Homebrew 3d scanner

9 Accurate DIY 3D Scanners You Can 3D Print At Home (2022)

3D scanners can get really expensive. We’d know – we’ve tested and researched them in creating our ranking of the best 3D scanners . However, if you’re willing to be a little more thrifty you can save a lot of money building your own DIY 3D scanner — and have a cheap 3D scanner you can feel proud of building yourself!

DIY projects, especially in an area where precision is key, have an unfairly slap-dash reputation. In fact, there are some very accurate DIY 3D scanners on our list, you just need to assemble them yourself.

The best part: they’re almost free if you 3D print the parts — your only costs are the camera/parts.

However, don’t be fooled – you won’t get $20,000-quality scans from these kits. And it takes focus and skill to build such a technical piece of kit – hence we’ve included a couple of easy-assemble kits which cost more, but let you get right down to scanning. For the DIY kits, we’ve included download links and links to documentation to get you started.

What Makes a Good DIY 3D Scanner?

  • Price-performance ratio: for the price, how good are scans?
  • Resolution: how crisp is scan quality
  • Accessibility: you may be able to print most of the 3D scanner, but are the rest of the parts easy to buy?
  • Ease of assembly and use: quick and easy builds are always better. The best 3D scanner projects can be built by anyone, newbie or expert.

3D Printable 3D Scanners

Ciclop DIY 3D scanners

Many of the best DIY scanner kits are based on the original Ciclop open-source files. Massive companies like BQ have created their version, as well as tweaked versions such as CowTech Engineering’s take.

We’ve included them all here, as each option are some of the most DIY accurate 3D scanner options for this price range. For a pre-assembled scanner with the same quality, you’d likely need to spend double this.

3DSourced is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

BQ Ciclop
  • Resolution: 0.3-0.5mm
  • DIY 3D scanner technology: laser triangulation
  • Price: around $150 — Available on Amazon worldwide here

BQ are a Spanish technology giant who are well-known across Europe for their smartphones, tablets, and 3D printers. They’ve also developed their Ciclop DIY 3D scanner, which scans a volume up to 250 x 205 mm, based on laser triangulation technology.

An important feature of the BQ Ciclop is that it’s a completely open source 3D scanner. You’re free to modify it as you wish, following the RepRap philosophy. It’s easily accessible via USB or Bluetooth, and can 3D scan with a resolution of between 0.3-0.5mm.

  • We also have a ranking of the best open source 3D printers.
The BQ Ciclop is a well known open source DIY 3D scanner.

Another great addition to this DIY 3D scanner is that it works with Horus open source 3D scanning suite which BQ also developed. This makes scanning much easier with the compatible program. You can buy just the electronics (includes an Arduino, webcam etc) and print the parts yourself for $115, or buy the whole kit for $240. Not bad.

However, it is worthy of note that the BQ Ciclop is difficult to assemble. Other DIY 3D scanners are quicker and simpler to build, though the Ciclop is still a fantastic DIY 3D digitizer.

Murobo Atlas — Great Raspberry Pi 3D Scanner
  • Resolution: 0.25mm
  • DIY 3D scanner technology: laser triangulation technology
  • Price: $200-250 — Available on Amazon worldwide here

Another homemade 3D scanner, the Atlas has the highest quality specs of any DIY 3D scanner we researched. It includes a 3D printed body made from PLA and ABS filaments, which can be purchased online. If you’re a serious DIY fanatic, you can print the parts yourself via the download link here.

Depending on if you already own a Raspberry Pi or not, you can save money on the build. This is because the Atlas DIY 3D scanner uses a Raspberry Pi camera to take detailed 3D scans with an accuracy of 0.25mm. Depending on your choice, the Atlas is likely to cost between $200 and $250, which is far less than most professional 3D scanners.

Moreover, Murobo has made considerable efforts to make sure that the Atlas DIY 3D scanner is convenient and simple to use. To achieve this, the Atlas comes with FreeLSS free 3D software which enables you to easily take 3D scans. In addition, you can access your Atlas via your computer’s browser through WiFi, as well as via SD card.

Overall, this DIY 3D scanner Raspberry Pi collaboration is a really interesting and creative way of combining several different innovative technologies to create a scanning device. If you’re an Arduino fan instead, you may be able to make it work for you too.

CowTech Ciclop
  • Price: $119 – $159 (depending on whether you’re 3D printing the parts or not) — Available on Amazon here
  • Resolution: 0. 5 mm
  • Maximum scan volume: 200 x 200 x 205 mm

BQ formed the foundations of the DIY 3D scanner kit, and remains one of the best DIY 3D scanner on tight budget options. Then back in 2015, CowTech Engineering used the foundations led by BQ, putting their unique spin on an updated model.

True to the open source movement, Cowtech started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to put their version of the original, the CowTech Ciclop, into production. The team set the lofty goal to raise $10,000, and were met with surprise when the community rallies to raise $183,000. The CowTech Ciclop DIY 3D scanner kit was born.

So what are the differences between CowTech’s version and BQ’s DIY 3D scanner?

The CowTech Ciclop still uses the Horus 3D software program as it does a fantastic shop for 3D scanning objects. Differences however include a slightly different design, which the team spent days designing so that the parts could be 3D printed on any FDM 3D printer. Some desktop 3D printers only have a small build volume, so CowTech designed parts that can be printed on any printer with a build volume of 115 x 110 x 65 mm, which almost all 3D printers have.

Additionally, CowTech’s Ciclop has adjustable laser holders, and whereas the BQ Ciclop uses threaded rods, CowTech’s DIY 3D scanner uses laser-cut acrylic. This isn’t anything drastic and the scanners still look fairly similar, but CowTech only intended to improve the existing design, not reform it. CowTech sell the Ciclop, ready-to-scan, for $159 on their website. Overall, this is a great cheap DIY 3D scanner, and very effective for laser triangulation 3D scanning.The CowTech Ciclop DIY 3D scanner is an improvement on BQ’s revolutionary model.

OpenScan Classic and OpenScan Mini

  • Max Scan Volume: 180 x 180 x 180 mm / 80 x 80 x 80 mm
  • Accuracy: Up to 50 microns
  • DIY 3D scanner technology: Photogrammetry
  • Price: Starting at $100. 00 up to $200.00 for a complete kit with 3D printed parts and electronic
Use your DSLR digital camera or phone with the OpenScan scanner.

The Mini and Classic are two low-cost but high-quality 3D printed DIY scanner projects designed by German company OpenScan. In action, the OpenScan uses a stepper motor mounted to a 3D printed frame to rotate an object to capture images from various angles. These are then compiled into a high-quality 3D model using open-source software or OpenScanCloud, ready for 3D printing.

