Agisoft Metashape

Agisoft Metashape => Face and Body Scanning => Topic started by: Joo on May 24, 2015, 08:04:11 PM

Title: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: Joo on May 24, 2015, 08:04:11 PM
I am thinking to open 3D scanning store in a mall in to sell people their figurines after taking a scan. The plan is to order 3D prints from Sculpteo or Shapeways (do you have any experience with them?). I've worked as a freelancer with cleaning 3D scans and I really liked that business idea. I generated models from 100 pi cameras setup (photos without and with projection) in Photoscan later edited models in ZBrush and Photoshop, simple job. What is your opinion on cameras? How much should there be to take full body scan in a very good quality? Is there a lot of difference between pi cameras and DSLR cameras? Is it much of a problem to setup all cameras and would it be possible to do it in a mall or are there some special requirements? When you were setting up your studio did you buy each cameras and did all the job yourself or did you buy it all prepared and ready (I saw some companies that offered such setup)?

I am at the moment collecting data about this idea, so I will be very thankful if you could answer some of my questions! :)
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: ruffy on May 25, 2015, 07:54:28 AM
In my opinion, I have to question the viability of a DSLR array for 3D Figurines.
The businesses model has been handled very poorly with operators charging insanely low prices.
As a photographer, I have sold quality 2D printed portrait packages for up to $5k with a total consumable cost of less then $500.
This business model can place you in the $1mm bracket based on good business principles.

I know of business that have tried to sell figurines from $99.
This is insane - it is not sustainable.
Do people really think that a low price is valued by the consumer and get you more work?
The answer is NO!

The talent that goes into creating a quality model is enormous - you cannot sell these for low prices.
If you compete on price alone, then it is a spiral to the bottom.
Camera arrays are too labour intensive for high volume work.

I believe there is an opportunity to create a good business model at the high end - $3-5k per package.
It should be $5-10k if your costs are less than 10% of what you charge (labour, capital, time and consumables) then you are set
$1mm = $5k per day 40 weeks per year.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: FoodMan on May 25, 2015, 12:56:47 PM
I think you can forget the DSLR idea for a mall business type..
the cost in $ and time would just be too much.

As Ruffy said, that business model has been handled very poorly from the start..

I thought of such business a long time ago, but I gave up, as it was not really worth it.

Maybe a  better idea would be to have a mobile setup and go to Fairs, Festivals etc..  Depending on the city you live, in a mall, clients are pretty limited.

Good luck 8)
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: Pearse on May 25, 2015, 04:03:13 PM
I, too, am curious about pricing.

My rig currently has 15 cameras, but I intend to expand to 21. It will be used to generate heads for printing, but not in color. They will be high resolution and more like sculptures.

I know how to price the prints, but am clueless on the pricing of capturing, then sculpting the finished product.

I already have a busy store, so my overhead is covered there. To capture a larger market, I was considering $500.00, but Ruffy has me thinking.

I'm very open to this discussion.... and thanks.
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: ruffy on May 26, 2015, 05:06:48 AM
@Foodman - Alexx Henry is trying the mobile approach.

Sadly, he did not reach his kickstarter goal, but good on him for trying.
I like his thinking - create awareness with a great product, opens up possibilities to a franchise, and being in many areas will see him as the industry expert & leader.

I have always considered the dslr array best for B2B with high quality for electronic use.
3D figurines make it a value added product but it is not the main money area.

People do not value what they pay little for.
When was the last time you heard someone complain about the new (not second hand) car they purchased?
If the figurine business was handled like good photography businesses then they would all be making $1MM+ / year.

There has to be customer engagement with an experience.
A good sales person presenting the images well, will do very well.
I intend to do this and make it a premium piece with the large 'bust' figurine.
Small colour figurines are too gimmicky and people will not pay for a gimmick.
A bronze bust to be commissioned can cost anything into the $MM's depending on the artist.
Consumable costs are around $1.5k
Photographers are artists and therefore, the artist is worth what he can get - $50 to $500k

Pixi Foto in Australia, a shopping mall franchise went from $85MM/year to broke in just 3 years after 25 years+ in business. There are no longer any successful photography studios in shopping malls (in Australia) any more.
Shopping malls lack customer engagement and selling techniques.
However, good photography studios still thrive.
In Australia, something like 75% of all photographers make less than the average wage, but the top 5% earn into the $MM's.
It is not about the product, it is how it is marketed and sold.

@ Pearce - what business are you currently providing?
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: FoodMan on May 26, 2015, 10:01:57 AM
Well, you're right.. the small figurines approach is indeed very gimmicky. People just don't value these small replicas.
After all they can get a Dark Vador figurine for $20..

Now the Bronze Bust is sure a nice idea, but then we're talking about a completely different thing ...  :P
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: ruffy on May 26, 2015, 10:19:15 AM
I think the raspberry pi system is good as they can get that featureless detail with projection that a bare array can have trouble with, they are cheap and easy, although, it does lack texture quality for high end work (ok for small figurines) has too small a footprint and is still not instant enough to capture a jumping dog, small child or other action shots.
I think you will find that most malls have height restrictions - in Australia, a 'pop up' can't be over 1.5 meters high.
I think I am like everyone else now - you have to build and try yourself as no one seems to be giving away secrets:)
Good luck:)
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: ttoke on May 26, 2015, 05:08:01 PM
We have experience with ordering the figurines from Shapeways and i.materialise.

The quality is usually very bad, sometimes unbearable, the skin colour is usually grey or green, sometimes some other colours as well. If you are aiming for high end, there is no way you could use a 3D printing service for the masses. You have to use some walls between the figurines to make the colour better, treat them with love later etc. Maybe you can find a good small service provider in your region, but the prices are usually x3-4.
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: Joo on May 27, 2015, 01:18:33 AM
Thanks a lot for you replies! You've been very helpful. I will have to do more research on this subject before I will get into this.
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: 360 on June 10, 2015, 11:03:08 AM
In my opinion and with the experience of many, many scans I can say that a rig with raspberrys is absolutely enough. At the moment (and I think for the next 3-5 years) you can´t 3d-print as high as a DSLR rig provides.
Also a raspberry rig is much easier to handle and much better for your invest ;-)
In the next few weeks we sell our self-developed fullbody 3d-scanner. Including 116 raspberrys, LED lightning and with expandable modules. Price will be 29.900€ excl. vat.
If you´re living in germany I can advise you to visit our 3d-workshop for building up a 3d-scanning studio. ( (

But it could be hard work, to scan only in a mall. You should also think about a mobility with your 3d-scanner, to offer your work in different places.
Title: Re: Planning to open 3D scan studio
Post by: bigben on June 12, 2015, 12:19:12 AM
If you're only aiming at 3D figurines then perhaps you might consider a different scanning method? These guys don't use photogrammetry, do their own printing and probably have a shorter end to end workflow. (    It's a different level of quality to a large DSLR array and they can't capture complex poses of people in motion but it is adequate for the purpose (and an array of other scanning uses as well)