In all fields be it industrial education or professional, 3D scanning technology has ascended the capacity to replicate architectural or archaeological sites worldwide. To create digital 3D models for the preservation of historic artifacts or even in creating a broad online base of the 3D body scans. 3D scanners simply scans the broken component and can be easily printed on a 3D printer without devoting time in CAD design. The technology is becoming more advanced with the passing time with enhanced accuracy; but at the same time it is also becoming much cheaper. So the consumers can take advantage of the cheap and reliable 3D scanners and use them to expand their 3D printing possibilities. Though it is becoming cheap 3D scanners are just not affordable to many, so why not 3D print your own 3D printed scanner.
Recently, Alex of YouTube channel SuperMAkingSomething has uploaded a video of making a DIY scanner packed with 3D printed components and some other electronics. It is one of the most viewed channel for good project inspirations, and also the most enjoyable making channels on YouTube. They have launched a website called the by the same name SuperMakeSomething. Alex is the project maker and knows hot make complex tasks make look super easy.
The list of things required for the 3D scanner consists of nothing more than a few off the shelf electronic components with an infrared sensor acting as the main scanner. Alongside it consists of two NEMA 17 stepper motors, some motor plates, a threaded rod, two guideshafts, an IR sensor, an SD card, two stepper driver boards, come electronics like an Arduino Pro Micro, a power source connector and a push button. All these are connected with male and female header and screw terminals.
It is no challenge for the beginner to assemble the electronics and programming the Arduino as Alex has shown excellent and easy steps for the same. Alex has provided the code for Arduino code,so you just have to download and follow him step by step with his tricks and tips. The code is fully capable of slowly turning the turntable and scanning the visible side of the object.
The project entirely depends on simply following Alex’s steps and it will just be a cake walk through the process. Using zip ties and screws the setup can be easily assembled. Some instructions printed on the front board by Alex makes it more easier ensuring all the electronics are in place and installed correctly. To use the DIY 3D scanner, simply use a double sized tape to stick the objects to the middle of the turntable and plug in the power source. . “The time it takes to scan an object depends on the parameters in the Arduino code, such as the desired angular resolution, number of scan samples per reading and the amount of time to pause between each turn of the turntable,” he explains.
Eventually the files can be found on the SD card and can be accessed using Matlab, which has a processing code pre-written for it and can be downloaded. Alex’s code ensures that all the details are converted into 3D printable STL files. The resolution of the final scan is not very impressive, the noise and the resolution of the sensor limits the scanning capacity. Matlab requires a lot more filtering to end up having a smooth 3D printable objects. Although the scanner requires more improvements and updates, it is one of the scanners that is affordable and the most amazing DIY 3D scanner worth a thumbsup!