Where the OpenScan Classic and Mini differ from one another is max scan volume and camera/SBC options. The Mini features an 80 x 80 x 80 mm scan volume, while the Classic more than doubles the scan volume to a roomy 180 x 180 x 180 mm, perfect for scanning larger objects.The Openscan Mini – the cheaper and smaller 3D printable 3D scanner.

The OpenScan Mini is tied to a Raspberry Pi and only works with either a Pi Camera or Arducam IMX 519 and includes one-click easy scanning. This allows the completed scanner to rotate not just the object but also the camera for a more detailed point cloud. 

On the other hand, the OpenScan Classic is also compatible with Smartphones and DSLR cameras, which generally means better quality photos and, as a result, higher-quality models. It’s the tinkerer’s option and better suited for those that want to customize the scanner to their needs.

OpenScan offers a solution for all DIY skill levels and budgets, whichever model you decide on. You can customize kits based on your needs or order a complete kit that includes all the electronics and 3D printed parts.

The full assembly guide is here.

AAScan Open Source 3D Scanner Based on Arduino and Android

AAScan is a very recent (February 2020) DIY open source 3D scanner that’s fully automated in taking photos and moving the object around on the scan plate. All the files are on Thingiverse, which we’ve linked below. Interestingly, the creator stresses that the AAScan is intended to be a purposefully minimalist machine, able to scan but not filled with extra features beyond this primary capacity.

All the instructions for how to build, print and assemble the AAScan are on the Thingiverse page, requiring an Arduino, some electronics, and either a 3D printer to print the plastic parts or someone else to print them for you — such as from a 3D printing service.

You can view the DIY scanner on Thingiverse here.

FabScan Pi

  • DIY 3D scanner technology: laser triangulation
  • Price: $100-200 depending on which version

The original FabScan was a DIY 3D scanner built by Francis Engelmann as part of his Bachelor’s thesis back in 2010. Since then, there have been numerous improvements made in new iterations up to the newest model, the FabScan Pi. This new model uses a Raspberry Pi camera along with the new design to offer higher quality 3D scans.

Based on laser triangulation technology, the FabScan Pi is one of the best DIY 3D scanner options for those who are into doing it themselves. Depending on if you go for one of the older models or the latest, the price can vary between $100 and around $200 to completely create the 3D scanner. Overall, it’s a really cool kit and thesis which you can make at home.

If you want to create your own FabScan, you can follow the assembly guide here.The FabScan Pi is an interesting option with new evolutions being developed all the time.

DIY Standalone 3D Scanner by Jun Takeda

  • DIY 3D scanner technology: Photogrammetry
  • Price: $200.00

The DIY Standalone 3D Scanner is an excellent option for those that want a hands-on project that results in a reasonably accurate and easy-to-use stationary 3D scanner. 

By combining a Mbed board with a camera and OpenCV libraries, the scanning process is largely automated with just a single button push. The scanner captures multiple images of an object to create a 3D model that’s then output as an STL file written to an SD Card.

To complete the project, you’ll need a GR-LYCHEE as a centerpiece sided by smaller electronic parts, plastic sheets to create the housing, and various nuts and wiring to piece it all together.  

As the name implies, it’s very much a DIY project and, as such, would best suit those happy to troubleshoot any potential hurdles with little hand-holding. Though there are instructions, you’re responsible for designing the housing, wiring the board, and calibrating the camera.

Arduino-Controlled Photogrammetry 3D Scanner by Brian Brocken

  • DIY 3D scanner technology: Photogrammetry
  • Price: ~$100

The Arduino-Controlled Photogrammetry 3D Scanner is a 3D printable 3D scanner DIY project that leverages the camera on any run-of-the-mill Smartphone and a cheap Arduino UNO SBC to keep costs low.

The core idea is to assemble a turntable consisting of 3D printed mechanical parts, including a print-in-place bearing. A Bluetooth-connected Smartphone does the actual scanning via the normal photogrammetry process. As for electronic components, you’ll need a servo motor, LCD screen, Arduino Uno, PCB, stepper motor, Bluetooth remote, regulator, and a small joystick module.

Once assembled, the Arduino-Controlled Photogrammetry 3D Scanner can capture anywhere from 2 to 200 photos in a single 360° rotation for reasonably detailed scans. The images are then sent to photogrammetry software such as AutoDesk Recap Photo to assemble a 3D model.

Aside from the cost of filament, expect to pay no more than $100 for all the parts and the STL files to 3D print the turntable.

Semi-assembled DIY scanners

Revopoint POP / POP 2

  • Price: $500-700 — Available at Revopoint store here
  • Accuracy: 0.3 mm
  • Max Scan Volume: 200 x 300 x 300 mm
  • Scan Speed: Up to 8 FPS
  • DIY 3D scanner technology: Structured light

Though not technically a DIY scanner, we thought we’d slide in the Revopoint POP as a cheat option for those that want to save time and want largely better quality scans than you’d get with a homemade alternative.

It comes semi-assembled – you just need to attach the tripod, connect the USB and the turntable, add the sticker markers for better scan tracking, and optionally build and attach the larger turntable – so you can get started in just 5 minutes!A basic mug scan we did on our Revopoint POP 2.

The catch? At around $500, the Revopoint POP is considerably pricier than a DIY scanner. Still, it may be worth paying the premium for the convenience and reliability.

The Revopoint POP offers 0.3 mm accuracy (the POP 2 offers within 0.1 mm!) and automatic alignment technology, making for more detailed and smooth full-color 3D models than DIY scanners. It can capture 360° scans of objects up to 200 x 300 x 300 mm, besting most DIY options.

The main benefit of all this is high accuracy scans that are just about ready for 3D printing with very little post-processing needed to iron out imperfections and poor surface details.A statue scan we did with our Revopoint POP 2.

Ease of use also extends to the intuitive software, which works with Smartphones for on-the-go scanning and features exports to STL and OBJ formats. Alongside, it bundles in best-of both-worlds handheld and stationary modes. Five different scanning profiles allow you to tune the POP to each scan with face, body, feature, mark, and dark mode.

Read more: we tested and reviewed the Revopoint POP 2

Can You Make a 3D Scanner?

  1. Choose a DIY 3D scanner design.
  2. Source the non-3D printable parts such as the camera, stepper motor, single board computer (such as an Arduino), wiring, and other electronic parts.
  3. 3D print the housing, brackets, turntable, mounts, and other parts required for the 3D scanner project.
  4. Wire and assemble all the parts.
  5. Configure and set up the single board computer.
  6. Test and scan.


