Re: 3D scanning

Posted by Alan Speakman on Jul 24, 2006

Hi Susan,

Maybe I can offer some thoughts on the potential of marketing a 3D scanning unit... I graduated from college back in '90 with a degree in computer engineering, and my very first job was to design a CAD/CNC machine in 2D... In the mean time, I've spent 25 years building boats, etc... Some thoughts...

* As always, the bottom line is money... If you can make something cheaply enough, even a pet rock will sell. But how much would one of these devices cost? * For a product to sell to the average home boat builder (which I assume is the case because you've posted in this forum vs. contacting CLC designers directly), it has to be easy to use by John Q. Public... * Obviously, I don't know of the technology you folks are using, but I can take a guess... Since you're working down into the thousandth's range, I'd guess it's either a laser-based or a high-end camera system... In either case, (or any case in that matter) issues of "level", "plumb", and "yaw" become very important for the average small boat/kayak builder when you're talking thousandths of an inch... That's a real marketing/development concern. * Aside from the "Gee Whizz Factor", I wonder about the usefulness of the device... If any part breaks on my kayak, I know how to measure and replace it PDQ... * Your product would certainly be of interest to those interested in old/historical sea craft... Being able to "map" a 3D object like a kayak or boat would be a HUGE boon for historians. Folks who design small craft would probably like it because it would allow them to quickly "pull the lines off" their final "beta" creation. * Concerning people using your proposed hardware to steal boat designs... I doubt it... And I'll use the CLC Mill Creek as an example... Yes, it would be possible to "scan" a Mill Creek into the computer using your system, but it would simply be a lot easier/cheaper to buy one set of plans and then illegally duplicate them. (Once any respectable mechanical engineer with a background in CAD/CNC has the plans, the chips are going to start flying!)

The bottom line? It's an interesting idea, but there are some caveats... * The price would have to be right. * It has to be easily usable. * It has to have reasonably quick accuracy. * You need to embrace the concept that many hack boat builders (like me) can measure and fix something in very short order using more conventional/cheap means. * Historians and designers might just love your system...

Best wishes,

Alan Speakman [email protected]

In Response to: 3D scanning by susan on Jul 24, 2006