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How to Scan 3D Objects and Convert them to 3D files on your iPad using Qlone

21st June 2020

Jacob Woolcock



Scanning 3D objects used to require specialised hardware and expensive software, but you can now do it using a free app on your iPad or iPhone! Qlone requires a printed mat (which you can print on any printer) and a steady hand. Other than that you can scan in objects and create virtual models right on your iPad. You can then use these models in Augmented Reality or export them to different formats.

NEW: You can now use Qlone without a Printed Mat at all! Check out my updated tutorial here:

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Have you ever wanted to save a model that you’ve made in the real world in the virtual world using augmented reality and 3D technology? Let me show you how. The app I’m going to show you is called Qlone, with a ‘Q’. When you open it, you go straight into your gallery view, and you can see your existing 3D models. But if you press the plus button in the bottom right-hand corner, you can make a new model. Now, for this to work, you need to print out the Qlone mat first of all. You can do it whatever size you want: A4, A3, but make sure it matches the size of the model you want to scan in. You should notice a kind of dome shape appears virtually over that mat. Anything inside this dome will then be scanned by the Qlone app. So, I’m going to put my Lego over a star in the middle, and then I’m going to slowly move my iPad camera around the dome. You’ll notice, as soon as I press record, that those little shapes will start turning blue and they’ll go invisible when they’ve been scanned. Move your iPad slowly around and get each layer of your object by scanning it using the dome feature. This is a little bit fiddly, and sometimes the dome can disappear. If that happens, make sure the whole mat is in the view of the camera. If the shapes turn red, that means you’re a little bit too far away, and you can move closer to scan at a higher resolution. You might find it easier to slowly rotate the mat and keep the iPad in one place rather than moving the iPad around the object. Take your time with this, and when it’s done, it will automatically move to the next step. This scan is now being converted into a 3D object. It might take a moment or two, and it may not look great at this stage, but don’t worry. When it’s done, you will then see a coloured 3D render of your object. From here, you can use one or two fingers, and you can rotate, zoom, twist it, and look all around the object. Notice mine isn’t perfect, particularly around the cables at the back. I’ve noticed the particularly fine parts of the object can be tricky for the app to scan. You can change a couple of settings here if you like to make your model look better. I like to turn the sharpness on and then adjust the saturation and the brightness a little bit. I know the model is not perfect; it doesn’t look quite as crisp as Lego in real life, but it is amazing to be able to scan that in on an iPad in less than a minute. Imagine your children have finished a lesson using Lego WeDo or Lego Spike Prime, and they’ve made their models, but they take them apart. You could easily print out some of these mats and get the children to scan them in 3D, and then, at the end of the project, you’d have a record of all of their 3D objects that you can then play with in augmented reality. It is so cool, and I bet you can think of hundreds of uses for this app already. Give it a go; it’s called Qlone, with a ‘Q’, and have fun experimenting with what you can do in this app. Hey, thanks for watching our video. Now, if you enjoyed that and you want to find some more quick tips for your iPad or using it in your classroom, do me a favour and press the subscribe button down below. That will really help me out, and it’ll help you keep up to date with all the latest tips and tricks on my YouTube channel.

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