Which is the Best DIY 3D Scanner?

This depends on how much DIY you want to take on yourself, and how much you are ready to spend.

One of the most cost-effective options is scanners based on the Ciclop open-source 3D scanner design. You can purchase a low-cost Ciclop scanner like the BQ Ciclop or CowTech Ciclop 3D scanner, then 3D print the parts from home and modify and tune the scanner to your liking.

Alternatively, the Revopoint POP is an excellent semi-assembled 3D scanner with great specifications and software at an affordable price for those that want to save time.

What is a DIY 3D Scanner?

A DIY 3D scanner is a cost-effective, home-made device constructed from manufactured or 3D printed parts designed to capture the characteristics of a specific object – such as size, surface details, and shape – by scanning it from multiple angles to create an equivalent point cloud that can be processed into a 3D model via software.

Other articles you may be interested in:

  • The best 3D scanners
  • The best low-cost 3D scanners
  • Top 3D scanner apps for iOS and Android
  • The best photogrammetry software
  • Structured light 3D scanning vs laser scanning
  • 3D body scanners: a guide
  • Industrial 3D scanners

3d Scanning | Hackaday

October 2, 2022 by Donald Papp

In France during the mid-to-late 1800s, one could go into François Willème’s studio, sit for a photo session consisting of 24 cameras arranged in a circle around the subject, and in a matter of days obtain a photosculpture. A photosculpture was essentially a sculpture representing, with a high degree of exactitude, the photographed subject. The kicker was that it was both much faster and far cheaper than traditional sculpting, and the process was remarkably similar in principle to 3D scanning. Not bad for well over a century ago.

This article takes a look at François’ method for using the technology and materials of the time to create 3D reproductions of photographed subjects. The article draws a connection between photosculpture and 3D printing, but we think the commonality with 3D scanning is much clearer.

Continue reading “In A Way, 3D Scanning Is Over A Century Old” →

Posted in ArtTagged 1800s, 3d scanning, art, photography, photosculpture, sculpture

June 26, 2022 by Donald Papp

When it comes to 3D scanning, a perfect surface looks a lot like the image above: thousands of distinct and random features, high contrast, no blurry areas, and no shiny spots. While most objects don’t look quite that good, it’s possible to get usable results anyway, and that’s what [Thomas] aims to help people do with his tips on how to create a perfect, accurate 3D scan with photogrammetry.

3D scanning in general is pretty far from being as simple as “point box, press button”, but there are tools available to make things easier. Good lighting is critical, polarizers can help, and products like chalk spray can temporarily add matte features to otherwise troublesome, shiny, or featureless objects. [Thomas] provides visuals of each of these, so one can get an idea of exactly what each of those elements brings to the table. There’s even a handy flowchart table to help troubleshoot and improve tricky scan situations.

[Thomas] knows his stuff when it comes to 3D scanning, seeing as he’s behind the OpenScan project. The last time we featured OpenScan was back in 2020, and things have clearly moved forward since then with a new design, the OpenScan Mini. Interesting in an open-sourced scanning solution? Be sure to give it a look.

Posted in how-toTagged 3d scanning, OpenScan, Photogrammetry

June 22, 2022 by Michael Shaub

Readers are likely familiar with photogrammetry, a method of creating 3D geometry from a series of 2D photos taken of an object or scene. To pull it off you need a lot of pictures, hundreds or even thousands, all taken from slightly different perspectives. Unfortunately the technique suffers where there are significant occlusions caused by overlapping elements, and shiny or reflective surfaces that appear to be different colors in each photo can also cause problems.

But new research from NVIDIA marries photogrammetry with artificial intelligence to create what the developers are calling an Instant Neural Radiance Field (NeRF). Not only does their method require far fewer images, as little as a few dozen according to NVIDIA, but the AI is able to better cope with the pain points of traditional photogrammetry; filling in the gaps of the occluded areas and leveraging reflections to create more realistic 3D scenes that reconstruct how shiny materials looked in their original environment.

If you’ve got a CUDA-compatible NVIDIA graphics card in your machine, you can give the technique a shot right now. The tutorial video after the break will walk you through setup and some of the basics, showing how the 3D reconstruction is progressively refined over just a couple of minutes and then can be explored like a scene in a game engine. The Instant-NeRF tools include camera-path keyframing for exporting animations with higher quality results than the real-time previews. The technique seems better suited for outputting views and animations than models for 3D printing, though both are possible.

Don’t have the latest and greatest NVIDIA silicon? Don’t worry, you can still create some impressive 3D scans using “old school” photogrammetry — all you really need is a camera and a motorized turntable.

Continue reading “NeRF: Shoot Photos, Not Foam Darts, To See Around Corners” →

Posted in Artificial IntelligenceTagged 3d capture, 3d scanning, CUDA, NVIDIA, Photogrammetry

September 14, 2021 by Al Williams

There are many scanners — both commercial and homemade — that can take a variety of scans or images of a 3D object and convert it into something like a 3D printable file. When the process works, it works well, but the results can be finicky at best and will require a lot of manual tuning. According to [Samuel Garbett], you might as well just draw your own model using Blender. He shows you how using a Red Bull can which, granted, isn’t exactly the most complicated thing ever, but it isn’t the simplest either.

He does take one photo of the can, so there is a camera involved at some point. He also takes measurements using calipers, something you probably already have laying around.

Since it is just a can, there aren’t many required pictures or measurements as, say, a starship model. Once you have the measurements, of course, you could use the tool of your choice and since we aren’t very adept with Blender, we might have used something we think is easier like FreeCAD or OpenSCAD. However, Blender has a lot of power, so we suspect making the jump from can to the USS Enterprise might be more realistic for a Blender user.

Besides, it is good to see how other tools work and we were surprised that Blender could be relatively simple to use. Every time we see [Jared’s] channel, we think we should learn more about Blender. But if you have your heart set on a real scanner, there are plenty of open source designs you can print.

Posted in 3d Printer hacksTagged 3d scanning, blender, Photogrammetry

August 31, 2021 by Tom Nardi

3D scanners aren’t cheap, and the last thing you want to see after purchasing one is bad data. But that’s what [Dave Does] and others were getting from their Revopoint POP scanners until some communal brainstorming uncovered the reason: the motorized turntable that came with the Kickstarter edition of the product was spinning too fast for the software to accurately keep track of the object. So he decided to replace the stepper motor controller in his turntable and document the process for anyone else who’s scanner might be struggling.

Plenty of room for expansion.

