There are several way to build an affordable 3D scanner for your home. One way is to make photos (maybe even automatisied) from all sides of an object and let Autodesk 123D Catch do its magic. Another option is to use a depth camera like the Kinect and place your object on a rotating table and get depth images of all sides - great especially for a person scanner.
A cheap option is using a line laser which enlights on line on a object, get a camera image of that line and then rotate the object a bit and repeat - until you get the 3D form out of this slices when you have rotated the obect by 360 degree.
Francis Engelman build such a system as bachelor thesis at the media computing group of the RWTH Aachen - the so-called FabScan. It uses a basic webcam, an arduino for controlling a line laser and a stepper motor for a turntable.
One disadvantage was that it relies on a external computer for processing, which gives a hassle with different operating systems and so on.
Mario Lukas now made a big improvement of it in his thesis: The FabScan Pi uses a raspberry Pi (getting rid of the external computer and controlling the FabScan with a web browser), using the raspberry Pi camera as a better camera system and polishing the installation and usage process.
To build your own fabscan Pi you will need:
- A raspberry Pi 2 and a camera (you could also reuse the webcam of the old FabScan, but the one for the raspberry is better) and a Micro SD card for the Pi
- A line laser
- A stepper motor, motor driver (a stepstick, Polulo A4988 will do, Silent stepstick is better)
- A round plate mounted on the stepper motor, either with a Polulo Univeral Mounting Hub or a 3D printed one, as long as the plate holds stable on the motor axis
- A box, almost anything will do as long its about 33cm*24cm*20cm or bigger. You don't have to use a fancy box, at the end a shoebox can also work (might only a bit unstable).
There are several ways to connect the components:
- Use a standalone arduino, connect everthing with jumper wires and connect Pi and Arduino with a USB cable. Add a 12V power supply for arduino and stepper motor and a 5V supply for the Raspberry Pi
- Use the Fabscan shield, getting rid of the jumper wires
- Use the (upcoming) Fabscan Pi hat for the raspberry which will include an arduino, reducing the necessary power supplys to one 12V supply
In my case i went for the second option, adding two 230V connectors at the bottom of the FabScan Pi housing to hides both power supplys. If you don't have a fabscan shield at hand, you can just have a look at the board layout and make the connection with wires.
Apart from the box you will need some 3mm and 2mm screws, nuts and springs. For my housing i used 5 sheets of 3mm MDF, 30cm*60cm which i lasercutted and then painted black, using clasp and joints of a small box for the door and 2 sheets of golden paper for additional decoration - very importand for functionality :-)
If you want to make color scans, you might also want to add some RGB lights (WS2812b) for enlightment, something i didn't do yet, but basically they are just connected to 5V and ground of the arduino and their data input is attached to pin A1 of the arduino.
Oh, and votes for the contests are highly appreciated :-)