How Intel’s RealSense camera lets the HP Sprout perform 3D-scanning miracles

Become the father of 3D-printed creations in just three easy steps

The HP Sprout isn’t a vegetable, and we don’t recommend serving it up on Christmas Day. The fact that it’s an all-in-one PC probably means that eating any part of it will play havoc with your digestive system, so we strongly advise keeping it away from your mouth.

What makes the Sprout stand out from its peers (apart from the fact that it’s got a quirky name), is its ability to 3D-scan real objects, let you manipulate them using software, and then 3D-print your creations.

It’s incredibly clever, very useful, and it’s all thanks to Intel’s impressive RealSense™ camera system.

Thanks to Intel RealSense, the Sprout can 3D-scan real objects


RealSense™. It’s the name of Intel’s incredible camera technology, which goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to camera smarts.

The setup consists of a regular camera, along with an infrared laser projector and secondary infrared camera. Used together, they provide the Sprout with its magical ability to beam objects into a digital form that can then be manipulated.

But how does it work? Magic?

Not quite, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The RealSense™ camera’s infrared projector bathes objects in an invisible grid. The infrared camera detects fluctuations in the grid’s pattern to accurately determine the various depths.

In this way, shapes of objects are accurately recorded and transformed into a digital version. Colour information can be detected too. It really is like magic, when you think about it. Time-travel back to the medieval era with a Sprout, and you’d be burned at the stake.

The 3D scanning really is like magic, when you think about it

My award for Most Average Employee is in my PC. Now what?

Now comes the fun part. You can shrink or embiggen a scanned object, or add or take away parts of it. You can even stretch it or combine them it other 3D models to create a brand new item entirely.

RealSense™ -scanned models are compatible with accessible software such as Microsoft’s 3D Builder, Meshmixer and Autodesk too, so there are plenty of options to sink your creative teeth into.

And when I’ve finished manipulating my Franken-object?

Why, you fire up the 3D printer and you give sweet, plasticky birth to your digital baby, of course!

This setup really wouldn’t appear out of place on board the Enterprise and, combined with HP’s 3D Capture stage – which automatically rotates and tilts objects for you for the perfect 360 degree scan – geeks and technophobes alike will definitely be impressed.

The future is now, and it’s all thanks to Intel’s fancy camera.