In the video below, [Dave] pops open the plastic case of the turntable and reveals a pretty sparse interior. There’s an incredible amount of empty space inside, and even some mounting studs to screw down new components, should you want to get into some hardcore upgrades. But for his purposes, a generic stepper motor controller that featured a potentiometer to adjust the speed was enough. He found a suitable board online for around $5 USD, and got to designing a 3D printed bracket that mates up to the existing screw holes on the turntable.

But it’s not exactly a drop-in replacement. For one thing, you’ve got to pop a hole in the side of the enclosure for the potentiometer knob to stick out of. You’ve also got to solder wires coming from the original DC jack and power switch to the new board to get it hooked up, but at least the motor plugs right in. In the video below, you can see [Dave] demonstrate the impressively deep throttle capability of the new driver.

If you’d rather build than buy, we’ve covered some impressive DIY turntables in the past that could fit the bill nicely, from automatic models that handle camera control to fully 3D printed versions that you’ve got to crank yourself.

Continue reading “Better 3D Scans Through A Slowed Down Turntable” →

Posted in digital cameras hacks, Tool HacksTagged 3d scanner, 3d scanning, stepper motor controller, turntable

July 1, 2021 by Danie Conradie

[Scott Rumschlag] wanted a way to precisely map interior spaces for remodeling projects, but did not want to deal with the massive datasets created by optical 3D scanning, and found the precision of the cost-effective optical tools lacking. Instead, he built a 3D cable measuring device that can be used to map by using a manual probe attached to a cable.

The cable is wound on a retractable spool, and passes over a pulley and through a carbon fiber tube mounted on a two-axis gimbal. There are a few commercial machines that use this mechanical approach, but [Scott] decided to build one himself after seeing the prices. The angle of rotation of each axis of the gimbal and the length of extended cable is measured with encoders, and in theory the relative coordinates of the probe can be calculated with simple geometry. However, for the level of precision [Scott] wanted, the devil is in the details. To determine the position of a point within 0.5 mm at a distance of 3 m, an angular resolution of less than 0.001° is required on the encoders. Mechanical encoders could add unnecessary drag, and magnetic encoders are not perfectly linear, so optical encoders were used. Many other factors can also introduce errors, like stretch and droop in the cable, stickiness of the bearings, perpendicularity of the gimbals axis and even the spring force created by the encoder wires. Each of these errors had to accounted for in the calculations. At first, [Scott] was using an Arduino Mega for the geometry calculations, but moved it to his laptop after he discovered the floating point precision of the Mega was not good.

[Scott] spend around 500 hours building and tuning the device, but the end result is really impressive. There are surprisingly few optical machines that can achieve this level of precision and accuracy, and they can be affected by factors like the reflectivity of an object.

If you do want to get into real 3D scanning, definitely take the time to read [Donal Papp]’s excellent guide to the practical aspects of the various technologies. Most of us already have a 3D scanner in our pocket in the form of a smartphone, which can be used for photogrammetry.

Continue reading “Sub-mm Mechanical 3D Scanner With Encoders And String” →

Posted in Tool HacksTagged 3d scanning, encoders, metrology

April 20, 2021 by Donald Papp

3D scanning and 3D printing may sound like a natural match for one another, but they don’t always play together as easily and nicely as one would hope. I’ll explain what one can expect by highlighting three use cases the average hacker encounters, and how well they do (or don’t) work. With this, you’ll have a better idea of how 3D scanning can meet your part design and 3D printing needs.

Most 3D printing enthusiasts sooner or later become interested in whether 3D scanning can make their lives and projects easier. Here are a three different intersections of 3D scanning, 3D printing, and CAD along with a few words on how well each can be expected to work.

Goal Examples and Details Does it work?
Use scans to make copies of an object.
  • 3D scan something, then 3D print copies.
  • Objects might be functional things like fixtures or appliance parts, or artistic objects like sculptures.
Mostly yes, but depends on the object
Make a CAD model from a source object.
  • The goal is a 1:1 model, for part engineering purposes.
  • Use 3D scanning instead of creating the object in CAD.
Not Really
Digitize inconvenient or troublesome shapes.
  • Obtain an accurate model of complex shapes that can’t easily be measured or modeled any other way.
  • Examples: dashboards, sculptures, large objects, objects that are attached to something else or can’t be easily moved, body parts like heads or faces, and objects with many curves.
  • Useful to make sure a 3D printed object will fit into or on something else.
  • Creating a CAD model of a part for engineering purposes is not the goal.
Yes, but it depends

In all of these cases, one wants a 3D model of an object, and that’s exactly what 3D scanning creates, so what’s the problem? The problem is that not all 3D models are alike and useful for the same things.

Continue reading “What To Expect From 3D Scanning, And How To Work With It” →

Posted in 3d Printer hacks, Hackaday Columns, SliderTagged 3d modeling, 3D Printering, 3d scanning, cad, part design, Photogrammetry

Almost DIY 3d scanner for home / Sudo Null IT News scanning is out of the question.

But the main plus that I took out from the article is the David-3D scanning program, which really has a good manual in Russian and, importantly, buying a license is the last thing required, since the free version is limited only to saving the scan result. Everything else works in full, which means that it is quite possible to test the program, settings and your hardware as much as you like. And if you don’t need the result with high accuracy, then you can do without buying a license at all.

I needed accuracy, since the main thing I wanted to scan was miniatures from the Warhammer board game (so that later I could change them as I wanted and print them :)). The height of these "soldiers" is only 3 cm, but this does not prevent them from being very detailed.

If you do not need to shoot such small objects, then your equipment requirements will be lower, which means that it will be much easier to assemble a similar scanner for yourself.

The principle of the program, and accordingly scanning, is well described in the article, which was linked above (I think it is not necessary to duplicate this). It is advisable to read that article first, as this one will be in some way its logical continuation.

But let's start in order. What you need to try 3D scanning at home:
1 - projector.
2 - webcam.

That's all, the short list turned out surprisingly well. However, if you want to get very accurate and high-quality scans, then you will have to modify some things with pens. Of course, you can’t do without additional costs, but in the end it will still cost less than buying any of the commercially available 3D scanners, and the quality of the result can be obtained much better.

Now, in order and in detail.


I, like the author of the previous article, started my first experiments on scanning with a laser pointer, but they immediately showed how inconvenient this method is. There are several disadvantages here at once:
- the impossibility of obtaining a beam with a sufficiently thin line. Moreover, when you turn the pointer, the distance from the lens to the object changes, which means the focus is lost.
- if you need to scan regularly, turn the laser pointer with sufficient accuracy and smoothness by hand is very difficult, and tiringly easy - the hands are not such a stable tool when it comes to a long time.
- you have to scan in the dark so that only the laser line is visible and nothing more.

