🔴 FREE 3D SCAN and PRINT: 3DF ZEPHYR – tutorial

Welcome to my new post for my video on YouTube. In this one, I will show you how make a 3D copy of an object with your phone. I will use 3DF Zephyr Free edition.

See the video about it on YouTube!

Hi. In my previous video I have shown you how to use Autodesk Recap Photo to make an object copy. See the link in the description below. As there still is a great interest I decided to show you an alternative. A 3DF Zephyr program. It has some major benefits! Free version without time limit, lower prices, many times we get the 3D model faster, even though all the computing is done on local computer. The program even supports NVIDIA hardware acceleration. The only major drawback is a 50 input images limitation. Well, let’s start!!!

First we’ll download and install the program. Enter “3DF Zephyr” into search engine. It’s located on 3dflow.net page. Company offers few different versions. Let’s scroll down and see. The free version offers a 50 photos limitation. Others offer more input photos, more GPU support, advanced editing tools and even laser scan support, if you have one. Let’s get the free version. Now select the closest server and download. Wait for a 153MB setup file. Execute it. Select language, accept the agreement, select the target folder and precede by clicking next. Check the little box, if you want the program to be your default viewer for 3D files.

Now start the program. As in my Recap video I will use the same set of photos I have made. The object was a small seashell. All the conversion takes place under “Workflow” menu. Let’s start a new project.
You can check “Mask images”, if you want to manually trim photos beforehand, but it can be done at the end. Click “next”. Now drag&drop images. A nice feature here is an option to “import pictures from video”. It basically exports photos from it. All other steps are the same as in this video. Click next. Here’s a calibration page. It’s usually not needed to change anything. Click next. You can select a category here: aerial, close range, human body and urban. If you select one of them, it will display it’s purpose. Urban for buildings etc. My seashell falls under close range. I want details. I’ll also choose “Deep” preset. It will make more keypoints. Click “next” and “run” at the top. This process took 5 minutes on my Intel I3 notebook without NVIDIA graphics card.
We end up with “Sparse Point Cloud”. Here you can see that some of the images weren’t used due to errors. Let’s spin it a bit. Now, let’s start the next step under Workflow menu.
It’s a “Dense Point Cloud Generation”. Some info, click “next”. I’ll leave “Close Range” and “High Details”. Run the process. This one took almost 30 minutes on my slow notebook. Nice result. Blue dots in the air are camera positions. If you click one, it’ll display the corresponding photo.
I’ll water-level the shell. Click the little atom or orbit icon at the top. I’ll rotate them roughly. It seems the program made the end object lean – if the reason would have been my phone’s gyro, errors would have canceled themselves out. Otherwise the image dropout would have been even larger. Well, it doesn’t matter as the problem is manageable.
At the end I’ll roughly cut off the underlying book by cutting off by planes. Adjust the plane by dragging it and click the scissors icon at the top menu.
The next step in our “Workflow” menu is “Mesh Extraction”. Leave the last selection or choose the one you like. I’ll leave “Close Range” and “High Details”. “Next” and “run” the process. It took 2 minutes. It looks like a real seashell in augmented reality. Now we just need some stinking rotten fish. No, wait! The bottom still needs a small cut and a fill to make it perfect. I’ll use a plane selection tool and a cut – again. Bottom fill will have to wait.
So, the next step would be “Textured Mesh Generation” under “Workflow” menu. You can adjust some settings here to make a more detailed end result, but mind what the object will be used for. If it is only for printing, we have exaggerated all the way. You can probably leave everything on “default”. This last step took about 20 seconds.
Now, all you have to do is to export the object. I’ll select .OBJ file format and open it in an Autodesk Meshmixer which I sometimes use for fast object fixups. Don’t mind the odd-looking texture. For error checking I click “Analysis” icon on the left and then “Auto Repair All”. I have selected “Flat Fill” for holes.
You can do the same thing in the Zephyr. Go into “Tools”, then “Mesh filters” and choose “Fill Holes – Selective”. Program detects holes. You can see there is only one hole. Click “Fill Selected” and we are done! Now export the model.

NOTICE: I have tried several export settings and formats and the output always lacks a smooth texture look. Ideas? Comment on YouTube channel below.

Just for demonstration, here I will show you how it looks before printing. As in the Recap program, the Zephyr also makes approximately 7 times smaller object. If I slice it into 0.1mm layers we get most of the details.
So, if you feel I have contributed to your knowledge, please hit the LIKE button, SHARE video on social media, brainstorm your ideas in the COMMENTS below and do SUBSCRIBE to my channel. You can also buy me a COFFEE or even support me monthly via PATREON. All the links are in the description below.

In this tutorial I will show you how to convert your photos from your phone into a 3D object, how to 3D scan. I will use 3DF Zephyr. In the previous video I have shown how to do the same thing in Autodesk ReCap Photo. So, it’s a comparison video. In short: take images, download 3DF Zephyr, drag’n’drop photos, make some clicks and wait for your 3D object. I will convert a seashell into a 3D object. In the end I will slice it with Cura slicer into 0.1mm layer height.
Please hit LIKE button, SHARE video, COMMENT below and SUBSCRIBE to my channel.

A notice: In the video I use Autodesk Meshmixer for filling the bottom hole. The Zephyr can do the same: under “Tools”->”Mesh filters” click “Fill holes – selective” and it will fill the hole. One program less, but as I’ve stated, I use Meshmixer for fixing models.

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FREE 3D SCAN and PRINT: Autodesk ReCap Photo – tutorial
3DF ZEPHYR: https://www.3dflow.net/

Song in the background: Media Right Productions – Happy Mandolin, YouTube Audio Library.

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