Instructables

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

paverphalange3 months ago

Thats astonishing..

paverphalange3 months ago

Its sweet

motherprune4 months ago

Terrific...!!

motherprune4 months ago

Extremely good...!!

cobbledbeard4 months ago

Thats useful

cobbledbeard4 months ago

Awesome...!!

mousepaper4 months ago

Thats excellent

This is so great!

Its amazing

amazedgreen4 months ago

Its calme

amazedgreen4 months ago

thats very helpful thanks

fastbobble4 months ago

Thats useful

fastbobble4 months ago

Thats impressive

gorgeddamp4 months ago


Its cooler :)

gorgeddamp4 months ago


Thats useful

clearedeager4 months ago


Thats impressive

clearedeager4 months ago


Superb...!!

illrings4 months ago


Thats stunning...

illrings4 months ago


Thats stunning...

illrings4 months ago

Thats good

airbugger5 months ago

Thats useful

airbugger5 months ago

Thats extremely good...


Magnificent...!!


Really good...!!

headlymph5 months ago

good

headlymph5 months ago

good

headlymph5 months ago

nice

tealrink5 months ago

GOOD

tealrink5 months ago

GREAT

grousebandit5 months ago

Its cold

grousebandit5 months ago


Thats incredibly good

harechubby5 months ago

supper

gzechner6 months ago

unfortunately the videos don't work :(
the project is amazing!!! ;)

good job!

clapfilk6 months ago

good

cheshirecorn6 months ago

Thats fabulous

super

super

spongeraffle6 months ago

Thats incredible

spongeraffle6 months ago

Extremely good...!!

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