And if the second drawback can still be dealt with by creating a special rotary mechanism (although this is already not such an easy task, in any case, this cannot be done in 5 minutes on the knee), then getting rid of the first drawback is more expensive.

When I realized all this, I decided to try scanning with a projector, for which I borrowed some simple model from a friend.

A small clarification should be made here - in the last article, the author mentioned the possibility of scanning using a projector, although the proposal was, in my opinion, very strange -

A projector with a powerful lamp is suitable, the light of which must be directed through a narrow slit to the object being scanned

This may have been the only option in earlier versions of the program, but in version 3 that I experimented with, the projector was used much better, because there's a feature called Structured Light Scanning (SLS). Unlike laser scanning, the projector immediately projects a grid of vertical and horizontal lines of various thicknesses onto the object, which reduces the scanning time by an order of magnitude and allows you to automatically shoot the color texture of the object. Well, with good focus, a 1 pixel wide line is much thinner than you can get from an inexpensive laser pointer.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures from those first experiments, and there wasn’t much to take pictures of - the projector is on the table, next to it is a webcam, all of this looks in one direction :) However, even such a simple design showed that this option much better both in terms of scanning speed and quality. Then I decided to buy myself a projector for these purposes.

The criteria for choosing a projector were simple - higher resolution, lower price and dimensions :)
The choice settled on IconBit Tbright x100 - an ultra-compact DLP LED projector, 1080 resolution - at that time it seemed to me that you couldn’t imagine better, but as it turned out later, I was wrong, although while working with it, I got a lot of interesting experience.

The first problem that occurs when scanning a small object with a projector is that for best results, the size of the projected grid should roughly match the size of the object being scanned. This projector made it possible to obtain the smallest screen diagonal at the closest focus - about 22 cm. Agree that against such a background, a miniature 3 cm high is far from the concept of "approximately equal sizes." The answer was found on the official forum - people in such cases install camera lenses on the projector for macro photography. Given the small size of the projector lens, I opted for marumi lenses with a thread diameter of 34mm.

Using two of these kits, I managed to get a projector screen with a diagonal of only about 3 cm. Which turned out to be quite enough to make my first microscan -

This is a single scan, therefore there are “holes” on the model, torn edges and etc. By turning the coin and scanning from different angles, you can get several of these scans, which are subsequently combined into one object (the scanning program itself allows you to correctly combine different scans, stitch them together and save them as a single object). In the process of stitching, the shape of the object is also specified. But saving the results of such stitching is possible only after purchasing a license.

And now the moment has come for the first thing that is not necessary for scanning, but with it the process is much more convenient - this is a stand for a projector with a camera. The calibration process itself is needed not only for the program to recognize the parameters of the equipment - the software must also calculate the relative position of the camera and the projector. In the course of work, their change is not allowed (as well as changing the focus of the camera), which means that it is necessary to firmly fix all this, because the number of scans can be large even for one object.

David's main page shows a similar system - it is nothing complicated. Yes, and looking through the forum and seeing how different people organize it for themselves, I realized that nothing complicated is required here.

For these purposes, a stand was taken from a burned-out LCD monitor, and plexiglass from it, cut and glued like this design, as it looked in the first version , which allowed changing the screen diagonal and scanning objects of different sizes.
It should also be mentioned that scanning with a projector does not require the constant presence of calibration panels in the field of view. After the calibration is done, they can be removed. This allows, having calibrated the installation, to easily transfer it, move it, etc.
That is, you can use a large calibration template to calibrate at home on the walls, and then go outside with this stand and laptop and scan your car, for example. We took a smaller template, put a couple of lenses - and you can scan jewelry.

Recently, the company has released an improved scanning kit, here the stand looks much more serious and interesting -

2000 euros is not entirely justified, it is not difficult to assemble something like this yourself and much cheaper.

Let's go back to the projector. As it turned out, this projector had one major disadvantage for being used in a scanner, namely its native resolution (854*480). And everything would be fine if it produced the same output, but alas, the picture was converted to standard resolutions (such as 1024 * 768), and as a result, a line one pixel wide was somewhere brighter in different parts of the screen, where - something dimmer, somewhere already and somewhere wider . .. All this had a negative effect on the quality of scanning, expressed in the form of ripples and stripes on the resulting model.
By that time, I was already thinking about buying a projector for a stereolithographic 3D printer (http://geektimes.ru/post/245590/). After considering several options, I settled on the Acer P1500 model, because. it does not need any modifications to be used in a printer (this projector, without any lenses, is able to give a focused image on a screen of about 4 * 7 cm). So, for the scanner, it will fit perfectly. At the same time, the resolution of 1920 * 1080 is real. And so it happened, I still use this projector and am completely satisfied with the results.


The criteria for choosing a camera were the same as when choosing a projector. Having gone shopping, I stopped at the Logitech C615. The scan of the coin was made from it, without any modifications. But when I tried to scan the figurine, I ran into a problem called "depth of field". When the object is so small, then in fact we get macro photography, and sharpness with such shooting is achieved only in a small segment, literally just a couple of millimeters (which is why the coin was scanned well - the relief fit perfectly into the sharpness area). It was decided to convert the camera to a different lens. Several different lenses were ordered on Ebay for testing, and a new case was cut out for the camera board. The plan was like this0003

The final result was slightly different

The main idea, I think, is clear. And now, both on Thingiverse and on the forum of the program, you can download stl for printing cases for different types of webcams.

I had to remove the standard lens from the camera board, and as it turned out later, the IR filter was removed along with it, so be careful in this matter. The filter will then come in handy for use with other lenses, although you can buy them separately - the price is cheap.

Thus, I have formed such a collection of lenses.

While I was waiting for the lenses to arrive, I was reading various photography forums. Studying the issue with depth of field, I found out that you can increase it by closing the lens aperture more. This means that the lens was required one in which it was possible to adjust the aperture (alas, among those ordered, not everyone had such an opportunity, but luckily I got a couple of them). In general, to improve the camera, it is desirable to have a varifocal lens with a zoom and an adjustable aperture. In practice, everything turned out the way it was in theory - closing the aperture, an increase in the depth of field was immediately visible, which made it possible to scan three-dimensional, but small objects.

The main lens I use is mounted on the camera in the photo above. The second, with an adjustable aperture, is the largest, in the center. I use it for very very small objects. The rest are without a diaphragm, so I don’t use them - it turned out that these two were quite enough.

Now I plan to either find a webcam with a higher resolution (the quality and detail of the scans directly depends on the resolution of the camera), or try to use some digital camera for this purpose with the ability to shoot video - usually you can get a lot more resolution in them, and lenses are better.

