Can I create a depth map on a Mac with a Kinect?

Hi folks–
So, I picked up a used Kinect online just for grins to get a start on 3D scanning. I downloaded Skanect and played around. It’s fun to see the 3D objects but the free version exports so few faces that I’m not sure it’s terribly useful. I was wondering if it is possible to create a depth map like you would need for 3D laser engraving, using a Kinect on a Mac. If anyone knows of software or tutorials for this, I’d appreciate a link. Or if you know of any other software that would help me get more out of this camera.



speaking from no exp what so ever. If the Kinect driver exists on a mac and you create a 3d model of something scanned then you would Slice is with Autodesk 123 and then you can lasser those slices


You can create a 3D depth map from any 3D model.


Following…I have the Kinect somewhere around the house …would be fun to play with in that aspect

1 Like

Great! Can you point me to a link where I can learn more about it?

1 Like


Awesome, I’ll check it out–thanks!

Depending on what you want, the less-than-perfect resolution might turn out to be a good thing.


So I just tried this out, but on Windows. The directions were pretty good (I downloaded the 64-bit .exe file). I went to the website and downloaded a .3DS model, but Meshlab was unable to open that file type so I just make a quick .STL in SolidWorks. Then opened fine in Meshlab and the rest of the directions were fine, other than step 5. I couldn’t figure out what the ‘form window’ was. Turns out it’s the window that pops up when you choose the depthmap shader! Once that was figured out I was all set on making the depth map.

Remembering back, there was this post:

In SolidWorks, you can take these displacement/depth maps and use them as textures on your parts which I was able to do with this process! This was a great video that described the process. Not sure what I’d do from there with it though but thought it was ‘neat’!


I tried it on the Mac with Meshlab, using one of their sample .obj files, and had no trouble getting a nice depth map. Now I just need a 3D-capable laser engraver to bring it to life!


Don’t we all! Soon, very soon. :pray: - Rich

1 Like

If you have a Kinect and have some way of running Windows 10 via Bootcamp, Microsoft made an app to help you scan in objects with it.

Also, in general, they have a 3D application portal at


if you still can get the resolution you want with the kinect, check out the structure scanner. I love the one I have at work. It’s not so good for smaller stuff though (3in or smaller).

I do run Windows 7 under Parallels. I wonder if the apps would run?

Nope. It’s an app not an application - it requires the “metro” framework support from Win 8.1 or later.

1 Like