can download the full manual and the Calibry Nest software.

As mentioned above, the Calibry Nest software required for the scanner to work can be downloaded from the support site. The application itself is light and weighs only about 70 MB and the installation takes only a few minutes and does not require any additional calibration of the computer connected to the device. After the software is installed, the welcome screen appears on the built-in display. To connect the scanner to a computer, all you need is one USB 3.0 cable that runs to the adapter from which the power cables are led out and a 5-meter cable connected directly to the scanner. The scanner itself is a light and ergonomic device that gives the impression of being well fitted. The colors and shape of the device bring to mind some associations with a kind of futuristic gadgets straight from the sci-fi cinema. But it has a positive effect on the reception of the scanner itself and is definitely not overcomplicated.

The advantages include ergonomically placed scan start and pause buttons. They are located just below the thumb so access to them is quick and convenient, and the rubberized buttons are responsive and accurate. The built-in four-inch touchscreen is bright and transparent. The displayed information and buttons allow you to quickly adjust the settings (brightness, number of frames) as well as to change the scanner's operating mode without any problem.

The Calibry scanner uses structured light scanning technology in its work. The scanner projector projects a unique pattern on the scanned object contained in the light beam, which deforms in a specific way on the object. This deformation is recorded by sensors installed in the device, which allows the scanner software to calculate the 3D surface topology and create a 3D mesh based on it.

Calibry 3D scanner

To start working with the scanner, the manufacturer recommends calibration, although it is not obligatory, it is worth going through this process so that the results of our work are not wasted. It only takes a few steps to put everything together. The large calibration plate (approximately 60 cm wide and 80 cm high) should be unfolded and placed on two supports. The remaining 5 elements should be used to assemble something like a stand for a 3D scanner. During the calibration process, the 3D scanner has to be placed in 7 different positions one after another: near, far and along different orientations and angles. After completing this process, you can select Object Capture Mode directly from the main menu of the screen and then start 3D scanning.

Tracking Modes

The main interface of the software is on the touch screen of the 3D scanner. It only takes a few swipes and clicks to get started and choose the best 3D scanning mode from the following options:

  • geometry tracking mode
  • texture tracking mode
  • marker tracking mode

By default, geometry tracking is on. All three scanning modes generate a colored point cloud. The difference between them is that the software uses different data to position each captured frame in relation to each other. One of the interesting features of Calibry Nest is the ability to mirror the Calibry screen interface directly to your computer. This allows for faster manipulations and easier workflows in some cases (e.g. deleting unwanted data). The Calibry Nest software is quite simple as it only serves to transform sets of captured frames into a colored 3D mesh.

As usual with structured light 3D scanners, it is recommended to work indoors without direct sunlight to facilitate the 3D scanning process. For each scan, the user can manually remove unwanted data with a basic but powerful set of tools. Each shot consists of a set of frames. During testing, we noticed that it is optimal to capture between 500 and 1500 frames. Capturing more frames makes the processing step slow and the extra frames often have trouble fitting together properly.

The first step after capturing is "registration", which is the step that properly aligns the frames together and creates a mesh. This must be done for each scanning step before it is possible to manually align the different meshes together, which is required to achieve a fully closed mesh. After generating the mesh, it can be exported to four different 3D file formats: STL, OBJ, PLY and P3. The user interface of Calibry Nest is clean and simple, just right for novice users. However, advanced users may feel a bit limited by the modest set of options available.

During testing, we experienced several times long processing times, despite a powerful computer. Furthermore, the progress bar can be confusing and adds to the frustration of waiting.

Update: In the new software version 3.39 this has clearly been corrected and some additional editing tools have been added. Therefore, we recommend software updates.

Summing up, Calibry offers high ergonomics (weight and touch screen) and is one of the best we have tested in this price range. However, the software lacks a bit of processing speed and features, which puts it half a step behind some competitors such as Artec Eva or Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X Plus. This small disadvantage, however, is compensated by the possibility of scanning large objects such as cars or industrial machines, which the competition in this price range cannot offer. The producer of Thor 3D also thought about one of the many problems faced by people working with scanners, namely markers. Their frequent sticking or unsticking destroys these precious "babies", which exposes us to costs and frustration. However, it is enough to add magnetic markers to the set as the manufacturer did and some problems disappear. For this solution, we really liked this scanner. Like a little thing, but it makes me happy.

Its attractive price of 23 500 PLN net makes Calibry a great option designed for easy capture of medium and large objects in 3D. If you are a user who is able to turn a blind eye to software limitations, this scanner is for you. One of its greatest advantages, i.e. the built-in texturing camera, cannot be overlooked here. Competition in the form of Artec and Shining 3D scanners for such options involves additional costs and the need to buy peripherals.