Actually, this could be the end - it seems that he told about everything. I also thought that this was the end of my scanner assembly, but the farther into the forest ... While studying the forum of this program, I often came across various schemes of turntables - fortunately, the software allows you to automate the scanning process. After one scan, a command is sent to the com port, the turntable rotates, turning the object by a given number of degrees, and gives a command to the next scan. As a result, with one click of the mouse, we have circular scans of the object - it would seem, what more could you want? I tried this system with interest, but alas, I absolutely did not like this approach, and there are a couple of reasons for this.

1 – if the object has a complex shape, then simply rotating it will not be enough – you also need to tilt it in different directions so that the camera with the projector reaches all the depressions and other hard-to-reach places.
2 - even if there are no such places, and considering all the scans that were made, there are no parts left on the object that did not fall into the scan, the question of the accuracy of the scan remains.

Let's say that some part of the model on one of the scans came out perfectly. But this does not mean that on all the scans in which this part fell, it also looks perfect, and when stitching scans from different angles, the result will be averaged, which cannot please. The program allows you to slightly edit the received scans (you can cut out the unnecessary part). If we rotate the model by 20 degrees, then after a full rotation we will have 18 scans, the part we need may well be present on half of them, therefore, in order to leave the best result, we will need to remove this piece from 8 scans . .. And such pieces with a complex There can be many models, as a result, almost half will be cut off from each scan, which is very laborious and time consuming.

Instead, it is better to immediately scan adjacent areas after the first scan and check the result. As soon as a piece is ready, we move on to scanning the next one, and so on, until the entire model is in perfect shape. This approach gives the best results in less time.

But the question of convenience arises. Agree, it’s inconvenient to manually try to rotate an object, looking not at it, but at the monitor - in order to control the hit on the lens without changing the distance to the camera and the projector at the same time (so as not to lose focus). With the next similar balancing act, I accidentally touched the camera, which accordingly knocked down the entire calibration, and the whole process had to be started anew. I categorically did not like this alignment, and after some thought I came up with a plan for such a design (which, as you understand, I subsequently assembled).

This is not a turntable in the usual sense of the term. Thanks to this design, I can not only rotate the model, but also tilt it as I need. In this case, the center of the model remains in the plane of focus, but even if not, you can move the mount with the model back and forth.

All this was assembled on arduino, a small control program was written, and as a result, now I don’t have to get up from the computer when scanning - using the program, I change the position of the object being scanned, and at the same time, right there, in the window cameras I choose the best angle for scanning.


I put the possibility of automatic scanning into the program, as well as scanning not only in a circle, but with inclinations of 45 degrees in one direction and the other, which gives three times more scans. Nevertheless, in the end, I still never use this opportunity - it's too inconvenient to sort through the resulting pile of scans and clean them from unsuccessful pieces.

We should also mention some nuances of scanning.
1 - it is impossible to scan shiny and mirror surfaces. The light from them is reflected, or gives such a glare that the program cannot correctly recognize the line. If there is a need to scan such an object, then such parts will have to be masked with something (washable paint, paper tape, etc.).
2 - it is more convenient to scan monotonous objects, since when the camera is set to a light color, the projector's brightness is not so high, the exposure is low, etc. And a dark-colored object requires a lot of brightness, so if you have a multi-colored object, then different parts of it require different settings to get the best result. Here, too, it is more convenient to use scanning the object in parts.
3 - if you want to immediately get a color texture, then keep in mind that the camera and projector settings for the scan do not affect the settings for removing the texture (the scan is generally done in black and white mode), so play around with the settings in the texture mode just as you would do in scan mode.

My scanning process now looks like this:
- Focusing the projector and camera

The projector's light is too bright and the projected grid is not visible in the photo, but here is the view from the camera in the program

- scanner calibration

printed on magnetic paper - so you can very quickly adjust to different sizes of scanned objects.

Software view

It is recommended that the combined angle between the beam of the projector and the camera be around 20 degrees. Therefore, such a stand is used - when scanning large objects (for example, a person), the camera should be set aside much further from the projector, but here they are close to me. The location of the camera relative to the projector can be only vertical or only horizontal, depending on the geometry of the object. In this case, the arrangement is diagonal (13 degrees vertically and 36 degrees horizontally).

Scan results from different angles. These are already cleaned up scans, i.e. all unsuccessful and unnecessary parts (figure stand, mount that got into the frame) parts have been removed.

Combining scans for subsequent merging into one object

Due to the fact that each scan has its own color, it is convenient to control the correct alignment.

Well, after combining the scans from different angles, we get the following models

Miniature of Boromir from Lord of the Rings.

When scanning a multi-colored object, the result is slightly worse if you don't bother too much. But then you can get an object with a texture right away :) , even fingerprints people scan. And there are even scans of the same miniatures from Warhammer

In conclusion, I would like to say that no matter what hardware you use, no matter what expensive 3D scanner you buy, this is not a panacea for printing anything. Theoretically, of course, you can send the resulting object to the slicer and print, but there are several reasons why you should not do this, but in any case, you should study 3D graphics packages.

1 - The resulting scans, with good scan quality (and we want to get the best quality) have a lot of polygons. No, even is VERY a lot. The scan of Boromir after the merger contained more than 8 million polygons - not every slicer will be able to work with such an object.
2 - Any objects bear traces of assembly and manufacture. And if in reality needle files and sandpaper are used to fix this (and sometimes there are still inaccessible places where it is impossible to use tools), then working with a digital copy of an object, we can change it as we like - remove defects, improve detail, etc. .
3 - As I said at the beginning of the article, when I thought about the scanner, I did not want to print copies of objects, but change them as I please. I am not a sculptor, I do not have the tools, materials and skills to sculpt such a small model. But knowing how to work in 3D, it is much easier for me to scan a similar Boromir and make him some kind of Prince of Denmark.

By the way, this model already contains almost 100 times fewer polygons than the scan result.

parts and technology. Homemade 3D Scanner - ABC IMPORT

Contents of the article:

  • How 3D imaging works
  • What is photogrammetry and how it affects the display of objects
  • Turntable - the second stage of creating a scanner
  • Additional software
  • by Tony Buzer all scanners
  • FabScan
  • VirtuCube
  • BQ - laser scanning system
  • "Atlas" - a developed project requiring improvements
  • CowTech Ciclop: a new model of the multifunctional device
  • So what's the difference between CowTech and BQ DIY version
  • Turntables and tables for creating scanners
  • Microsoft Kinect 3D scanner
  • Before you create a scanner
  • 2 If you want to make a 3D scanner with your own hands, the first thing to do is find a webcam. If you have it, the cost of the entire project will cost 40-50 dollars. Desktop 3D scanning has made great strides in recent years, but it still has major limitations. The hardware of the technique is built on the basis of a certain volume and resolution of scanning. You can get good results only if your subject meets the requirements and shooting resolution.

