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DIY High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras

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Picture of DIY High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras
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I love books. There is some truly fantastic knowledge and information hidden out there in hard to find, rare, and not commercially viable books. I find that I want my books with me everywhere. But that's where the problems begin. Buying, moving, storing, and preserving books means environmental costs... and when I loan a book to a friend, I no longer have access to it.



Digital books change the landscape . After suffering through scanning many of my old, rare, and government issue books, I decided to create a book scanner that anybody could make, for around $300. And that's what this instructable is all about. A greener future with more books rather than fewer books. More access to information, rather than less access to information. And maybe, years from now, a reformed publishing/distribution model (but I'm not holding my breath...).

UPDATE: We've outgrown the Instructables commenting system. There's a new place to discuss book scanner building -- please join us at DIYBOOKSCANNER.ORG -- and BTW, you don't need to register to get a PDF of these instructions. UPDATE:9/16/2011 - Instructables has kindly made the PDF download public for everyone. Thanks, Eric.

UPDATE: If you're actually planning to build one of these things, you really should visit DIYBookScanner.org. I have a new set of plans there that is much simpler than these ones.

I've built two of these things now, and this instructable covers the best parts of both of them. You can build a book scanner using only hand tools plus a drill. I realized that not everyone is comfortable with using all the different hand tools you might need to make it. So I scanned a book on using hand tools that should answer all your questions. ;)

Download a sample here.
Download the entire book (115mb) here. I may have to remove this if there are too many downloads. Please note that these were taken before the scanner and software were complete. Scans from the final system are much nicer.

We have written some open-source, free software to convert the images from your scanner into PDFs. It's currently in a rough alpha stage, and needs a pretty fast computer to get things done. It works on Macs and PCs. Help us improve it! This software is covered on step(78-79).

EDIT: Many people have commented that an automatic page flipper would be faster. I think this system is pretty fast. I made a comparison video if you'd like to see how this compares to an automatic scanning system. And you can watch a movie while you work on my system.

Let's get to it!
UPDATE, 2009-04-28. Step 1 now contains a beta-quality printable PDF materials list.
 
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1-40 of 552Next »
my4pop11 month ago

Very nice liked. I hope you the further development.

This is an amazing idea.

jamesbrosuk1 month ago

wonderful

really clever.

Excellent, i wish i'd have had this when i was at uni

Snellingkorey2 months ago

wow a ground breaking design for a simple job.

davidbarcomb4 months ago

Intelligent and articulate. Nice work!

SparkySolar5 months ago

Thank you for this nice Instructable. I like it

Rima

Very cool, i'm sure a few library's should take notice of this and have you build one for them.

paverphalange8 months ago

Thats astonishing..

paverphalange8 months ago

Its sweet

motherprune9 months ago

Terrific...!!

motherprune9 months ago

Extremely good...!!

cobbledbeard9 months ago

Thats useful

cobbledbeard9 months ago

Awesome...!!

mousepaper9 months ago

Thats excellent

This is so great!

Its amazing

amazedgreen9 months ago

Its calme

amazedgreen9 months ago

thats very helpful thanks

fastbobble9 months ago

Thats useful

fastbobble9 months ago

Thats impressive

gorgeddamp9 months ago


Its cooler :)

gorgeddamp9 months ago


Thats useful

clearedeager9 months ago


Thats impressive

clearedeager9 months ago


Superb...!!

illrings10 months ago


Thats stunning...

illrings10 months ago


Thats stunning...

illrings10 months ago

Thats good

airbugger10 months ago

Thats useful

airbugger10 months ago

Thats extremely good...


Magnificent...!!


Really good...!!

headlymph10 months ago

good

headlymph10 months ago

good

headlymph10 months ago

nice

tealrink10 months ago

GOOD

tealrink10 months ago

GREAT

grousebandit10 months ago

Its cold

grousebandit10 months ago


Thats incredibly good

1-40 of 552Next »