Many of you have asked about the blue and red phone iPhone holders that appear in some of our videos. We designed these as a convenient way to hold the phone steady when taking your spin. Below, we are sharing the STL files for these holders so that you can 3D-print your own copy. If you do not have access to a 3D printer, you can also print Version 1 or Version 3 through Shapeways (a print on demand service—note, we do not control the prices that they charge and we are not adding any markup). The Shapeways pages also have an option to view the STL in 3D.

Version 1 of the iPhone 4/4s holder


We developed a custom iPad app for the University of Virginia Art Museum (UVaM) that contains 360 spins of twenty sculptures and ceramics, like the rhyton shown in the photograph above. Although our setup included a high-end turntable and a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera, it’s important to stress that you can capture very good spins with a far simpler setup. The same basic principles and editing techniques described in this post would work fine with one of the turntables we sell on our website.


Arqspin takes an image-based approach to 3D modeling. The appearance of a 3D object is represented as a set of images recorded from viewpoints spaced uniformly around a circle centered on the turntable’s axis of rotation. Spin credit: Mr. Kevin Hurd.

What is “3D”?

Some of the press we’ve received (including some of our own marketing materials) use the term “3D” to describe the datasets that Arqspin produces. We thought this would be a good forum to explain the underlying theory behind how our technology works and give you our rationale for using this term. We agree that the term “3D” can be misleading given its common interpretation, but we’ll let you decide if what we’re doing is “really 3D” after considering some history and theory.


Normally, a Spin is an “outside-in” type of visualization in that the user is looking AT an object from some position that lies on a perfect circle around the object. However, the opposite is also possible. The user can look at the outside circle from the middle of it.

In fact, many of you have asked us about what happens when you place your iPhone on the rotation stage and take a Spin of a location instead of an object. Well, you get a slightly different type of panoramic picture. It is not an immersive experience like a standard panorama, but it is something different because there is a change-of-space-and-time aspect to it. Here is an example of one such Spin that I took when I visited the top of Mt. Etna in Sicily a few weeks ago:

We’re testing a few new app features internally these days. One gives you the ability to create spins from imported movies captured with an external video camera. Here are a few spins we created using a Nikon D700 + 105mm micro prime lens.

Do you all know any nature photographers/bloggers we should contact?


We just launched a Tumblr blog and we’re looking for some Tumblr love. Please follow us!

We will use Tumblr to showcase beautiful spins. This blog will remain focused on technology, app updates, service updates, information (and fun!).

What a week! Our Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded after an 11th hour rush of activity. Here is a graph of our funding progress over the 30-day campaign (note the exciting trend toward the end!):

Kickstarter Funding Graph

Now we’re beginning the important business of satisfying rewards. We’ve already placed a big order for motors, PCBs, aluminum, acrylic, etc. and we’ll start creating the “service” rewards early this week (e.g., making cool unique spins for people who pledged at the $25 level). We will also send out the survey through the Kickstarter website soon to collect color preferences, shipping addresses, etc.

A number of you have asked about the small blue iPhone holder that appears in some of our marketing materials and in the Kickstarter video. That is something that we 3D printed ourselves. It still has a few small design flaws; once we refine the design to something we are happy with, we will share the STL files so anyone can print their own.

Another big thanks to all of our supporters out there! Many of you have sent us photographs of yourself that we have displayed on our wall. Thanks! We cherish our early adopters and want to keep you front and center in our thinking. Please keep sending them to along with any other feedback.

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