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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1-40 of 543Next »

Thats astonishing..

Its sweet

motherprune1 month ago

Terrific...!!

motherprune1 month ago

Extremely good...!!

Thats useful

Awesome...!!

mousepaper1 month ago

Thats excellent

This is so great!

Its amazing

amazedgreen1 month ago

Its calme

amazedgreen1 month ago

thats very helpful thanks

fastbobble1 month ago

Thats useful

fastbobble1 month ago

Thats impressive

gorgeddamp1 month ago


Its cooler :)

gorgeddamp1 month ago


Thats useful


Thats impressive


Superb...!!

illrings1 month ago


Thats stunning...

illrings1 month ago


Thats stunning...

illrings1 month ago

Thats good

airbugger2 months ago

Thats useful

airbugger2 months ago

Thats extremely good...


Magnificent...!!


Really good...!!

headlymph2 months ago

good

headlymph2 months ago

good

headlymph2 months ago

nice

tealrink2 months ago

GOOD

tealrink2 months ago

GREAT

grousebandit2 months ago

Its cold

grousebandit2 months ago


Thats incredibly good

harechubby2 months ago

supper

gzechner3 months ago

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

good job!

clapfilk3 months ago

good

cheshirecorn3 months ago

Thats fabulous

super

super

spongeraffle3 months ago

Thats incredible

spongeraffle3 months ago

Extremely good...!!

n0ukf3 months ago

Does this process only output bitmapped page images or is some OCR used to allow variable font size (not zoomed and panned) pages?

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