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Raised Relief Scanners (sort of 3D) at Tecnargilla 2016

Posted Sept. 28, 2016

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There were three sophisticated and atypical deep relief scanners exhibited at Tecnargilla ceramic expo in Rimini this week.

Metis, Cruse, and one in the booth of ColorGate RIP software company.

The scanner systems of Metis are available in USA through CGS, Trevor Haworth, President and CEO.

What counts in a scanner is the software (as much as the hardware). A digital scan is the result of software as much as it is the result of the lens and sensor. Metis offers diverse software (we look forward to testing it in the future).

ColorGate, since it specializes in color oriented software, can be expected to have good color software in its scanner.


3D Printers, more at Sign Istanbul than all other sign printer expos

Updated Sept. 26, 2016 from post on Sept. 19, 2016

3D Printers at Sign Istanbul 2016 first days of October

It is a notable observation that Sign Istanbul last year had more 3D printers on exhibit than every other signage printer expo in the world that we attended in 2016. In 2015, two other printer-signage expos had a modest range of 3D printers on exhibit. The same expos in 2016 had only ONE such 3D printer being featured.

At SGIA 2016, a row of entry-level Roland 3D printers were lonesome and abandoned: simply stuck in a row as part of the outside wall of the booth!. No one was using them, no one was doing a demo (and no one was focused on 3D anything).

At Photokina 2016 (last week in Cologne), I found only one modest 3D scanner and zero 3D printers. Surely there were perhaps another 3D scanner somewhere (expo was huge, aisles were crowded, and it is easy not to be able to see a product if it is deep inside a booth surrounded by people). But four or six years ago Photokina had lots of 3D technology: today in 2016 embarrassingly absent.

Why has 3D signage and 3D scanning and 3D anything been dropped by expo after expo? Only DRUPA 2016 mentioned 3D printers in their press releases.

Fortunately Sign Istanbul 2016 may break the record for 3D printers at a signage printer expo, and especially for the range of materials which these printers use.

Sign Istanbul is capably organized by iFO and Tarsus. Visit their web site

We hope to see you 29 September through 02 October, 2016, in Tuyap trade show center, Istanbul.


3D “scans” of entire thatch-roofed Mayan house architecture in Guatemala

Posted January 8, 2016

Using a drone and a drone pilot, we have both video and digital photographs of a dozen different thatch-roofed Mayan houses in the Q’eqchi’ Mayan area of Guatemala, Central America.

We took two 4WD double-cabin pickup trucks with a team of 10 of us from FLAAR Mesoamerica, and spent five days exploring the remote jungle-covered mountain areas of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

We found houses with roofs out of “banana leaves” (banana is not native but there are a dozen species of native heliconia plants which have leaves of similar size and shape). These platinillo leaves are used for thatching in remote areas. 99% of thatched houses are of palm fronds, so finding houses of ak (grass-like material) or platinillo (banana-like leaves) is extremely rare). All recent houses have modern roofs of tin sheets, even if the houses themselves are still of horizontal wooden poles.

We will be showing the results of the 3-dimensional studies of Mayan house architecture in the coming months, on our web site.


3D PRINTSHOW, co-located with Sign Istanbul

Updated September 24, 2015

Two of us from FLAAR Reports are eagerly attended 3D PRINTSHOW, co-located with Sign Istanbul.

We congratulate the organizers of both expos (IFO for Sign Istanbul and Tarsus 3D for PRINTSHOW team) for co-locating together.

Of course in actuality, these are 3D additive manufacturing machines, previously called rapid prototypers. But the jargon “3D printers” is more catchy, more alluring. So even though 90% of these machines do not use printheads (they extrude melted plastics and other technologies and chemistries), worldwide they are (mis)labeled as 3D printers. But they are definitely 3 dimensional.

FLAAR has been evaluating actual real 3D printers for many years back already (using either HP, Canon, or Ricoh printheads). We have visited training centers in USA and also the world headquarters for Objet Geometries. Object Geometries is now one of the brands of Stratasys.

One of our interests is to learn what technologies and chemistries can best produce 3D signage and 3D graphics. We will be lecturing on this topic at GOA 2016 in Miami. Last month Dr Nicholas gave two lectures on 3D signage in Johannesburg, South Africa. And last week we enjoyed visiting 3D PRINTSHOW, co-located with Sign Istanbul 2015.

Sign IstanbulWe hope to see you at both 3D PRINTSHOW and Sign Istanbul in beautiful Istanbul, Turkey, in 2016.

Tuyap Fair and Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey, 29 September through 2 October, 2016


3D scanners at DEAL 2015 trade show, Dubai

Updated Junel 17, 2015
Posted April 15, 2015

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth (FLAAR) was at DEAL trade show in Dubai this week, flown there by IEC, the organizers of this theme park expo.

We had a meeting with Andrei Vakulenko, VP New Markets, Artec Group, to look at their whole body scanner.

This meeting was arranged via ME Printer magazine editor introducing FLAAR to ACTIVE, the PR agency for Artec in Dubai (we write articles for ME Printer magazine for many years).

Nicholas Hellmuth Dubai DEAL Tradeshow April 2015
Dr Hellmuth and Andrei Vakulenko, VP New Markets, Artec Group (3D scanners) at DEAL 2015 in Dubai.