    How 3D shooting works

    You will be interested in: How to control your TV from your phone: recommendations

    Photogrammetry uses a set of conventional 2D photographs taken from all directions around an object. If a point on an object can be seen on at least three images, its location can be triangulated and measured in three dimensions. By identifying and calculating the location of thousands or even millions of points, the software can create an extremely accurate reproduction.

    Unlike a hardware scanner, this process has no size or resolution restrictions. If you can photograph an object, you can scan it:

    • The limiting factor in photogrammetry is the quality of the photographs and therefore the skill of the photographer.
    • Photographs must be clearly visible and clearly in focus.
    • They must also be placed around the object so that every part of them is covered.

    Without a 3D scanner, you can only make a 3D image of large objects. Small items cannot be scanned. To understand this in more detail, we will analyze the concept of photogrammetry.

    What is photogrammetry and how does it affect the display of objects?

    You will be interested in: Hair dryer for curling: an overview of the best models, specifications, reviews

    Photogrammetry is the science of taking measurements from photographs, especially for restoring the exact position of points on a surface. It can also be used to reconstruct the motion paths of designated reference points on any moving object, its components, and in close proximity to the environment.

    In short, it gives you the ability to create a 3D grid from multiple photos by comparing similarities between images and triangulating them in 3D space.

    Photogrammetry has been around for a while, but it wasn't until Autodesk jumped into its Memento beta program that things started to work. Memento was renamed to ReMake when it left the beta phase. Sounds like magic, right? Well, it's not magic, it's reality. Now anyone can do 3D scanning without spending hundreds on a scanner. Even affordable open source 3D scanners require quite a lot of knowledge to get them to work properly. With photogrammetry anyone can get what they want.

    Turntable - the second step of creating a scanner

    All you need to create your own 3D scanner is your smartphone, the included headphones and a player. Here's how it works: you turn the crank, and for every full turn of the turntable, the phone's camera is triggered by the headphone volume 50 times.

    You will be interested in:Audiophile headphones: rating, review of the best models

    Simple! Transfer photos to your computer and then use Autodesk ReMake to do wonders. It's amazing, but not only is it good at meshing, it also provides tools to tweak the mesh, repair holes, align, prepare for 3D printing, or serve as a system shape as a 3D resource for games or renders!

    Well, given that Apple has removed the headphone jack for the iPhone 7 and above, an updated version of the scanner creation will be used. It is based on the principle of working on a trigger for a Bluetooth camera. This will replace the need for a headphone jack.

    • High quality photogrammetric scanning requires high quality photographs of the subject from all angles.
    • The easiest approach for scanning small things is to rotate the object while taking the photo.
    • To do this, the scanner uses a stepper motor controlled by the Arduino board.
    • The stepper rotates the object by a fixed amount, and then the infrared LED goes off in a freaking ingenious series of flashes that mimic a camera's wireless remote control.

    An LCD display screen with a set of buttons allows the user to control the Arduino. Using the buttons, the user can select the number of shots to be taken per revolution. A high quality DIY 3D scanner can work in automatic mode, where it takes a picture, advances the stepper motor and repeats it until it completes a full revolution.

    There is also a manual mode in which each press of the button takes a picture, moves the jog dial and waits. This is useful for scanning details. The 3D scanner focuses on the frame around the image.

    Optional software

    When the photogrammetry software detects a feature in a photo, it tries to find that feature in other images and records the location on all pictures that appear.

  • If the object is part of a rotating object, we get good data.
  • If the detected feature is in the background and doesn't move while the rest of the object is being scanned, it can break the space-time continuum, at least as far as your software is concerned.
  • There are two solutions:

    • One is to move the camera around the subject so that the background stays in sync with the movement. This is good for large objects, but it's much more difficult to automate the process.
    • An easier solution is to leave the background untouched. This is easier to do for small objects. Add the right lighting to that and you're on your way to featureless backgrounds.

    Another tip is to overexpose your images with a stop or two. This allows you to capture more detail in the subject's shadow while separating the background so that any remaining background objects disappear into brilliant white.

    • "Arduino". It has pins that are not covered by the LCD screen, making it easy to connect.
    • SainSmart 1602 LCD Shield which has a display and some buttons to control the scanner.
    • Stepper motor driver (Easy Driver).

    The NEMA 17 stepper motor will rotate the scan object. With a large stepper motor (with appropriate driver and power supply), this high quality DIY 3D scanner could scale up the scan. 950 nm IR LED triggers the camera. Some popular models of handheld 3D scanners are based on this principle. You can repeat the building process with your own hands. We offer several options to choose from.

    Spinscan by Tony Buzer: the basis of all scanners

    You will be interested: Where to put the tablet in the dishwasher: instructions

    In 2011, 3D printing genius Tony Buzer released Spinscan. This is a homemade open source 3D scanner based on a laser and a digital camera. Later, MakerBot used the ideas from Spinscan to create the closed source Digitizer Scanner.


    FabScan started as a graduation project and has since been adopted by a small community that continues to work on improving its capabilities. The FabScan works like many other laser scanners, but it's aided by a built-in housing that helps even out light levels, preventing scan distortion.


    An alternative method for laser scanners is the structured light scanner. Using a pico projector instead of a laser, the VirtuCube can be easily created with a few printed parts and basic electronics. This whole system can be placed in a carton box to prevent other light sources from causing printing errors.

    Two exciting new open source laser scanners have already been released: The BQ Cyclop and Murobo Atlas.

    BQ - laser scanning system

    Spanish consumer electronics company BQ announced the Cyclop 3D scanner at CES. Cyclop uses two laser line levels, a standard USB webcam, and BQ's custom Arduino controller. BQ has written his own scanning application called Horus. While reports say the Cyclop isn't available yet, BQ says it will be later this year.

    "Atlas" - a project in progress that needs some work

    Murobo's 3D scanner with a description of how it works is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter. Like Spinscan, Digitizer and Cyclop, Atlas uses laser line modules and a webcam to scan an object on a rotating platform. Atlas replaces the Arduino Raspberry Pi to integrate control and capture into a device. Like Cyclop, the creator of Atlas promises it will be an open source project. Sets for 129dollars sold out, but some remained at $149 and $209.