Nicholas Hellmuth Full body 3D ScanNicholas Hellmuth Full body 3D ScanNicholas Hellmuth Full body 3D Scan
Full body 3D scan of Dr Hellmuth, made by New Markets, Artec Group

FLAAR is evaluating Photogrammetry techniques for Ethnobotanical studies

First posted November 07, 2012


FLAAR evaluating 3D software that captures geometric properties and texture and needs no expensive scanning equipment

At FLAAR we are using Photogrammetry techniques to analyze the different aspects of Guatemalan fruits.

We are testing a remarkable software that captures the geometric properties and texture of a real object and creates a 3D model by using digital cameras, a technique that we are surprised exists and it’s accessible for everyone.

The significant difference with this revolutionary new software is that it requires NO expensive scanning equipment (you use the basic digital camera, or even your Iphone, which you already have). PLUS, this new system allows scans in full color (if you use costly CO2 or laser scanning equipment you get only a model with zero actual true color).

Wait for our free downloadable FLAAR Report on creating 3D models using digital cameras to learn more about this technology and the results we obtained by using it.


3d modeling hardware presented at RAPID 2011

Haptics technology phantom 3d design software hardware device
One innovating company that caught our attention also at RAPID 2011 was senseble 3d. This company manufactures 3d design software and 3d hardware (Phantom Haptic force-feedback device). Read more..

Learning about scanning animals for 3D digital imaging

Posted January 25, 2016

Today Andrea Mendoza, our 3D specialist, photographed a hummingbird to try to achieve a 3D scan.

Birds crash into our office windows about every two months. We have put masking tape and curtains (so that they can see the window as an object, and thus avoid it). But the mirror effect at certain sunlight hours evidently gets the birds confused.

We administer emergency first aid to any bird who smashes into the window, but this hummingbird probably had a broken neck and was dead before or immediately after it hit the tile floor after crashing into the glass at full speed.

Once the digital images are processed, we will see whether enough photos were taken. Snag is taking "side views". Top and bottom are easy.


Finally, full-sized 3D signage at last possible

Posted September 25, 2015

Since so many people around the world ask us how they can produce 3D signage, we had to caution print shops that most normal 3D printers can only produce an item a few centimeters in size.

So for past years, the best way to produce 3D signage was with other techniques (which we detail in our lectures and in our FLAAR Reports).

Now all this has changed. Now a company has developed a new chemistry (a new build-up material) and new 3D imaging concepts to allow creating objects 1.8 meters in height, 1.5 meters in width, and 1.2 METERS in depth.

Wow, sure is a breakthrough.

Innovation is what pushes progress, and this will cause ripples among all the other competitors, which will result in better 3D printers in all aspects (and all sizes).

Because the Hellmuth family background is architecture (HOK Architects (father and cousin) and Hellmuth & Bicknese (brother) are two examples), we have a long term interest in all aspects of architecture: especially 3D models. So in past years we have visited Objet Geometries world headquarters. This is a 3D printer that actually uses printheads.

By coincidence last week we were in the same restaurant as a team from Stratasys 3D printer company. So we are seeing 3D everywhere.

The new giant sized 3D technology is from Massivit, We hope to see this up close and in-person when possible. is the new giant size company


Recommending attending SIGGRAPH 2015

Posted June 16, 2015

We cover 3D in unique ways which are not written about elsewhere. Plus Dr Nicholas Hellmuth lectures around the world on 3D printing. However our focus is far beyond "3D printers" since to create eye-catching 3D signage your image has to be life-sized. 99% of the 3D printers can't produce more than a few inches in height. So Dr Nicholas has been reviewing and writing about every other technology to produce real 3D signage. In fact he has been lecturing on this topic and/or writing for trade magazines about 3D production in USA, Africa, and Dubai.

Of course we are also interested in 3D graphic design for future animation, which is one of many reasons why we will be writing about what is great to see at SIGGRAPH 2015.

conferences, 9-13 August 2015
Exhibition, 11-13-August 2015

Melanny Quinonez has been researching and writing about Wacom pen tablets and Andrea Mendoza has researched information related to 3D technologies.

Sketchbook pro software aplicacion dibujo pintura evaluacion AutoDesk FLAAR Reports Tabletas gráficas Wacom evaluación Como usar FLAAR Reports
Ceiba pentandra 3D DJI Phantom 2 review scanning Drone FLAAR Reports 3D scanning moving objects 2015 Flaar Reports

3d printing the new industrial revolution:

One technical writer from FLAAR Reports visited RAPID 2013 Conference and Exposition held at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. FLAAR Reports visited the show to learn more on 3d laser scanners imaging technologies and 3dprinting (additive manufacturing). We got the surprise that everybody is talking about:


Please download our free reports to learn more.


FLAAR Reports team at 3D expo, RAPID 2012

Last updated November 07, 2012. First posted May 22, 2012, updated May 24, Jun 08.


Two of us attended RAPID Conference and Exposition 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia to evaluate all the innovations in the field of 3D imaging combined with additive manufacturing technologies.

We will be updating our website and reports on the newest information about 3D scanners, additive manufacturing technologies, 3D imaging software reviews and more.

All reports on RAPID 2012 are free downloads.

Reports on RAPID 2012, 3D scanners, software and prototyping
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