    In 2019, the company aims to launch a smartphone-based 3D scanner that not only displays background visibility but also constructs focus when capturing an image. In America, DIY novelties are amazing. If you don't know how to make a 3D scanner, use the unfinished version of Atlas. There is a fairly clear functionality, and developers only need to flash the device and ensure the operation of those functions that they want to see as a result.

    CowTech Ciclop: new multifunctional

    Price goes up to $160 (depending on whether you print 3D parts or not). The company is based in the USA. The resolution of the finished images reaches 0.5 mm. Maximum scanning volume: 200 × 200 × 205 mm. BQ formed the basis of a DIY 3D scanner kit for a 3D printer. With your own hands, you can modify the version of the model to create images in four-dimensional space.

    CowTech Engineering leveraged BQ-led funds to give unique value to the updated model. Opportunities added:

    • environmental review,
    • background capture,
    • inverted style lens display.

    Faithful to the open source movement, Cowtech launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to launch a production version of the original, Ciclop CowTech. The team set a lofty goal of raising $10,000 but was greeted with surprise and delight when the community was able to raise $183,000. The CowTech Ciclop DIY 3D scanner kit from a camera and phone was born.

    So what's the difference between the CowTech version and the BQ DIY version?

    CowTech Ciclop still uses Horus 3D software as it is a fantastic store for 3D object scanning. The differences, however, lie in a slightly different design, which the team spent several days developing so that the parts can be 3D printed on any FDM 3D printer.

    The same blanks can be used to design your own devices. The company's 3D scanners and printers only have a small build volume, so CowTech has designed parts that can be printed on any printer with a build volume of 115×110×65mm, which is found in almost all 3D printers.

    Ciclop from CowTech:

    • There are adjustable laser holders here.
    • CowTech DIY uses laser cut acrylic.

    BQ Ciclop:

    • Models use threaded rods.
    • No laser cut acrylic.

    No big deal and the scanners still look pretty similar, but CowTech only intended to improve on the existing design, not reform it. CowTech sells scan-ready Ciclop for 159dollars on your website. All in all, this is a great cheap DIY 3D scanner, very efficient for laser triangulation 3D scanning.

    Turntables and tables for creating scanners

  • Mobile phone equipped with DIY 3D scanner technology: photogrammetry - there is a technological feature.
  • Price: Free self-printing (although materials will cost around $30).
  • This do-it-yourself 3D scanner will be quite easy to create. Dave Clark, a British manufacturer, made sure that the models could be disassembled even before the start of sales. Spare parts will go to the creation of other scanners.
  • This is because it is based on photogrammetry and not laser triangulation and is compatible with your smartphone! You can download the 3D printable file to sync devices.

    You can make a 3D scanner with your own hands from improvised means. You just need to trust the creators of DIY 3D. A simple device instantly turns your iPhone or Android into a 3D scanner by connecting it to this player. Then, using headphones and a phone camera, he takes over 50 photographs of the object, which will be scanned as the turntable rotates.

    Once you have taken these images, you can load them into a program such as Autodesk ReCap to turn the photos into a full 3D file.

    Overall this is a fantastic creative project and a great DIY 3D scanner for people on a budget.

    Microsoft Kinect 3D Scanner

    It's even lower at just $99 (but no longer sold, though Kinect V2 is still available with Xbox One). The company's slogan is: "Make your own 3D scanner from Kinect and surprise your friends.

    While Microsoft has responded to demand by creating its own 3D Scan app for the Kinect scanner, there are a number of third-party options that may be preferable. These are:

    • Skanect, made by Occupital, which also sells a structure sensor.
    • Reconstruct Me. It provides a set of tools that allow you to perform 3D scanning for less than $100.

    You will be interested in: How to measure the diagonal of a TV: basic methods

    The results are not fantastic, but for the price they are quite acceptable. It has been shown to be inferior to traditional protogrammetry in quality, especially in fine detail, such as on small models such as shark teeth. However, for beginning 3D scanners this is a fantastic entry level product, especially since you might already have one for the Xbox 360.

    Before you build your scanner

    There are many cameras you can use. Of course, in order to know how to make a 3D scanner from your phone with your own hands, you need to calculate what is needed for this. If you plan to use Pi Scan to control your cameras, then you should use the Canon PowerShot ELPH 160. But if you are using some other setup, here are some general recommendations for choosing cameras:

  • How many megapixels do you need? Measure the items you are about to scan. Aim for the largest average size (do not choose the largest outliers). For example, most textbooks are 22.86 cm x 27.94 cm. Now multiply this size by the PPI (pixels per centimeter) you intend to capture. 300 is a safe minimum, although you can't go wrong if you grab more. So, in our example - 9 × 300 = 2700. 11 × 300 = 3300. We need an image of at least 2700 × 3300 = 8 910,000 pixels, or about 9 megapixels.
  • What control do you need? If you're just scanning a single book, or scanning an item just for its informational content (as opposed to trying to capture the actual appearance), you don't need very good shots. If the lighting or camera settings change from shot to shot, you'll still get a good result.
  • Shutter speed - white balance ISO aperture.
  • Flash on/off Any custom image processing (sharpening, color enhancement, etc.).
  • Focus (ideally the ability to lock the focus).
  • Impact compensation.
  • Image magnification - most SLR cameras allow for all of this kind of control; for compact cameras, only Canon Powershot cameras that support CHDK. They allow you to control all these parameters.
  • Much depends on the budget. Scanners are sold at the same price as cameras. If you want to do everything yourself, then the budget is limited. Pay attention to the affordable segment of the optics and spare parts market.

    • The first difficulty encountered in building a 3D laser scanner is finding a rotating platform. At the same time, it needs to be controlled only with the help of MatLab. Instead of spending a lot of money or time, you can buy a 28BYJ-48-5V stepper motor with a ULN2003 drive test module board.
    • Next, glue the platform to the stepper motor shaft and place it in the groove inside the holder. The platform should be flush with the "marble", but keep in mind that the cheaper it is, the more inconsistent diameters that can make things not level.
    • If you have a method for getting precise rotation that can be controlled in Mat Lab, set up the camera at any distance and height, as well as the laser line to the left or right of the camera and the turntable. The angle of the laser should be optimal to cover most of the turntable, but nothing needs to be exact, we'll handle the difference in model scale in code.
    • The most important part for proper operation is camera calibration. Using the MatLab computer vision toolkit, you can get the exact focal length and optical center of the camera with an accuracy of 0.14 pixels.

    Be aware that changing the camera resolution will change the calibration process values. The main values ​​we are looking for are the focal length, measured in pixel units, and the pixel coordinates of the optical center of the image plane.

    Learn more